By Hand Wellness

Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and deep tissue, need I say more?

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In Busan there is a wonderful man, named Dr. You. He is trained as an oriental medical doctor as well as a chiropractor. If you ever are having issues and want to try eastern medicine this is your guy.

He has gotten one of this medical degrees from Australia, so his knowledge of English is superb. He is also on the stronger side of things, so adjusting Western bodies is easier than say some shorter (smaller) Korean Doctors.

Medi Hyundae


By Hannah Aauger


Near Haeundae station hides a very good “통증의학과,” meaning roughly “pain medicine.” This particular specialization focuses solely on muscle pain, combining medicine and science you may find in a hospital with the more holistic massage and electro-shock therapy.

Acupuncture for What Ails You

Earlier this month, I was struck with a stomach ailment that I originally thought was appendicitis.  After dropping about $500 in the emergency room at Seoul National University Hospital, I was told that all of my tests had returned normal.  After spending even more in their clinic on a return visit and some further tests to ensure I didn't have cysts, my boss recommended that I try traditional Chinese medicine.  Somewhat skeptical but intrigued, I agreed to join her on a trip to Seomoon Oriental Medical Clinic to have a consultation with Dr. Jin-il Park.

Upon my arrival, I was a bit surprised by the office's appearance.  Don't get me wrong.  I wasn't expecting some ancient, bearded Asian man with a pipe in hand turning needles over a fire in a dark, incense-filled room, but I hadn't anticipated it to be so clinical like, either.  Dr. Park's office was small but comfortable and very clean.  He had a kind demeanor and spoke enough English to discuss my medical problems.

After I told him that I had been having strange pains in my abdomen for some time, he assessed the pulses in my arms and legs, the most important diagnostic technique in Chinese medicine.  After determining the pathogens and imbalances present in my body through my pulses, the doctor prepared instruments for my acupuncture session.

I don't mind needles so much, but I was somewhat apprehensive about having a number of them in my body at one time.  To my surprise, however, this never happened during my session, as Dr. Park's acupuncture method involves the use of a single pen-like device in which he lightly pokes the hair-thin, stainless steel needles into a variety of points along the body's lines to relieve the obstructions of energy flow.  I barely felt the needles and I found it interesting that he used points in my elbow, thumb, big toe, and calf to fix a stomach problem, but he seemed to know what he was doing.  Plus, these techniques have been used for thousands of years, so who was I to argue?  The entire treatment took a total of about five minutes.

from an accident in africa to ankle acupuncture in korea

It seems only fitting that the ankle I broke in Africa would finally find comfort in my next home away from home – Korea. The last time I was abroad I comically fractured my right ankle during my medical orientation (at a hospital!) in Kenya. The break made for quite an experience and a tearful/choked up call home to my mom after a panicked evening in a Nairobi hospital. I was put in a cast and advised by my parents to seek surgical consultation when I returned to the states 5 months later in December.  I was studying abroad with 16 other students in the St. Lawrence University Kenya Semester Program. This injury sidelined me a bit from the Kenya experience, but a few weeks later I managed to haul my walking cast clumsily down a muddy dirt lane to my rural home-stay in Kenya’s Kericho Valley.

Herbs and Needles

See video

We went to the Herb Festival in YeongCheon and I got some acupuncture!

Acupuncture Still Looks Like Quackery

Xinhua is gloating about a flawed study purporting to prove a acientific basis for acupuncture. Acupuncture still looks no better than the placebo effect. Elizabeth Armstrong Moore goes even further, and offers a nice summary before slipping over the edge of the cliff.

Nanna Goldman…[and her] team, which presents its work this week at Purines 2010 in Barcelona, inserted and rotated needles into the tender paws of mice and found that the biochemical blockade of adenosine soothed the mice about as much as giving them drugs that boost adenosine levels.

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