Thursday, April 28, 2005

Adventures in Traditional Korean Medicine

There is a "Korean Medical Clinic" in my building. I went for acupuncture for the first time today. It was pretty intense. The doctor was amazing. She identified details of my medical history from simply touching my body. In the first 5 minutes she told me things that took 2 physical therapists, a performance/sports orthopedist, 2 different chiropractors, several x-rays, and an MRI to discover--one of my legs is shorter than the other and it causes my body to compensate by doing funny things to my spine, like twisting it. She also identified that I have bad posture and I frequently get stomach aches when I'm stressed. Genius.

She sticks a couple pins in my back while some suction cup therapy machine was all over my back (which left me with a huge bruise). This was kind of uncomfortable, but not quite painful. I couldn't move, but it was warm and made me think about the muscles I use too much that cause me discomfort. Then, she hooked up an electromassage-like machine on me and let that run for a bit. It was much like the one they used to use on me at the end of my physical therapy or at the chiropractors, but better because it went through different cycles of vibrations. There were 6 nodes placed along both sides of my spine to stimulate the muscles. It also reminded me of the chairs at the nail shop when you get a pedicure, except it was localized, felt like electricity zapping me, and I didn't end up with painted toes. The last and most exciting part, was when they put all these heated pads under my body and stuck pins in my wrist and arm... for my stomach. I don't know how these things are connected, but I laid there following the instruction to relax and breathe deeply, and it was nice. I thought about blood circulation, the way oxygen enters my body and carbon dioxide leaves it, and creating a healing flow of energy throughout my body. I sound so new age and cheezy, but it was nice.

I cost me the equivalent of 7 dollars (for this first visit and it will be 5 for the rest), and they recommended that I come 2 times a week. I'm going back on Friday. I went to work afterwards very conscious of my body, my posture, my energy, etc. I dig it.


zachille o'neal said...

sounds like fun. I am very envious.

misskoco said...

Well, it's not exactly fun, but it's different and I feel better overall.

Today's treatment was similar. Though this time I was left with more bruises and the acupuncture was done on my foot.

The last thing the doctor (Im not exactly sure if I should call her a doctor) said to me before I put my headphones back on to zone out to some Amon Tobin was either "You should take a deep breath before acupuncture" or "You should take a deep rest before acupucture." I'm still not quite sure but before my next visit on Tuesday I'll be sure to breathe and sleep.