Dr. Jongwoo, Ph.D, KMD
Prof. Jongwoo Kim is a board certified specialist, a popular professor and clinician at the Department of Korean Medicine Neuropsychiatry, Kyung Hee University. He is the author of numerous best-selling books, a prolific academic, and aleading authority in ‘hwabyung’ – a Korean somatization disorder. He says that his journey and life-long career in the field of Neuropsychiatry was a result of both destiny and endless effort.
His journey in the field of Korean Medicine Neuropsychiatry started with a stroke of fate – an unfortunate accident that happened during his infant years and left him traumatized throughout childhood. The accident happened when he was born with a rare congenital heart disorder that forced him to go through several surgeries in Japan and the USA. Although the surgery was successful, it came with a small sacrifice - a permanent scratch on his vocal cord and an indelible fear that grew bigger with time. During his journey, he learned that fear and anxiety could be overcome using medical advice but most important was the help of the humanities and psychology.
East Asian Medicine had all that. It is a thousand-year-old integrated form of medicine that combines both East Asian religion, East Asian philosophy, and conventional medicine, allowing it to handle fear directly but also gently.
When he graduated from college, the department of Korean Medicine Neuropsychiatry was a relatively small department. However, in Korea, modern society has ignited fear and anxiety without providing a social safety net, and patients seeking Korean Medicine to solve their psychological,
psychiatric problems continue to grow. The area that he focuses his treatment on is those related to ‘hwabyung’, and anger problems. He says that unresolved anger naturally leads to anxiety disorders and depression. Thus, as a clinician and academic working in the field of Neuropsychiatry, studying
mental health problems related to anger, anxiety, and depression was his prime area of research. For treatment, his main therapeutic modalities were acupuncture and herbal medicine but he soon realized that it was not enough. He found the answer in psychotherapy. Meditation and qigong can be used to enhance the self-healing mechanism. Counseling can set the stage for problem-solving strategies. Developing an integrative treatment program using meditation, qigong, and counseling was a result of his lifelong research in this career.
His other area of research is helping patients find therapies outside of the hospital. As a specialist in East Asian Medicine, he believes nature is one of the best self-healing environments. So in his free time, he enjoys mountain trekking, and frequently provides community lectures on using trekking methods to de-stress from everyday life.
The Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, was the place that gave him the chance to live. It was the doctors there that successfully conducted his heart surgery in the 1970s and gave him the opportunity to live and dream to this day. He is happy to come back to the place that gave him a second life, and to give back everything that he has learned during his journey.