We had the good fortune of connecting with Kumiko Yamamoto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kumiko, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking:
When we hear the word “risk-taking,” it may sound like a grandiose concept to us or it may make us want to shy away. I believe the essence of “risk-taking” is simply being true to ourselves. This can be something as simple as “it feels right” in our gut. Looking back at my life and my career, I have taken actions that were risk-taking. The decisions to take those risks and actions I took have lead me to amazing places in my life and career that I didn’t imagine possible before. One of my biggest risk taking moments in my personal life was when I went through a divorce. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever gone through in my life. However, it turned out to be one of the most powerful, transformative experience of my life. I am sharing my personal life openly here because I care about all the people who maybe scared to connect to their truths when it comes to making decisions about relationships. The point I want to share is not about advocating divorce or break-ups but how transformative and powerful life becomes when we connect to our truths and our inner voice. I believe that even without a relationship coming to an end, connecting to ourselves at a deep level and taking actions from there can bring positive changes and transformation to our lives and relationships. During this journey of my life, I tried many new things to connect to myself, to re-discover myself – the depth of who I am. I grew from this experience so much. I am grateful for my ex-husband and the experience we had together to grow. The other big risk taking moment in my life was when I decided to create my own business. I have a beautiful health and wellness clinic in West LA called Art of Chinese Healing with my clinic partner Dr. Yueying Li. When I first started, I actually did not have a big plan for building a clinic. I left the previous company where I had worked for many years to create my own business. The reason for this change was because I wanted to practice medicine in a way that felt true to myself and what I wanted to create for my patients. That was my humble yet authentic beginning. Was I scared to leave the comfort and success of the company I worked for many years? YES! Did I have many unknowns, doubts, and worries about my future and finance? YES! Yet, I made a decision and took actions because that was aligned to who I am and what I wanted in my life. And now what was our clinic 2 years ago with just two of us transformed into a beautiful wellness clinic with wonderful staff, acupuncturists, a naturopathic doctor, massage therapists, and an esthetician. I feel that the impetus of this growth was not just hard work but a natural energy that unfolded by us being true to ourselves and staying connected with our passion, giving love and care for what we are creating. I am excited to see what will unfold in my path in the future, and I will continue to take care of each moment of my life with gratitude and love and will continue to stay true to myself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Art of Chinese Healing is a holistic wellness clinic offering a comprehensive health program for our community. We have amazing doctors and practitioners working together as a team to support patients’ healing and wellness journeys. Our clinic offerings include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Naturopathic medicine, nutrition, massage therapy, meditation classes, Tai Chi movement therapy, facial rejuvenation and specialized acne and skin care treatments. One of the unique features of our clinic is that our doctors and practitioners communicate and collaborate when appropriate so our patients have a team of professionals working together for their healing and wellness programs and getting the best of many worlds of healing modalities. We are excited about our vision of creating this new model of wellness program where many medical and healing modalities come together to create the best results and care possible for patients. We honor and respect that each patient is unique and has needs that may be different from others. We believe that being able to create customized and comprehensive approach to health care is the best and is the future of medicine. As a doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, I specialize in Women’s Health and fertility and collaborate with western medical professionals such as gynecologists and fertility specialists to care for our patients together. I believe that the future of medicine is in integrative medicine, so my hope is that our effort will contribute to this model of medicine being more available to many patients and community. My vision for practicing and creating this new model of health and healing program came to me after being a patient myself and experiencing my own health challenges. I have experienced the power of utilizing different healing and medical modalities for the optimal healing and wellness myself. One of the challenges is that many doctors are still not open minded about this type of patient care, however, I am fortunate to know and work with those amazing doctors who value and respect the collaboration for better patient care. To me, that is good medicine. I will continue to work hard so that we can show that integrative and collaborative care model works so more doctors will be on board and more patients can benefit from integrative health care model.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start with a nice drive along PCH to Malibu and a brunch at Malibu Farm Pier Cafe. We would take walks on the beach and then have a nice early dinner at Inn of Seventh Ray in Topanga. Day 2, we will head to Ojai and have a nice lunch at Sage Ojai. We then will take a nice walk in Meditation Mount and maybe do a little meditation. Dinner will be at a restaurant with a great view of the valley in Ojai Valley Inn. Day 3, our trip continues to unfold at Pismo beach where we enjoy relaxing at a hotel overlooking the ocean. Day 4-6, Big Sur is our next destination. After a nice lunch stop at Nepenthe in Big Sur with breathtaking view, we will head to make a stop at Big Sur River Inn where we take a break by the beautiful stream. We will continue to enjoy the drive, making stops for nature walks along the way and arrive at Esalen institute for two nights. We will take hikes and enjoy the nature and the natural hot spring at the Esalen institute. Day 7 – we will drive back to LA, taking a few spontaneous stops along the way.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to so many people. I am not who I am today and where I am today without the support of all the people I have or had in my life. For this moment, I would like to express my special gratitude to my mom and my friends who are like mother to me! My mom, Hiroe, I am so grateful for her unconditional love and support from Japan. I feel her support always even though we are far apart. My Chinese mom/friend, Dr. Yueying Li, I am so grateful for her support, her wisdom, and her being the rock for life and business. My Mexican mom/friend, Belinda Armenta, I am so grateful for your amazing, positive energy and love and your support. My Iranian mom/friend, Dr. Mitra Daneshrad, I am so thankful to have you in my life and for your wisdom, and strength, and for your support through ups and downs of my life. Last but not least, I am so grateful to my boyfriend, Rafael Martinez for your love, support, and care. Thank you for being the rock in my life!