The incredible life journey of Dr. Kim Khauv
A little about me. When I was 21 years old, I made a decision that changed my life forever. But my story doesn’t start there. I was born in Cambodia and when I was 2 years old, the Khmer Rouge came into power and for the next 5 years it was hell on Earth made famous by the movie The Killing Fields. Two Million of our people died from starvation and killings. My family and I were one of the lucky ones to have survived. We were sponsored out of the refugee camps in Thailand to Southern California when I was 8 years old.
I brought with me two things from my experience in Cambodia. First one, I had survivor's guilt. Growing up in grade school, to high school, even in College, I always wondered “Why was I spared, 2 million people died, what was my purpose in life?”
The second thing, I was really sick. I developed a condition later diagnosed as chronic sinusitis. My sinuses were infected due to chronic allergies. I was allergic to all the weeds, grass, trees, pollens in Southern California. I looked like I was suffering from a Cold for 10 years. My eyes were always teary, I had constant running nose, tissue paper everywhere. I couldn’t breathe through my nose, couldn’t smell or taste food. My social life sucked, I didn’t want to go out with friends because I was embarrassed, “Who would want to hang out with a person that looked so sick?” I was addicted to the Nasal sprays, my allergy drugs, I felt powerless, hopeless and afraid for my future.
When I was 21 years old, I decided enough was enough. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I did not survive the Khmer Rouge and the killing fields to be sick the rest of my life in this beautiful country that took us in. There must be another purpose in my life.
First thing I did was what everyone did in the US for allergies, I went to see an allergist. He performed a skin prick test on my back and put allergens on my skin. Of course, I flared up all over my back with pollens, weeds, grasses, trees, from Southern California. I could have told him that. His answer to me was to move to the desert. Or have allergy shots 3 times per week for 6 months. Either of those options did not sound great to me.
So I asked him for a second opinion, he sent me to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. The specialist ordered a CT-scan of my head and it revealed an infected sinus, all black and dark on the right side of my face. His answer for me was to have surgery and drill a hole in my face to drain it out. He explained a complication could be facial paralysis. I remember joking with him, “Hey doc, I already look sick, a droopy face is not going to help my situation.”
I am not sure if you believe in higher beings looking after you throughout your life or when you are making a tough decision. Well, I believe some being was looking after my family and I while we were in Cambodia to keep us safe. We could have made a right turn instead of a left and stepped on a land mine.
And at that moment, I was debating between the surgical hole in my face or allergy shots, I saw a flyer on a wall. It said FREE FOOD. I have to be honest, I did what any college student would do, I went for the free food.
It was a health talk given by a chiropractor. He was talking how the body can heal itself and how the brain controlled everything in the body. I raised my hand and asked if he had any success with allergies.
He asked me if I can remember a time when I was at a park and someone. I shared I was my younger brother, he barely survived the Khmer Rouge too. I was sneezing my head off, my eyes were watery and itchy, I was a mess. And my brother was just chill. A pollen flies in his face and he is chill. A pollen flies in my face and I am going crazy.
The chiropractor then asked what’s the difference between the two of us. I thought about it, we both had the traumatic childhood, so it couldn’t be that.
What do you think was the difference?
Right it was our nervous systems. Mine was over reactive to pollens and my brother’s was not.
You see if pollen was the true cause of allergies like all the TV commercials want us to believe, then my brother would also suffer from allergies, everyone in the park would be sneezing their heads off.
So it was our nervous system that was the difference. We had the same DNA, experienced the same traumatic childhoods, both malnourished.
So I decided to start chiropractic care because there was no hole in my face and no allergy shots. I pre-paid for 9 months of care, for $2400. I used my first credit card to pay for it, the one that I applied for and got a free water bottle at the college.
I went 3 times per week for the next 3 months and at the third month, my sinuses started draining by itself. Without a hole in my face.
Three months after that, 6 months into care, I was able to breathe through my nose for the first time, I was able to taste food for the first time. Right then, I finally found out what all the hype was for an In-N-Out burger, I finally discovered how it was supposed to taste like. I still love that burger today.
Three months after that, 9 months into care, I was not allergic to anything. I was not allergic to all the weeds, grasses, trees, pollens, and I didn’t have to move to the desert or have take allergy shots, no hole in my face.
Right there and then, I knew my purpose in life. I knew why I survived the Khmer Rouge. My purpose in life was to become a chiropractor.
When I started chiropractic college, I wanted to pay it forward, this gift that was given to me. So I founded a non-profit, it’s called Well-Balanced World for 2 purposes. I wanted to help as many people as I can with affordable chiropractic care. And I wanted to bring the gift of chiropractic back to the people of Cambodia. The last mission trip to Cambodia, we helped 2000 people in 5 days. We have since added the Philippines for our mission trips. We will be alternating Mission Trips to Cambodia and the Philippines in the future.
My mission is to help as many people as I can with affordable chiropractic care.