Thursday, February 12, 2015

Acupuncture in Korea

Acupuncture in Korea
Okay. I started this review blog for two reasons.  First to be able  to put my product reviews out in one place for people to get open and honest reviews of products.  The second reason was to be able to help others out when living and traveling overseas.  Well this post is for the latter.

As soon as I moved to Korea I wanted to try out traditional Oriental medicine.  I had heard how inexpensive it is over here and that it is used regularly to help all sorts of aches, pains, and medical problems. I had researched and have found that  modern Western medical studies have found that there are benefits to traditional Oriental medicine.  Notably in the area of back pain, migraines, and sinus issues.  There is a whole host of treatments that the doctors perform from acupuncture to herbs.  As I hold my stress and tension in my shoulders and upper back and I teach high schoolers English I understandably quickly had big knots in my shoulders.  I asked around if anyone had ever been to a traditional doctor and no one(foreigners) that I spoke with had been but everyone seemed interested.  I looked up reviews, how to find a place, and the procedure and there is not a lot of information out there.  A couple blog posts but that's it.  So here is mine.

A friend had noticed a shop that does traditional medicine in Munson and I finally just wandered in one afternoon.  So just look for a sign that says Traditional Oriental Medicine or Traditional Korean Medicine.   Usually there is a round sign in green that says that.   Every city, town, and village has at least a couple if you look around.   My Korean is non-existent, please keep that in mind.  I just kinda walked into this office above a Baskin Robbins and took off my shoes and shuffled to the reception desk.  The lady asked something in Korean.  Most likely 'Do you speak Korean?' I shook my head and she sighed.....   I motioned to my shoulders and she asked 'pain?'  yes, I replied.  The Doctor came into the lobby and asked what my problem (in slow English) was and I again pointed to my shoulder and said 'pain.' They asked for my ID card and I handed over my ARC(Alien Registration Card) or my Insurance card.  They took my information and ushered me into another room.

Acupuncture in Korea
There were several beds all curtained off in a room and I was shown to one.  As it was warmish I was wearing something with a wide neck so the doctor was able to just move my shirt to show my upper back.  He pressed around and found the goose egg-sized knots on my shoulders.  Then he proceeded to pop I'm guessing a dozen or so tiny needles in my upper back and shoulders and the base of my neck.  It did not hurt.  I could feel the pressure when he put them in my back but it was such a quick movement that I did not feel anything and certainly did not feel anything right after.  He moved a heat lamp above my back and closed the curtain.  okay.




An alarm went off in the distance after maybe 5-15 minutes and a nurse came over and quickly pulled the needles out and into a metal basin.  Again I did not feel any pain.

She then proceeded to drag over a machine and hook it up to me.  The machine can only be described in the following manner: Imagine an electric eel and an octopus have a baby.  But that baby is a machine.... Thats what this thing is.  Eight or more slightly damp electric suction thingies are put on my back with a light suction that grips onto my back.  Okay.  Then the nurse starts to play with the switches and the suctions thingies come Alive!!! She adjusts some stuff and asks 'Okay?' I respond 'ok?'  and she leaves and the machine goes through this series of electric pulsing zapping cycles for another 10 maybe minutes.  It is by far the weirdest sensation I have ever had.  Not painful, though I found out later that some nurses really crank up the voltage and I have had to call to get it turned down a bit.







acupuncture in Korea

Another alarm went off in the distance and the nurse returned.  She pulled the suctions off me and then wheeled over another cart.  I'm face down so I am just taking whatever the series is.








Korean acupuncture and cupping
Next up....Cupping.

 I have a lot of hair that I really like so when I heard a lighter snap on around my hair I was obviously a bit twitchy.  Well the lighter is for the inside of the cups to create a vacuum when applied to the skin.  I quickly got about 8(?) placed on my shoulder and upper back and was left again curtain closed.  This does not really allow you to move as you have parts of your skin being sucked into the cups to draw out impurities I think.  Really not sure here but without a strong grasp of the Korean language I just had to go with it.





Korean Acupuncture and Cupping



A third alarm went off in the distance.  Time is now something I have no grasp of but the nurse came by and pried off the cups and slapped a herbal pack/bandage on my shoulders and I think said to keep it there for a period of time.  The purple circles from the cupping lasts 2-3 days and does not hurt but is a bit weird and people will ask when they see it.  This Cupping Set is the closest thing I have found for at home use.








She took away my pillow and had me lay out flat and she then came over with what seems like an industrial car buffer and proceed to bear down with all her weight at she rubbed it all over my back, arms, and legs.  It hurt and tickled.  A Lot!

Acupuncture in Korea Buffer/Massager weapon
Then it was time to leave and I was told the bill was 7,500 won($7.10)  Sure.  I was motioned to come back in two days.  After the initial visit the cost has been 5,500 won($5.10) each time.  Total time was about 45-50 minutes.

The doctor poked my shoulders the second time checking my stress knots.  They seemed the same.  Had the same full procedure and returned 2 days later.  He poked my knots again and Oh My Gosh!  They were like half the size.  After 3-4 more sessions The big goose egg knots had become tiny robins egg knots.  Then after a few more sessions they were gone!!!  He told me that I was finished so now I return every couple of months for twice a week sessions.  I am not sure which part does the trick but I really enjoy it.

Wet cupping.  Just say no!
I have gone to other Traditional doctors and they do about the same procedure.  Some give you a heat pad to prepare you.  One did wet cupping and I did not know he was going to do that.  Not happy and would not let him do that again.  wet cupping is when they prick your skin and then use a different smaller vacuum cup to draw out blood.  Yuck   no thank you.  I would not like to have my treatment with a side of Hep C.  Nope nope nope.  Do Not look up YouTube videos.  I have not seen them but I can imagine they are not pretty.  I have also had acupuncture on the back of my legs to help relax the muscles.  I think it worked okay but generally do not get that done.

Well I hope that people who were like me and wanting to get more information on traditional oriental medicine in Korea have been helped by this walk through.  I say just wander in and see how they an help you feel better.  I highly recommend trying it out a couple times.









Well thanks for reading and have a great day.



18 comments:

  1. I've thought about trying out acupuncture. I've only recently learned about cupping though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first time I had cupping was when I was in China and it was during a foot massage. Weird. I see Groupons & Living Social deals for acupuncture where I live. I am in the deep South and I see a couple a month. You could check ans see if somewhere around you has them. I know not a lot of insurance providers cover acupuncture, but a few do.

      Delete
  2. I've never tried accupuncture or cupping. Thanks for sharing your experience with us...I'm still on the fence about this though :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. OMG the thought of acupuncture makes me cringe... something about all those needles terrifies me! That acupuncture scene in one of those Final Destination movies didn't help either lol

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have never heard of cupping! Interesting! I wonder if it would help my back pain.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I had never heard of cupping before, thanks for sharing! I think I would be too afraid!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have tried acupuncture once, and it actually really hurt a lot. I am wondering maybe if I did not have a great person do mine, but I am really honestly hesitate to try it again. I am glad that you enjoy it and benefit from it, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's odd. I wonder why that was. Now I did once get hand acupuncture and it hurt SO BAD! Apparently every part of your hand is tied to a part of your body. Like your left pinky fingertip corresponds to your left kidney. The doctor was moving around the needle to find the nerves. I am hoping to not have to repeat this again.

      Delete
  7. Oh hell naw! I couldn't do the acupuncture thing. The needles AHHHH!! You're a brave soldier lmao. Never heard of cupping though. Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We run Acupuncture treatment Clinic In Reading , Berkshire
    , UK and practice Modern acupuncture treatment. Patients can book appointments via email, Website or telephone 07538802392.Many patients have greatly benefited from her professional acupuncture treatment and caring methods.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It’s great that you enjoyed undergoing acupuncture treatment. I know it sounds painful and scary, but I'm glad that your experience was worthwhile and beneficial. Anyway, I hope you're faring great, Mandy. Thanks for sharing that! All the best to you!

    Hannah Holland @ Berkeley Community

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have never tried acupuncture for my leg pain but your article is truly inspiring me to try this out. I haven’t heard of this cupping procedure too. Thanks for telling dear. I’ll definitely visit the acupuncture Mississauga clinic for getting acupuncture sittings.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This post is very informative about some of the most commonly known traditional Oriental medicine available in spas and massage parlors. People may seem too scared to try acupuncture at first glance, but your post proved that acupuncture is not really that painful. In fact, it is rather relaxing after the process is done. Also, traditional Oriental medicine had been vastly improving thanks to the help of modern technology, like how Cupping was improve compared to how it was used years ago. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Emmett Fletcher @ CK Physiotherapy

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lucky you, moving to Korea. I hope you have some great experiences. I have to get my fixes of Oriental medicine at home in Canada but I have found a great acupuncturist in Toronto who offers other great services too. When my first session started it hurt but I told my acupuncturist and he made some adjustments so I only felt a little pain. I look forward to my sessions.

    Shanell Custer @ Sage Health and Wellness

    ReplyDelete
  13. nice info keep going.Park Acupuncture belief is that when performed properly, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanism to help you achieve your goal.Acupuncture in Ellicott City

    ReplyDelete
  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for showing these. I haven't seen them elsewhere yet, but I'll look into them.Acupuncture Insurance

    ReplyDelete