We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Jenelle Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Jenelle, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I grew up in Southern California as the daughter of an American mother and a Korean father. I feel like I was raised on the perfect balance of East and West and that is something I have carried with me my whole life. I am a doctor of Chinese medicine, master herbalist, formulator, entrepreneur, and author, committed to spreading the knowledge of the East to Western audiences in a way that is fit for our modern lives. I come from a long lineage of doctors and herbologists who dedicated their lives to understanding the human condition– mentally and physically– and the ways in which proper herbal formulas, movement, and philosophy of life can help us attain our best condition possible and live the happiest and most balanced life possible. I call these 3 aspects of life the 3Ms of Myung Sung–meditation, medicine & movement.
I am also the keeper of my family’s proprietary Bi Bong formulas and the first woman to hold the honor. These medicinal formulas were once used by ancient Korean doctors to enhance the longevity, beauty, and health of royalty. After the dynasty fell, these doctors continued guarding the Bi Bong formulas, passing down the knowledge of how to prepare them to their children so it would not be forgotten.
Today, I use my knowledge of herbs and natural medicine, as well as the Bi Bong formulas to create health, wellness, and cosmetic formulations for my company, JBK Wellness Labs. I frequently speak on topics of meditation and wellness and I am publishing my first book, Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation to share the philosophy of the 3Ms with the world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In my opinion, what sets me apart most from others is that I do not focus solely on sharing one aspect of the East, but have sought to understand how all aspects work together in harmony. One of the greatest challenges of my career has been overcoming the misconceptions and stigma people have surrounding Eastern medicine and philosophy. When I first began creating health and wellness formulas with Traditional Oriental Medicine practices, I was rejected many times because people did not think that aligning with traditional Asian concepts was relatable. I was encouraged to remove mentions of traditional medicine from my branding, but I felt very strongly that the balance of East and West was core to the business I was trying to build. Dealing with so much rejection and negativity early on can be very challenging and cause you to start doubting our own ideas, so I am very proud that I stuck to my beliefs and walked away from business deals with people who did not value the same things I did.
My proudest accomplishment to date, though, is probably the publishing of my book. When I first began writing, many people told me that I should lower my expectations because major publishers only work with a select number of first-time authors. Over and over again, people suggested that I consider self-publishing or pursuing a smaller goal, which can be daunting to hear, but I believed that I could do it and applied myself as if I had no doubts. Now my book, Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation is available for pre-order through Penguin Random House and Watkins.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One of my favorite places in the world– Estes Park– is located just outside of Denver, so that is the first place I bring anyone if it is their first time in the area. Estes Park is an incredibly peaceful, small mountain town with breathtakingly beautiful views. It is a wonderful place to visit if you’re looking to reconnect with nature.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this shoutout series to my mentor and my family. It is because of my mentor that I am on this journey and have found such a unique and fulfilling purpose in my life, while my entire family has always been my greatest source of support. My husband, Craig, is also my business partner at JBK Wellness Labs, and without him, I could not imagine how I would balance my career, achieving my goal of writing a book, and raising two wonderful children.
Other: second website: JBKWellnessLabs.com