My First Visit to an Oriental Medicine Hospital

I went to the doctor at a local Korean Traditional Medicine (한의학) hospital, because of a persistent sore throat I’ve had for the past 3 weeks. In the midst of doing a musical show, the changing season, and the sudden constant yelling I had to do at school, I think my throat croaked on me. 

Needless to say, it was an interesting experience going to the doctor. He didn’t seemed too worried about my throat, but did seem more concerned about the pinched nerve I’ve occasionally had for maybe the past 2 or 3 years. 

He thought I might have Sciatica, irritation or disturbance to the biggest nerve in the body that causes pain or weakness to shoot down your leg. I will eventually go to a Western doctor to get this fully checked out, but since I was there already I decided to give it a go and get treatment.

First, I was asked to lay down on a table, while these electric suction cups were attached to my back. This lasted for about 10 minutes. 

Second, I was taken to another room and placed in these legs sleeves. They massaged my legs while the bed…used me like a drum. There’s no other way to describe it, it felt like small punches to my body. It actually felt good, and I was following the rhythm in my head. Again, it was about 10 minutes. 

Next, I headed upstairs where I lay in another heated bed and had this heating lamp aimed at my lower back. It was amazing, I was trying hard not to fall asleep. They then put the acupuncture needles in, which didn’t hurt at all. They attached these wires for electric stimulation. The reasoning  with minute pulses of electricity, the local nerves are over stimulated, not with pain, but with a painless electrical shock. This over-stimulation makes the nerves turn down their own sensitivity, and hence, all the other pain that travels through those nerves is also diminished.

Lastly, they put these jars on my back after the needles were taken off. They finished by placing a patch that smelled like Vick’s on my back. And that was it! Each station was like for 10 minutes. So relaxing, and they played soft piano music in the room.

The nurse made me read a warning related to the after affects of the acupuncture. It read: Do not eat pork, chicken (eggs). Beef is okay. You may experience weakness and fainting.

I‘m stupid,-_-,  for dinner I ate noodles, but a late night snack with the girls ended in some pork nibbling. Seriously, it was soo little the amount I ate. A few minutes later, waves of weakness followed and suddenly I felt light-headed. So be forwarned, though as a foreigner you are wondering why the heck they have those food restrictions, they are no joke. 

It wouldn’t be like the movies either. Knowing myself, I’d just end up looking like a fool. 

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