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Meet Noolee Kim of i.Athlete Physio in Redondo Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Noolee Kim.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Noolee. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I had no idea what I wanted to do! Having attended and graduated from the University of California, Irvine, I found myself lost and without direction. My girlfriend at that time, now wife, Mikki suggested that I consider physical therapy. I began volunteering in a local physical therapy clinic and I immediately fell in love. I loved spending time getting to know the variety of patients that walked through the door. I loved sharing about my life and hearing about the lives of others which was profoundly fulfilling and inspiring. I came away thinking, ‘Man, I could get paid to talk and get to know people?!’ That’s when I was sold in pursuing physical therapy.

I started my graduate studies at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles in 2009 and was fortunate to have met many leading researchers, professors, and expert clinicians who not only excelled in physical therapy but were simply great humans. They not only shaped my clinical skills and knowledge but modeled for me what empathetic, kind, genuine human interaction looked like.

Upon graduation with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree, I was accepted into one of the leading post-graduate residency programs in the U.S. I had the opportunity to participate in research studies, receive mentorship training from the leading physical therapists in our field, and further develop a depth of knowledge and clinical skill. I was awarded a board certification in orthopedics and am currently recognized as an Orthopedic Specialist which less than 10% of PT’s receive.

Since having practiced for 7+ years, I’ve grown a deeper love for my profession and yet have grown a frustration in the progression of the healthcare system. I have seen our practices, in my opinion, digress in quality care: spending less time with patients, experiencing impacted schedules not being able to see patients for 2 – 3 weeks at a time, insurance companies driving the care patients receive. If I am honest, I’ve grown frustrated and at times callous to physical therapy care. That’s when I said something really needs to change… I can do better!

And that’s when I started i.Athlete Physio in November 2018 driven by a desire to provide ‘a better service’ and to provide what I believe is good, quality physical therapy care.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
“You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.” – Jessica Herrin, founder and CEO of Stella & Dot

This quote resonates with my journey thus far. It definitely has not been easy, but I feel like anything that you want in life, you have to work hard for. I wouldn’t call them ‘failures’ but I’ve had many ‘learning opportunities’ along the way and yet I find such joy and passion that gets me through the grind of each day, the 12 – 13 hour treatment days and the challenges that come when trying to create and provide physical therapy that people DESERVE. Trials and struggles are coupled with and ALWAYS ends in such joy and zeal to push towards that goal.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
i.Athlete Physio was created for and with the ATHLETE in mind. I believe that there is an inner Athlete in everyone whether you’re competing as a professional athlete or competing in everyday life. I believe every athlete is unique and so the care that’s provided must be individualized to each person. I value the attention to detail with each individual, an expertise in movement and manual assessments, efficiency and effectiveness in treatment approaches while demonstrating empathy and understanding for each person.

Our treatment times are 1 hour in length, one-on-one, the treatment is 100% specific to each person ‘cutting the fat’ and making sure that every treatment approach has clear direction and intention. This allows plenty of time to perform a detailed evaluation, answer any questions and be a sounding board, provide ALL treatments that are intentional not wasted, and instruct, guide and direct clients towards being pain-free.

I love working in a gym setting and I’ve partnered with an athlete’s gym called Shift Athletic Performance in Redondo Beach, CA. The gym has all training equipment that I need to treat all levels of the athlete. I love the life-giving energy of a gym setting, providing clients an environment that promotes functional movement and healthy living.

One of my specialties is treating Lower Back Pain. Lower back pain can be extremely debilitating and soul-sucking for a lot of people. Often, it’s hard to find clear direction on how to proceed in getting the lower back better. Many suffer from lower back pain and I’ve made it a passion of mine to help those who are suffering from lower back pain to provide hope and a cure.

My other area of specialty is treating Shoulder Pain. Similar to lower back pain, the shoulder is a common area of pain impacting all peoples from a baseball player’s ability to throw a fastball to being able to lift their children over their shoulders while take a stroll around their home. I’ve had shoulder injuries and pain myself and so am able to understand a little of what others in pain are going through. I love the complexity of the shoulder and enjoy figuring out how to best treat it.

I’m proud to provide a service that treats ‘unconventionally’. What I mean by that is that I often like to see the whole picture, the entire body if you would, to see how other areas of the body may be contributing to the area of pain. For example, I’ll assess and treat the lower back to see if it has any relations to the knee, foot/ankle, or even the shoulder. I love being comprehensive and thorough with my care.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Paul Ahn Photography

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