Interventional Oncologist/Radiologist Dr. Kien Vuu’s own life struggle reads like a Hollywood script. He arrived to the United States as an infant boat refugee with no money but whose determination overcame poverty and racism to become a successful doctor. Dr. Vuu’s life experience has given him a unique perspective about the power within ourselves to heal our own bodies. Many of the miraculous recoveries, Dr. Vuu has seen in his years of practice fighting deadly diseases have come from shifts in thought and mindset, meditation, stress control, diet changes and alternative therapies, along with traditional treatments. The core message of Dr. Vuu’s story is, “My terminal patients put me on the path of healing myself.”
Dr. Vuu serves as a clinical professor of medicine at UCLA-David Geffen School of Medicine and practices Interventional & Diagnostic Radiology at UCLA – Olive View Medical Center, and Kaiser Permanente. He is also motivational speaker on health empowerment, alternative therapies, biohacking and the epigenetics of purposes, community and laughter as related to health. Salonpas® welcomes Dr. Vuu, a true Wellness Warrior and sits down with him to learn his views on all forms of medicine beyond the conventional:
How did you evolve from a traditional physician to one that embraces an integrative and holistic approach to healing and medicine?
I began to see much greater results in my patients who adopted a holistic approach to their healing. Patients who had meditation and gratitude practices did much better in their disease course. Further research and investigation support that integrative/holistic approaches to healing tend to reveal the root cause of most disease; much of these root causes stem from how we live our lives. Healing generally coincides with improvement in diet/nutrition, sleep, movement, and stress reduction.
What type of practices does your integrative and holistic approach to healing include?
Since diet/nutrition, sleep, movement, and stress reduction play such an important role in health, I encourage each patient to look at these factors in their life. Usually a misalignment in any one of these factors can throw off the others. I also encourage other forms of therapy (though I don’t offer them in my practice) such as energy healing, acupuncture, sound healing, and hypnotherapy.
What was happening in your life when you became overweight and suffering from hypertension and diabetes?
I just became misaligned with who I was as a person. I spent so much time and energy trying to be “successful” in the eyes of others, I just forgot how to be myself; how to dream, love, connect, and play. I was taking prescription medications to sleep every night and not conscious to how I was eating.
Did you have a eureka moment to change your own life?
At my lowest moment, there was a 43-year-old terminal pancreatic cancer patient (Ishmael) who reminded me that we have more power to change the world than we think. That power stems from our decisions and choices – choosing to live powerfully over any circumstance, choosing love over fear, choosing happiness over pain. His choice to continue to spread love and happiness despite his circumstances was a game changer for me.
How is health a personal discovery process?
As it turns out, there is no universal diet or health plan that works in the same way for everybody. Health is basically a manifestation of the complex dynamic interplay between our cell’s external environment (food, toxins, stress, exercise, etc.) and their interaction with our DNA. Because this complex system is unique to each individual like a fingerprint, there is no single input for one person will yield the exact same outcome on another person.
For example: Some people need more sleep than others. Cigarette smoke causes lung cancer and associated with many other cancers, but not everyone who smokes develops them. People must be very vigilant with how their body responds to the various input they expose their bodies to.
As a personal example, I had to look at my diet to see how I can alter it to reverse my hypertension and diabetes. I evaluated why I had problems sleeping; much had to do with stress, constant blue light exposure, and how I ate. I looked into the different stressors in my life and sought out various healing modalities for those.
Describe a typical day for you?
I wake up around 6 am every morning and have a routine that includes exercise, meditation, and journaling. Then I spend the chunk of my day creating media that promotes health, seeing patients, or reading radiological exams. I then either throw in another activity that includes fun – either another round of exercise, dancing, karaoke, or improv classes. I then like to cap off the day with good company with friends and family.
Why did you start The Live Again Project? How is this initiative helping people?
It was after my interaction with Ishmael, who reminded me that we all have the power of choice to live as the best versions of ourselves. The project has helped inspire those with and without cancer to always strive to live with gratitude and discover what living means. It provides a community of cancer supporters that lifts the spirits of all those involved. It also aims to help memorialize/provide legacy to cancer patients by supporting projects that fulfill on their purpose. For more info, please visit www.liveagainproject.org