7월 18, 2011

Special Contribution - Noodle and Pasta

Pasta originates from China. But no one calls it noodle anymore. Italians transformed noodle into their own.

Likewise => Koreans adopted Medicine from China. But Koreans developed TCM into their own medicine. 1) Transferred focus from [外因] to [內因] 2) Made a complete adaptation of Chinese medicinal materials

When Marco Polo first brought noodle to Italy from China, he would have never thought that it will gain such a popularity that this lean piece of wheat will spawn a whole new variety of dishes; pasta. Such examples are abound around the world; Americans took Japanes Sushi and turned it into California roll; Japanese turned Indian curry into 'Karae'. Everywhere around the world, people take what OTHERS like and transform it into something THEY want.

In Korea, this transformation wasn't just limited to food. Thousands of years ago, Koreans learned a lot from TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), which eventually gave birth to KM (Korean Medicine) Nowadays, KM proudly stands as a major pillar of medical service in Korea. And it differs a lot from TCM, just like pasta is different from noodle. Although they may have same origin and sometimes even share some of the raw ingredients, the nuances and outlook differ quite a lot.

To be exact, there are 2 major differences. First, KM focuses on Inner Cause of disease while TCM focuses on Outer Cause of disease. In other words, Koreans consider lifestyle, personality, eating habits and etc to be the major pathogen. Of course, this doesn't mean that KM didn't acknowledge the presence of external pathogen. Rather, unlike TCM which considers external pathogen as the major cause, KM focused more on internal causes.

Second, KM differs from TCM in its use of medicinal materials. Sometimes, this can be seen when KM and TCM differ in its usage of same material. Other times, KM uses something totally different or even replace TCM material with others that can be grown or found in Korean peninsula.

So next time you go out to eat some pasta, always remember that it originates from noodle. It just tastes better. (To me at least)

- by Kim Hee Jun(Oriental Medical Doctor)

5. Situation and Future Direction of TKM

1) Making the Research Activate

These days, research on oriental medicine, as an alternative medicine, is being carried out globally.

In the West, especially Britain, Germany, France, the United States is actively researching oriental medicine. First, in the case of Britain, it was officially recognized that acupuncture is effective for chronic nonspecific backache. We should note that recognizing formally Acupuncture treatment in the UK is based on the accumulated clinical studies.
Recently, with interest and discussion on Evidence-Based Medicine(EBM) animated, the interest in clinical research is becoming more concentrated in oriental medicine as well as in western medicine.
Oriental studies in Europe is very active and decent. Many oriental medicine books is written, translated, and published, let alone publication of Magazine, academic journal. Research and medical activities of the oriental medicine in Germany, France and Eastern Europe research is remarkable. In Germany, there are many college of medicine taking oriental medicine into required subjects. Also there are some hospitals with department of oriental medicine.

In Asia, China, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan in order strives to study Oriental medicine, but Korea not even in the rankings.
In case of China, setting a ambitious goal to dominate 21st century world health by TCM and accelerating development of TCM, TCM has been fostered.
On the other hand, in the case of Korea compared to foreign, research results are very disappointing.
Last five years, Looking at the present condition of the 11 colleges of Oriental medicine annual average Master's and Doctor's dissertations, annual 300 of the thesis was submitted. But, there's not much practical results and there were many cases ending in research to research, rather in conjunction with clinical research.
Also, in the last two years, application of new oriental medical technologies was 26cases, but one case did not even pass. Like this, there is a lack of investment and research in this area. Clinical Research and medical device development based on oriental medicine theory is insufficient, and the concept of research ethics lacks.
Therefore, lot of interest and support in TKM(Traditional Korea Medicine) research is needed. TKM studies should be aimed at contribution to human society and the nation's industrial development. The direction should correpond the contents of education, research, treatment with evidence-based research reproducibility obtained, modernizing and approaching scientifically oriental medicine theory.


2) Taking the Lead in the Standardization of Traditional Medicine

Standardization of TM(Traditional Medicine) means making an international standard about system or treatment of TM that can be equally applied to every country in the world. Lack of standard is the reason that TM is criticized by many people and the weak point of TM compared to Western medicine. Therefore, making a scientific and clear standard is a matter of great importance to increase reliability of TM. And why it is important for Korea to take the lead in the standardization of TM is that if we take the initiative of standardization in global TM market, it can be the jackpot for development of TKM(Traditional Korean Medicine) industry and securing national competitiveness.
Nowadays, the standardization of TM revolves around the competition of Korea, China, and Japan through WHO(World Health Organization) and ISO(International Organization for Standardization). WHO is leading the standardization of terminology and name of diseases of TM, and ISO takes the charge of standardization for global industry of TM.
In 2008, Korea succeeded in international standardization of meridian points on the body, winning the competition with China and Japan. Recently, however, China is taking the lead in the international standardization and Korea and Japan are barely following. Chinese government has invested a huge budget for TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine)-driven standardization and trying to take the lead continuously. They organized a committee called TC249 in ISO and insisted to decide an official name of traditional medicine as TCM. Korea and Japan, in response, insisted to decide the official name as TM and suggested standards for quality and safety. Nowadays, discussions about the official name and the standardization are going along separately. In case of Japan, they stand out in the field of herbal medicine. Tsumura, Japanese herbal medicine company, is globally famous for standardization through thorough quality control and doing a role of an actual standard in medicinal herb research. They encoded herbal medicine whose effectiveness is proved by thesis. In January, Japan held a conference about standardization of Japanese herbal medicine, demonstrating that they are ready to take the lead in the international standardization of herbal medicine.
Korea is also striving for standardization of TM with KIOM(Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine) as the center. KIOM has been designated as WHO Cooperation Center and is pushing ahead with standardization of acupuncture, moxa, etc. They also have published a standardized onomasticon of stroke. Furthermore, Korean Medicine Technology Standardization Center, which will be the research space for EBM(Evidence-Based Medicine) based standardization, is being established and will be completed in 2012. Like these, Korea is making many efforts for TKM-driven standardization, but we are still in the preparation stage and have a long way to go.
What we need for taking the lead in the standardization of TM is 'emphasizing a characteristic of TKM' and 'efforts for standardization through research'. The representative characteristic of TKM is 'Four-constitutional Medicine(Sasang typology)'. TKM and TCM have similar roots, but after Lee Je-ma's Dong-Eui-Su-Sae-Bo-Won(東醫壽世保元), Four-constitutional Medicine which prescribes different medicines according to personal physical constitution has been developed as TKM's differentiated characteristic. Also, for international standardization, national standardization based on careful research has to be a priority. I mean, like an example of Tsumura, we have to prove effectiveness of Four-constitutional Medicine thorough research to insist on our KM as the international standard.


3) Making the most of KCM's characteristics

(1) More personalized medicine

KM(Korean Medicine) organizes more personalized medicine than TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine) does, and Four-Constitution Medicine(四象醫學) of KM represents it well. this theory was first created and published by Lee Je-ma (李濟馬) in 1894 at Dongeuisoosebowon(東醫壽世保元).
KM divides person's constitution into four groups, which are greater yang person(太陽人)·greater yin person(太陰人)·lesser yang person(少陽人)·lesser yin person(少陰人).
In TCM, It's general to perscribe same medicine to same disease.
But Four-Constitution Medicine considers patient's personality, psychological status, nutrition, function of internal organs, medical action and perscribe different medicine to same disease because those factors can vary from constitution.
In other words, through categorizing patients by constitution, medicine that fits to personal condition can be prescribed. Recently, western medicine also tries to prescribe the most appropriate prescription though analyzing DNA sequence. Judging from this fact, if we improve and inform Four-Constitution Medicine which has personalized medicine trait, it would achieve international status as much as TCM does.

(2) A therapeutic follwing confirming symptom(辨證施治)
A therapeutic following confirming symptom(辨證施治) has a proper characteristic in oriental medicine, which can be grasped but by pathological body reflection not by histological or molecular level etiology. It is also able to be selected a prescription by means of clinical trials which promote human body's natural resurgent.
The Pattern(證) means diagnostic conclusion of the pathological changes at a certain stage of a disease, including the location cause, and nature of the disease as well as the trend of development, not simply giving a respective meaning for a symptom. It grasp a physical reaction to the patholocial changes of disease's process and promotes the self-recovery capacity of human body by selecting and prescribing medicine against certain patterns. In TKM(Traditional Korean Medicine), it is often to call a disease as the name, adding the letter ‘證’ to a medicinal instead of a name of disease in certain case. The Eight Principle Pattern Identification(八綱辨證) is representative of therapeutic following confirming symptom, dealing with Yin(陰), Yang(陽), Exterior and Interior(表裏); the outer part of the body(the skin, body hair, flesh and superficial meridians) and the inner part of the body(the towels and viscera, qi, blood, and bone marrow), Cold and Heat(寒熱), Deficiency and Excess(虛實). Otherwise there are some pattern identification methods like Visceral Pattern Identification(臟腑辨證), Six-Meridian Pattern Identification(六經辨證), Defense, Qi, Nutrient and Blood PAttern Identification(衛氣營血辨證).
There are two concepts explaining the principle. One is Same treat ment for different diseases(異病同治), and the other is Different treatments for the same disease(同病異治). The former appies the same method of treatment to patients with different kinds of disease but have the same pattern. On the other hand, the latter applies different methods of treatment to the same kind of disease but have different patterns. In recent years, the disease highly diverses and the patients complain of complex disorders by the indefinite mechanism. Thus KM can strengthen the strength of Therapeutic following confirming symptom, systematize a disease by multi-levels and suggest distinct treatment principle.

(3) Diversity
Unlike TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine), KM(Korean Medicine) still has diverse schools. a number of schools have been formed with KM being studied among people in non-official circles, and they started academic arguments that eventually led KM to a world-wide study. representatively, there are the school of Dongeuibogam(東醫寶鑑), the school of experiential prescription, the school of Introduction to Medicine(醫學入門;medical book), the school of life nurturing, the school of Four-Constitution Medicine(四象醫學), the school of acupuncture and moxibustion, the school of restoring yang(扶陽), etc. as each school has a independent point of view about diagnosing and prescribing medicine, there can be various, effectual remedies in wider range than that of TCM. also, doctors of KM established many academic societies in The Association Of Korean Oriental Medicine to maintain this diversity and to accept new paradigms and widen the range of KM, like the society of tuina(massage) therapy, the society of herbal acupuncture, the society of rehabilitative traditional korean medicine, the society of naturopathy, etc. if we maintain and improve this diversity, not settling for the present and not being satisfied, KM can be an world-famous, independent study substantially different from TCM.

4) International Standardization of TCM

China continues to dominate Standardization of TCM and other related countries, Korea and Japan are just keeping up.
WHO named TCM 'traditional medicine' from early on, and continually recommended that each countries should respect it as their traditional medicine and absorb it in national health care system by shedding new light on its medical values. WHO is also implementing policies which underline the traditional medicine's contribution to health promotion, and leading its standardization of medical terms and diseases.
If WHO focuses on policies of traditional medicine, ISO is in charge of institutional basis to globalize industrial values of traditional medicine. China has huge influence on ISO to accelerate the standardization business. China recognized the need of international standardization of TCM and investments strong budgets and manpower on it, so we should discuss how to deal with it from now on.
Nation's only government-funded research organization, traditional medicine Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM), builds a cooperative system with Korean oriental doctors' association.
Now, KIOM is leading the standardization of TCM terms, information, diagnose, and medical equipments, along with ISO's standardization project. KIOM's information center practices study of standardization of TCM terms to establish standard health data contents. It collects terms from all sorts of TCM books, clinical charts, and papers, and then refines and disseminate them, connecting them with WHO IST and U.S. National Library of Medicine's UMLS. Also it focuses on ensuring interoperability of TCM and western medicine by connecting TCM terms with International terms. The convergence of TCM and the latest IT research through the Medical Ontology for Intelligent Medical Research is underway to implement the system. It is the basic research to conceptualize TCM terms in computer language.
In addition, the 2012 ISO/TC249 (traditional medicine International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee) 2nd meeting is to be held in South Korea, so South Korea will have a great opportunity to popularize our TCM's excellence and confirm the initiative of international stnadardization.

4. The difference of System between Korean medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine







Korean medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine have considerable differences and by making clear the differences between Korean medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine, we can suggest the characteristics and strengths of the oriental medicine. The difference of System between Korean medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine is the main cause to make this current circumferences of two medicines. So this subject is quite a significant topic but the system of medicine has various subjects, for example, the license system, academic system and etc. Among this matters, we suggest the field of license, research, academic affairs and administration.

1) The License System
The main difference between Korean medicine(From now on, we call Korean medicine KM.) and Traditional Chinese medicine(From now on, we call Traditional Chinese medicine TCM.) is licensing system. Licensing system of KM is the medical system that has two kinds of doctors, KM doctor and Western doctor. In comparison, Licensing system of TCM is the special medical system that has 3 sorts of doctors, Western doctor, TCM doctor and integrative doctor of traditional Chinese and Western medicine.
After liberation in South Korea, there were some problems in relation to the medical situation. For example, the quality of medical treatment was so poor and the medical law of Japanese imperialism was still alive. So Intellectuals argued for the new laws of medical system. Since 1948, some lawmakers had attempted to make a new medical law at the Constituent Assembly but there were considerable disagreements between KM doctors and Western doctors. However, KM had to be continued and specified in the law considering historical, economic, social and academic parts and the future medical development. For example, KM had significant public support socially. So, in 1952, the national medical law stated that KM doctor has an equal treatment and right with Western doctor was passed and the KM doctor was institutionalized since then.
Now, in South Korea, there are 11 colleges of Oriental medicine(a two years' preparatory course and a four years' regular course) and 1 national graduate school of Korean medicine. In addition, about 700-800 KM doctors are produced every year by passing national medical examination only. In 2010, the total number of KM doctors is 16156 and in 2005, there are 146 KM hospitals that have more than 9000 bed and there are also 9765 KM clinics. KM plays a leading role in Public Health at present.

The licensing system of TCM is lead by the government of China and especially, a special medical system such as integrative doctor of traditional Chinese and Western medicine was established by orders of Mao Zedong. In Qing Dynasty Period, there were considerable attempts to integrate Traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine and such attempts had lasted since foundation of China. In 1956, Mao said that we had to make our integrated and new medicine by combining knowledge of TCM and Western medicine. This mention gave the intellectual aims to integrate TCM and Western medicine. Since then, integrative doctors of traditional Chinese and Western medicine appeared by the course for TCM doctors to study Western medicine that had a two years' training program. After the Cultural Revolution, by stating the sentence, "We will develop modern medicine and TCM", this specific medical licence system that has 3 sorts of doctors appeared and all of the hospital have had both TCM and Western medical clinic.
The education of TCM is lead by the government of China as expected. There are 29 educational institutes of TCM or colleges of TCM established by the government of China. Also, there are Faculties of TCM in 11 colleges of medicine. The period of course in educational institute of TCM is 5 years. At present, there are 17 numbers of laboratories of integration of traditional Chinese and Western medicine and about 40 hospitals of integration of traditional Chinese and Western medicine. Also, there are 40 courses of doctor and 87 courses of master on integration of traditional Chinese and Western medicine and by this support and various courses, there are more than 60 thousand integrative doctors of traditional Chinese and Western medicine in China. In 2005, 3009 hospitals of TCM and 716 clinics about TCM are existed.

2) The Field of Research
The study of KM is lead by medical societies and the research of TCM is lead by the laboratories established by government of China.
Korean oriental medical society plays the most important role on study of KM. This society is an organization of KM comprised of a total of 43 departments. It works to support education, researches and conferences of KM and 43 departments perform further study of KM relevant to the field of study.
The Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine is a national hub research institution for KM established in 1994. This Institute works for scientification, standardization and globalization on KM. To explain concretely, It has undertaken a variety of KM-based researches, KM-based therapies, policy research, research on the history of KM and etc.

The study of TCM is lead by many research institutes relevant to a variety of fields of TCM found by the China government. To support TCM, the government established the department of state control for TCM in 1986 and has founded about 170 laboratories for TCM. In this institutes, there are considerable study on TCM theory and clinical cases and by this studies, TCM has developed at a rapid pace. The China Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the largest and oldest research institute of TCM, was found in 1955 and it works for research, education, treatment of TCM. It is under direct control by the Medical Department of the government. Also, it has two hospitals for clinical research in Beijing such as XIYUAN hospital and GUANG'ANMEN hospital.

3) Academic Affairs
comparison 1 : Curriculum of Fundamental Subjects; Oriental Medicine
Different of South Korea and China can found at Preventive medicine, Oriental philosophy, Oriental physiology, Oriental pathology, Oriental diagnostics and etc. Oriental preventive medicine at South Korea's college of oriental medicine take parts like quit smoking, prevent of paralysis, qiqong therapy, four phase health care and before and after child-birth care. Oriental philosophy teaches an ideology of eastern with various viewpoints , which is foundation of Oriental medicine. Oriental physiology, Oriental pathology and Oriental diagnostics are systematic applied of Physiology, Pathology and Diagnostics in Oriental medicine. In China, they are not an independent subjects, included in fundamental of TCM.
College of TCM(China) and College of Oriental medicine(South Korea) are have similar curriculum like Chinese literature, Introduction to Oriental medicine, Chinese language, History of Oriental medicine, Original text of Oriental medicine, Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Prescriptionology, Herbal Pharmacology and etc. This similarity can be understanded that learn for Yin-yang theory, Five-phase theory and etc.
Subjects that only learned in China are TCM of Senile disease, TCM of oncology, TCM of food and nutrition science. In Korea, senile disease and oncology are not integrated subject. Food and nutrition science is not studied in College of Oriental medicine but studied in College of Food and nutrition.

comparison 2 : Curriculum of Fundamental Subjects; Western Medicine
Only Subject that South Korea's College of Oriental medicine studies and College of TCM has not studies are below.
Biochemistry and practice, Immunology, Forensicmedicine, Radiology, Psychology, Organic chemistry, Clinical Pathology and Medicinal Phytology.
College of TCM has same curriculum of subjects below.
Embryology, Anatomy, Microbiology, Physiology, Pathology, Histology, Pharmacology and Diagnostics.
But in China, seems to they don't give weight on that subjects.
Parasitology is only educated in China. Parasitology is study of parasite that closely related with human.

comparison 3 : Curriculum of Clinical Subjects
South Korea and China's Common clinical subjects are only Oriental Internal Medicine, Acupuncture and Moxibustion and Oriental Gynecology.
The distinction of curriculum between South Korea and China are Four phase Medicine and Oriental Psychiatry. Oriental Psychiatry subject that thinking mentalillness connect with organs.

comparison 4 : Total Training Session

South Korea's Universities are train 2000 hours more than China's College. Fundamental of Oriental Medicine is almost same but Western Medicine is absolutely short. Because China's educational system is quinquennial but South Korea's system is sexennial. Also China don't weigh on study of Western Medicine.

4) Administration

Medical care facilities in Korea account for 20% of all health care facilities and there are private TKM hospitals and TKM University hospitals. Based on the research at June, 2010, the number of clinics in Korea is 11,968 and that of Oriental hospital is about 800.

�� Reference : Health and Human Services(2006) "Yearbook of Health and Welfare"
Chinese Ministry of Health(2006) "China Health Statistics Yearbook"

The proportion of TCM medical facilities in China is about 1.3% of all health care facilities. There are 'the hospitals' that have inpatient beds and 'the clinics' that have no inpatient beds. 'TCM Hospital', 'Integrative Hospital' and 'National Hospital' are hospitals there are inpatient beds. Also, 'TCM Clinic', 'Integrative Clinic' and 'National Clinic' are clinics there are no inpatient beds. 'Integrative Hospital' and 'Integrative Clinic' are the places where cooperative care of Western and Chinese medicine is primarily performed.



�� Reference : Health and Human Services(2006) "Yearbook of Health and Welfare"
Chinese Ministry of Health(2006) "China Health Statistics Yearbook"

In China, opposed to Korea, the cooperative care of Western and Chinese medicine is active taking up 33% in all health care. So, there are about 30 thousands in China but 70 in Korea who are licensed with both Western and Chinese Medicine doctor. Concerning the population of each country, the number of doctors who have both Western and Chinese/Korean Medicine licenses in China is 20 times more than in Korea.

�� Reference : Health and Human Services(2006) "Yearbook of Health and Welfare"
Chinese Ministry of Health(2006) "China Health Statistics Yearbook"

Compared to TKM Universitiy Hospitals in Korea, TCM Hospitals in China are larger and have more long-term inpatient treatments. In 2005, the number of inpatient beds in TCM Hospitals is 8.6% of all inpatient beds in increasing tendency but that of inpatient beds in TKM Hospitals is 2.4% in decreasing tendency.


3. Characteristic of Korean Medicine - in Clinic ; Saam Acupuncture

In Ming Dynasty, Gao Wu(高武) primally mentioned method of supplementing and draining self meridian(自經補瀉法) that determine the site that apply acupuncture based on Five transport point(五兪穴), especially engendering, in Zhenjiujuying(鍼灸聚英). Also in Neijing(內經) and Nanjing(難經), applying acupuncture according to Five Phase's tonifying and dispersing theory was suggested. However, these could not suggest specific plan. Because of lack of further studies about principle people couldn't apply Five Phase Acupuncture in real clinic. Later, in Joseon dynasty, King Seonjo period, Saamdoin(舍岩道人) designed 'Saamdoinchimguyogyeol'(舍岩陰陽五行鍼刺法) that after combining engendering and restraining, take supplementation and draining point from self and other meridian(自他經) and he complete Korean Acupuncture. Saamdoin(舍岩道人) understood principle, reason and instructions of Neijing(內經) based on engendering and restraining of Five Phase, established it, proved it in clinic and devised Saam acupuncture(舍岩鍼), unique acupuncture of Korean. Therefore Saam acupuncture(舍岩鍼) is original acupuncture that inherited acupuncture method in Neijing(內經). Saam acupuncture method is based on Neijing(內經), Dongeuibogam(東醫寶鑑), Yixuerumen(醫學入門), Yixuezhengzhuan(醫學正傳), Chimgoogyeongheombang(鍼灸經驗方) and especially Saam acupuncture methods five transport part was affected by Heo joon(許浚), writer of Dongeuibogam(東醫寶鑑) and Supplementation and draining part was affected by Heo Im(許任), writer of Chimgoogyeongheombang(鍼灸經驗方). With these jobs Saamdoin establish Korean unique acupuncture based on traditional oriental medical theory. Now in China and Japan, there is Five Phase Acupuncture Method using five transport points(五兪穴), but it don't have objective standard in diagnosis and application so there is no standard that can apply commonly in clinic. Especially, Japanese learned some part of Saam acupuncture in the latter era of the Joseon Dynasty and they apply it in five phase acupuncture(五行鍼) and inform it to Western as if it was their original acupuncture. However, Saam acupuncture of Korea is unique acupuncture method that is equipped with methodical oriental medical theory.
Now we are about to introduce contents of Saam acupuncture. The Saam acupuncture works by applying acupuncture to the twelve meridians and acupuncture points called five transport points(五兪穴), on it, thereby controlling the meridian vessel. The twelve meridians are a part of the human body meridian vessels. Existing in three yang meridians and three yin meridians located each in the arm and legs; they are the main channels that let bodily qi and blood flow. The six yang meridians are connected to the five and the six bowels and the yin meridians are linked to the five viscus and the pericardium. The five transport points(五兪穴) are specific acupuncture points located below the elbow and knee, belonging to the twelve meridians and consisting of five acupuncture points from each ot the twelve meridians. Each acupuncure point is assigned to wood, fire, earth, metal, water of the five phases and is so called five phase points. The five points located on five transport points(五兪穴) is called well point(井)·brook point(滎)·stream point(兪)·river point(經)·sea point(合), starting from the point further from the elbow, knee and gradually towards the elbow and knee. Due to the fact that each of the twelve meridians have five acupuncture points appointed as five transport points(五兪穴), there are sixty five transport points(五兪穴) in total, and the arms and legs each have six of the twelve meridians(The meridians are symmetrical in left and right). The sixty acupuncture points are used in Saam acupuncture to adjust imbalance of the body and because only these are used, the patients may sometimes be confused. The acupuncture point which undergoes medical procedure may not be positioned near the body part causing pain, and can be seen to the patient as being applied acupuncture on a strange region. However even though the acupuncture is applied to a totally different region to the ailment, the sickness can be healed. five transport points(五兪穴) metaphors the flow of qi inside the twelve meridians as the flow of water, and so the names of the five acupuncture points on each meridian each have a meaning. well point(井): water gushes up from a spring, where qi from a meridian vessel comes out. brook point(滎): water flows and makes puddles, describing the flow of little water. stream point(輸): water steadily flows deeper, makes ripples to spill the spring water. river point(經): water flows flourishingly and vessel qi deep multiple abscess, good if applied in the case of yin illness. sea point(合): river water flows in to the sea, vessel qi is immense.
The principles in Saam acupuncture method follow supplementing and draining self meridian(自經補瀉)·supplementing and draining other meridian(他經補瀉) and supplementing mother on deficiency(虛卽補其母)·suppressing organ on deficiency(虛卽抑其官)·draining child on excess(實卽瀉其子)·supplementing organ on excess(實卽補其官). In order to understand the principles above, an understanding of mutual engendering and restraining of the five phases is needed along with knowledge of the categorization of the viscus, bowels, and five transport points(五兪穴) into the five phases. The five phases consist of wood, fire, earth, metal, water and wood engenders fire, fire engenders earth, earth engenders metal, metal engenders water, and water engenders wood. The term engender means the relationship in which each phase and its associated phenomena give rise to or promote another sequential phase, also the same as generating. In addition wood restrains earth, fire restrains metal, earth restrains water, metal restrains wood, and water restrains fire. The term restrain means the relationship in which each phase and its associated phenomena restrict, check or control another phase. The five viscus are the most important organs in the body and consisting of the liver, heart, spleen, lung, and the kidney, they can be categorized into wood, fire, earth, metal, water of the five phase theory in the specific order it is written above. Additionally the pericardium is added to make the twelve meridians and altogether they are the six meridian vessels of the twelve meridians. The pericardium becomes the fire phase along with the heart. The six bowels are the six important organs in the process of digestion and excretion. The components of the six bowels are the gall bladder, small intestines, stomach, large intestines, bladder, and the triple energizers. Each can be categorized into metal, water, wood, fire, and earth in the same order. Exceptionally the triple energizer is also categorized into the fire phase. The six bowels make up the six yang meridian vessels of the twelve meridians. Similarly the five transport points(五兪穴) or the five phase points well point(井)·brook point(滎)·stream point(兪)·river point(經)·sea point(合) can be categorized into wood, fire, earth, metal, water and follows the rules of the five phase theory. After we categorize the viscus and bowels into the five phases we can know about the mutual engendering and restraining relationships if the viscus and bowels, and the five transport points(五兪穴). Next we need an understanding of deficiency and excess, supplementation and draining. The Saam acupuncture views the abnormal state of the viscus and bowels as deficiency or excess and tries to return it to normal by the tonification of deficiency and purgation of excessiveness using acupuncture. Deficiency refers to the deficiency of deficiency of the healthy qi, weak constitution and weak reaction against pathogens. Term excess means excessiveness of the pathogenic qi, strong constitution and strong reaction against pathogens. Supplementation means to activate and restore a decreased function to normal, while draining means to expel pathogenic factors and thus to restore hyperactivity to normal, the same as reinforcement and reduction.
Now let’s look specifically at the principles underlying Saam acupuncture. supplementing and draining self meridian(自經補瀉) means taking an acupuncture point in the relevant meridian of the viscus or bowel and adding or reducing qi, supplementing and draining other meridian(他經補瀉) means taking an acupuncture point from a meridian irrelevant to the viscus or bowel and adding or reducing qi, The Saam acupuncture directly tonifies or purges an deficient or excessive viscus or bowel but because it also tonifies or purges organs related to the organ, it is written as above. Treatment methods that adds or reduces qi like this are expressed by supplementing mother on deficiency(虛卽補其母)·suppressing organ on deficiency(虛卽抑其官)·draining child on excess(實卽瀉其子)·supplementing organ on excess(實卽補其官). This is an application of the mutual engendering and restraining principle of the five phase theory. The one being generated in the engendering relationship is the ‘child’ and the one that generates is the ‘mother’. If we were to explain this once again if an organ is deficient, by tonifying the mother we can make the engender relationship stronger and by this tonify the child. At the same time, we purge the organ that restrains the deficient organ and by this make tonification by engendering easier. When an organ is of excess, we do it the other way around. We purge the child of the excessive organ so as to make engendering of the mother, or excessive organ easier and at the same time tonify the organ that restrains the excessive one. As shone above, the Saam acupuncture tonifies and restrains not only the organ that is deficient or of excess but also the organs that have an engendering or restraining relationship.
Now if we look at how exactly engendering or restraining is done, the two processes are done by acupuncturing on specific acupuncture points. We use the engender, restrain relationships of the organs based on the five phase theory and apply it to the five transport points(五兪穴) in the twelve meridians. If for example, the lungs were deficient we follow the next steps. The lung is categorized as a metal in the five phase theory and is currently deficient. Now under the supplementing and draining self meridian(自經補瀉) principle we tonify the earth five transport points(五兪穴) stream point(兪) and purge the fire five transport points(五兪穴) brook point(滎) of the lung meridian. Also under the supplementing and draining other meridian(他經補瀉) principle we tonify the earth five transport points(五兪穴) steam point(兪) of the earth meridian, the spleen meridian and purge the fire five transport points(五兪穴) brook point(滎) of the fire meridian, the heart meridian. There are several methods in tonification and purgation. If we turn an acupuncture needle inserted in a acupuncture point clockwise it becomes tonification and if it is turned counter-clockwise it becomes purgation. Also if we insert the acupuncture needle 45degrees towards the flow of the meridian vessel it is tonification and if it is 45 degrees against the flow of the meridian vessel it is purgation.

2. Characteristic of Korean Medicine - in Clinic ; Four Constitutional Medicine




[ Historical Background ]
Medical science requires systematic thinking as a tool to recognize, describe and understand the subject of medicine. The subject of medicine can be human beings with lives.
Traditional Oriental medicine understands human beings in terms of correspondence between nature and human standpoint which says 'Nature is macrocosm, and Human is microcosm' based on Yin-yang Theory and Five Phase Theory that is one of the tradition oriental thought generally applied to understanding natural phenomena. It regards the nature of human beings as a uniformity. It is focused on environmental epistemology rather than human beings.
However, Lee Je-ma takes anthropocentrically stand that considers human beings as someone who can handle the problem with the self-regulating ability to control himself in active stance, rather than in passive stance.
On this basis, Lee Je-ma introduced the concept of constitutional types and came to establish Four-constitution Medicine which can complement pre-existing medical science that belittled the constitutional characteristics of human individuals.

[ About Lee Je-ma ]
Lee Je-ma who established Four-constitution Medicine was born in Ham-kyung-do Ham-hung in 1837. The time of Lee Je-ma desperately needed new order and social change. Those were periodes of intense change of government and society. Therefore, Neo-Confucianism which sustained traditional feudal society declined and Practical thought has been the mainstream. In this situation, Lee Je-ma, as a confucian and also as a governor, recognized the need for new leading thought that can stabilize the livelihoods of the public. By understanding the Four-Books(四書) in original context, Lee Je-ma established his own thought and on the basis of this thought Lee Je-ma developed a theory that differed sharply from Traditional Oriental medicine.



[ Characteristics of each person constitution ]

< Greater Yang Person Constitution >
1. Appearance
Grater yang person is reckless and has a lot of heroism in general. As for body type head and neck develop, while waist is kind of weak, because 뱌 tend to ascend to upper body. Their facial form are rather large and sharp, and eyes look receptive and shiny.

2. Personality
They are generally remarkable man. Also they process anything freely and straightforwardly. So he tends to act radically and thoughtlessly. Moreover they are sociable and very virile. Therefore they always want to proceed forward with tremendous drive together with surrounding people.

3. Food
Good good : Cool, light food, vegetables, low fat foods, marine products
Bad food : Hot and spicy foods or fatty in nature foods, high-calorie foods, soft drinks, ice cream, noodles

4. Notice
Refrain angry, stop high-caloris foods, do not playby ear going, and life is always industrious.


< Greater Yin Person >
1.Appearance
Greater yin person have a good appetite and slow-moving. As for body type their waist are thick and neck are thin, but generally bulky and beefy compared with other constitution. Their facial form are round, big, and have well-defined features. Also they have rough skin. Among them some have a small frame exceptively.

2.Personality
They are most sociable of other constitution, and they well adapt new situation. Also they stick at anything for a long time. And they are kind of mature and considerate. On the other hand, they are timid and lazy, so they tend to keep still. Also they only pay attention to private affairs rather than public affairs.

3. Food
Good food : vegetables, white-fish, beef, milk, butter, cheese
Bad food : high calorie foods, trans fats, instant food, eggs, chicken

4. Notice
Do not overeat, doing exercise, bath, sauna for sweating, doing action than thought, having less desire.


< Lesser Yin Person >
1. Appearance
Lesser yin person are polite, calm and well-mannered. As for body type they have big hip, narrow-chested. Also they are small and thin in general, though there are tall person sometimes exceptively. And they can't eat much because they lack of digestive functions. As for facial form their face are small and elaborate, so they look neat and clever.

2. Personality
They always seek to cope with a task accurately sticking to principles and rules, so they are very meticulous. Also they tend to work at his desk in the office or home rather than the outside. Furthermore they have much of the woman and family-oriented.
On the other hand, they like convenience too much, so they lack the initiative on something. Also they often suffer from stress because they are an eagle eye. In addition they are kind of selfish and jealous.

3.Food
Good food: warm food, warm vegetables, chicken, sheep
Bad food: cold food, instant foods, chinese cabbage, beef, milk

4 Notice
Take the meals a standard capacity, fixed time. Don't sweat. Are always trying to live calmly.


< Lesser Yang Person >
1. Appearance:
Lesser yang person have well-developed chest, but their lower body are weak. Their walk look nimble because their lower half of the body are light. Sometimes they look imprudent because of their quickness.

2. Personality
They are very active, eager and forthright, so they push forward anything quickly. Also They like to gain praise and help other people.
However they spread theirselves too thin. And they are very impetuous so, they lack of endurance to some degree.

3. Food
Good food : fork, shrimp, barley, adzuki beans, oyster
Bad food : spicy and strong-tasting foods, ginseng, honey

4. Notice
Try to eat cool and plain food. Always try to calm down.



[ Simple Test about Constitutional Type ]






[ The Meaning of Four-Constitution Medicine ]

The Meaning of Four-Constitution Medicine -
It is thought that there is yang constitution(陽體質) and yin constitution(陰體質) and they are inborn by Four-Constitution Medicine. The Four-Constitution Type is yang constitutions that are greater yang person and lesser yang person, and yin constitutions that are greater yin person and lesser yin person. Thus, it is different that cause of disease and disease pattern and medicine by Four-Constitution Type. The yang constitutions take sick by tendency of maldistribution of qi at upper energizer(上焦). The yin constitutions take sick by tendency of maldistribution of qi at lower energizer(下焦). Disease occurs when not only maldistribution of qi, but also maldistribution of temperament as joy-anger-anxiety.
The disease pattern and medical action in four-constitution medicine supplementation and draining by upbearing, downbearing, floating and sinking of qi in body. That means it is important in method of treatment, to complement upper energizer by upbearing qi and complement lower energizer by downbearing qi, and to control temperament as joy-anger-anxiety. The adverse effect of temperament can intensify maldistribution of qi. And the illness can get worse or chronic. At the yin and yang and deficiency and excess in eight principles, yin and yang means upper and lower position in human body and deficiency and excess means big and small relationship of viscera and bowels(臟腑). They are inborn. The exterior and interior and cold and heat means the front and the rear of human body and they are not inborn. Thus, there are four-constitution and the yin and yang and deficiency and excess are important in four-constitution medicine.
The meaning and feature of four-constitution medicine are not only point in characteristics as personal constitution but also connection with heath and mind, mental state. We have to know substance of human and purpose of life and composition of the world, to know human's health-and-disease, life-and-death, happy-and-unhappy. Everyone has merits and demerits in body and mind, thus has deficient and excess function. This deficient and excess function can make disease. Thus, to treat physical disease, first we have to look into principles of body and mind. This helps us study the origin of disease cased by maldistribution of qi and establish the principles of medicine. When we intermediate maldistribution of qi by look into principles of body and mind, we can get health.

The Modern Meaning of Four-Constitution Medicine -
Now, we live in treatment method based on constitution period(體質論治), such as four-constitution-medicine, advancing treatment method based on disease pattern(病證論治). Thus it is focused on custom medicine, advancing preexistence medicine such as "Cold Damage", "Treasured Mirror of Eastern Medicine(東醫寶鑑)", traditional Chinese pharmacy. With progressing in studies of four-constitutional medicine, it is raising that treatment is focused on group of patient divided by four-constitutional type. This means that modern korean medicine concentrates on individuals charactered by four-constitutional type, considering patient constitution(體質) - yin and yang and deficiency and excess(陰陽虛實), disease pattern(病證) - exterior and interior and cold and heat(表裏寒熱), and environmental factor. This is why each four constitutional types have different physiology(生理) and pathology(病理). Thus we have to prescribe different medicine for same disease, by constitution.
The primary concept of drug treatment is direct - medicine by disease pattern and syndrome. This has limit point - there is only one group of mass patient, although reaction of medicine is different by individuals. The patients who look same syndrome have different cause of disease pattern by constitutional type. The Four-Constitution Medicine focus on effective treatment according to the individual characters. First, we can understand the drugs how to act on in level of treatment method of constitution. Next, we can know target of treatment - by knowing what disease we can get easy as constitutional type. Finally, we can improve effect of medicine in clinic by rectifying maldistribution among viscera and bowels(臟腑) and getting rid of key point of cause of disease. It means that four-constitution medicine can improve level of auto-immunity, and decrease the treatment period and side effect.
The ordinary medicine did not consider the individual characters. It caused drug abuse, slow of immunity, burden of viscera and bowels(臟腑), and disease caused by medicine(藥原性疾患). Thus, ordinary medicine needed to use more drugs and develop new drugs, due to decrease level of auto-immunity and deteriorate of health. It caused waste of cost for medicine. The treatment method based on disease pattern(病證論治) can only treat disease, but cause down of immunity and another disease. Four-constitution medicine can strengthen auto-immunity and decrease treatment period and solve fundamental cause of disease.

The Examples of Diverty of Effect of Medicine by Constitution -
1. Aspirin and ginkgo leaf extract are medicine for High blood pressure, hypercholesterol, and heart disease for Greater yang person. But, they have side effect to Lesser yang person - heartburn, anemia, swelling - and Lesser yin person - rhinitis, Riel-syndrome, gastric ulcer, and asthma.
2. Acetaminophen can cause asthma, lung cancer, dyspnoea, Riel-syndrome to Greater yin person.
3. Acetaminophen has effect on antipyretic analgesic to lesser yin person, lesser yang person, and greater yang person.
4. Piroxicam has effect on rheumatic neuralgia to greater yin person, but it has side effect as swelling and heartburn to lesser yang person and lesser yin person.
5. Naproxen natrium has side effect as Koplik's spots and asthma to greater yin person, and gastric ulcer to lesser yin person.


1. Characteristics of Korean Medicine - Point on History



[Dongeuibogam]

1) The compilation background of Dongeuibogam(東醫寶鑑;a.k.a. Treasured Mirror of Eastern Medicine)

Dongeuibogam is a medical book which is written by Heo-Joon(許浚). This book is estimated to compile the East Asia medicine. This book has affected to the development of Traditional Korean Medicine and its academic value is high. In 2009 July 31 the unesco appointed this book to Memory of the World because of its the spirit of the times, originality, importance in world history. It is the 7th Memory of the World of Korea, the first Memory of the World of medical book.
The origin of Dongeuibogam is that Seon-Jo(宣祖; the king of Cho-sun) commanded to Heo-Jun to publish an overall medicine book in 1596. The mainstream of Korean medicine at that time is that developed the Korean medicine through the importing a medicine of Song(宋;one of the empire of China) until the Koryo Dynasty(高麗. But after that time Eui-bang-yoo-chui(醫方類聚;Classified Assemblage of Medical
Prescriptions) was published to use the medicinal stuffs in Hyang-yak-jip-seong-bang(鄕藥集成方;Compendium of Prescriptions from the Countryside) usefully. In the Chosun Dynasty(朝鮮) period according to demand of the practical medicine which combinate the clinical medicine with theory the medicine of Chosun was developed in focusing "Medical of Jin Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty(金元醫學;those dynasties were Chinese dynasties)" Because the Medical of Jin Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty was developed by starting to restudy the "Huangdi’s Internal Classic(黃帝內經)" a overall medicine book which combinate the "Huangdi’s Internal Classic(黃帝內經)" with Medical of Jin Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty was demanded. And also the reestablishment of "Hyangyak(鄕藥;the korean wild herbs which is grown at countryside)" was demanded. Therefore, according to the needs of the times Heo-Jun started the compilation of Dongeuibogam through establishing editorial department with Jeong-jak, Yang-ye-su, Kim-eung-tak, Lee-myung-won, Jeong-ye-nam. But next year, after suspension in second Hidyoshi's Invaion to Korea, Seon-Jo commanded to Heo-Joon to complete the compilation for itself. After that time Heo-Joon was exiled because of the responsibility as a royal physicianto pass away of Seon-Jo(At that time the chosun Dynasty has custom that a royal physician has to be exiled after pass way of king). But Heo-Joon continued to write the book and finally completed in 1610 and named the book to Dongeuibogam. Thus in 1613, it was published to 25 volumes 25 chapters through using the printing type of Hun-ryeon-do-gam(訓鍊都監;The largest military camp of Chosun) in Nae-ui-won(內醫院;The royal medical center in palace).

2) The organization and content of Dongeuibogam(東醫寶鑑)

Looking at the organization of Dongeuibogam, it is composed distinguishingly unlike the Chinese overall medicine book, the Huangdi’s Internal Classic(黃帝內經) and Eui-bang-yoo-chui(醫方類聚;Classified Assemblage of Medical Prescriptions), etc. Generally in classifying diseases , the traditional Korean medicine names diseases in many viewpoints. According to external cause, diseases are named as six excesses(六淫, in means a collective term for the six excessive or untimely climatic influences as external pathogenic factors: wind;風, cold;寒, summerheat;暑, dampness;濕, dryness;燥, and fire;火. also the same as six climatic pathogenic factors ). And diseases are named according to an aspect of specific disease. And according to the system of pattern identification/syndrome differentiation(辨證體系;diagnosis of the pattern/syndrome, through comprehensive analysis of symptoms and signs, which has implications for determining the cause, nature and location of the illness and the patient’s physical condition), diseases is classified to Yin and Yang(陰陽;Yin-Yang means the general descriptive terms for the two opposite, complementary and inter-related cosmic forces found in all matter in nature. The ceaseless motion of both yin and yang gives rise to all changes seen in the world.) or deficiency and excess.(虛實;one of the guiding principles for analyzing the condition of the body’s resistance to pathogenic factors, in which deficiency refers to deficiency of the healthy qi and excess refers to excessiveness of the pathogenic qi)And diseases are classified according to cause factors like dmapness pathogen(濕邪), and phlegm pathogen(痰), etc.
While Heo-Joon put the diverse classification in the traditional Korean medicine in the Dongeuibogam. But Dongeuibogam doesn't take the listing many section(門) simply. Roughly divides into three parts that are the chapter of internal organs(Naegyungpyun;內景篇), chaater of apperance(Oihyungpyun;外形篇), chapter of various diseases(Jabyungpyun;雜病篇). Meanwhile medical herbs and acupuncture and moxa which related to treatment are classified to chapter of medical herbs and chapter of acupuncture and moxa. This is a more sensible method than a classification of Chinese medical books, so this is a convenient system to study medical practice.
In detail, the Dongeuibogam consists of chapter of internal organs(內景篇) which related to internal medicine 4 volumes , chapter of appearance(外形篇) which related to surgery 4 volumes, chapter of various diseases which consists of an epidemic, an acute disease, gynecology, pediatrics 11 volumes, The chapter of herbal(medicinal) decoction(湯液篇;Tangaekpyun) which related to pharmacology and pharmacology 3 volumes, chapter of acupuncture and moxa 1 volume, chapter of index 2 volumes in total 25 volumes.

3) The Uniqueness and Individuality of Korean Medicine(韓醫學) that can be looked about Dongeuibogam(東醫寶鑑)

“Dongeuibogam(東醫寶鑑;Treasured Mirror of Eastern Medicine)” doesn`t only have high value as a medical book about materia medica and fomula study of "Hyangyak(鄕藥;the korean wild herbs which is grown at countryside)", but also unites and reestablishes the contents of "Huangdi’s Internal Classic(黃帝內經)" and "Medical of Jin Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty(金元醫學)".
In other words, Dongeuibogam is not only for clinical medicine, but also for basis theory of medicine which condenses "Huangdi’s Internal Classic(黃帝內經)" and "Medical of Jin Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty(金元醫學)" and the medical study of "Hyangyak(鄕藥)".
As a evidence for that, the most of the Dongeuibogam`s chapter is quoted the theory of Medical of Jin Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty(金元醫學) which was established by Zhu Zhenheng(朱震亨), Liu Wansu(劉完素), Li Gao(李杲), Zang Congzheng(張從正) a.k.a. the four great masters.
Especially, quotations of the "Huangdi’s Internal Classic(黃帝內經)" can be seen easily at the head of each chapter of Dongeuibogam.
And, it is a special feature that Dongeuibogam is described every herb`s name(鄕名;Hyangmyung) which is native plants of korean countryside.
So, Dongeuibogam is not just induction of TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine), but can be an encyclopedia of Korean Medicine in independent unifying comtemporary every medical knowledge.
Moreover, the backgroud of its medical thought is also the other special character.
Since table of its contents(集例), we can see the Taoism is how much affect Heo Joon(許浚;the author of Dongeuibogam) to quoten several Taoism`s theory(for example: conduction exercise, cinnabar field therapy etc.). Heo Joon also took a serious view of moral training or practicing own mental attitude or meditation than drug or acupuncture therapy/treatment.
Preferentially, next explanation is studies about Dongeuibogam`s three chapters-about internal organs(Naegyungpyun;內景篇), apperance(Oihyungpyun;外形篇), various diseases(Jabyungpyun;雜病篇)
First, as the chapter about internal organs(Naegyungpyun;內景篇) which is composed of several parts(those parts are written about “Essence;精”, “Spirit;神”, “Qi;氣”, “Blood;血”, “five viscera and six bowels;五臟六腑” has lots of contents for caring or preservation of health(攝生;it means like a life nuturing-養生), Heo Joon said that the life nurturing is more important than drug treatment.(Perhaps, he thought generally that preventive medicine plays the central role in medicine.)
And for the theory of five circuitsand six qi(運氣學) is assigned to the chapter of various diseases(Jabyungpyun;雜病篇), Heo Joon looked at that from new angle-the theory of five circuitsand six qi(運氣學) could be diagnosis of one`s illness.

But above all things, the most special feature of Dongeuibogam(in other words, it can be substituted for Korean Medicine) is just at its composition. Dongeuibogam`s composition is edited by mainly an internal injury. It distinguishes Korean Medecine from Traditional Chinese Medicine which is mainly an external injury.
Actually, as the chapter about internal organs(Naegyungpyun;內景篇) is the head(first) chapter of Dongeuibogam, Heo Joon emphasized the internal organs than the external organs(appearance).
Moreover, Dongeuibogam is different from Chinese medical books by comparing to compiled contents in Hyangyak and materia medica. The chapter of herbal(medicinal) decoction(湯液篇;Tangaekpyun) is for this contents-With regard to the materia medica and fomula(means like prescription or recipe)-Heo Joon adjusted the amount of herbal drugs to korean constitution and excluded unsuitable things by his own clinical experience and comtemporary korean medical books.(Because the most medical books` prescription is for Chinese constitution and climate.) And, he also wrote the popular name in korean alphabet(Hangul) for encouraging people to use Hyangyak(鄕藥;the korean wild herbs which is grown at countryside). In addition to, Dongeuibogam is contained the simple prescription for each symptoms after the disease pattern of each chapter`s part.
After all, since the publication of Dongeuibogam, korea decreased mutual exchange of medical information. This phenomenon is showed that Dongeuibogam became the new source of medicine in korea, also influenced to the several medical books after since then.-like a “Jejoongshinpyeon(濟衆新編;New Edition on Universal Relief)”, “Bangyakhappyeon(方藥合編;Compilation of Formulas and Medicinals)”, “Euijongsonik(醫宗損益;Gains and Losses of Medical Orthodoxy)”, etc.



[Development of Hyangyak and ≪Euibangyoochui≫]

In historical aspect, Hyangyak(鄕藥;the korean wild herbs which is grown at countryside) is one of the most prominent differences that distinguish TKM from TCM. Before Koryo Dynasty, the trend of medicine in Korea has been focused on mimicking that of China. However, due to an excessive preference for Chinese herbs, governmental establishments for medicine set out to emphasize the significance of using peculiar Korean medicine. In fact, it began to be widely known that certain herbs were much more effective than Chinese herbs for specific prescriptions. Herbs such as Chuanxiong rhizome(川芎), dodder(兎絲子) were exported to China, which is a proof for the efficacy of domestic herbs.

Hyangyak's recognition starts in the late Koryo, when the superiority of Korean herbs began to be demonstrated. At the end of 11th century, medicine practitioners believed that any kinds of diseases could be cured with herbs from Korea. They strived to develop traditional medicine based on this historical background, and coined the term “Hyangyak.”

Hyangyak refers to not only wild herbs from countryside, but all herbs grown in mountains, fields, seas, and rivers of Korea. Hyangyak's significance lies in the fact that it serves as the foundation of Korean traditional medicine. It indicates wild herbs indigenous to Korea, being distinct from Chinese herbs or Tang herbs. Based on the theories of Yin Yang and the Five Phases (陰陽五行論), it aids in the development of Korean medicine without imitating Chinese medicine unconditionally. It is a cornerstone for achieving independence in Korean medicine. Since 12th century, the term Hyangyak has been wildly used and the development of traditional medicine has progressed quickly. This is an important achievement as a dispersion of medical practice to the public, along with as a progress of expansion of herbal production and trade.

Various medical books were compiled with the development of Hyangyak. In the beginning, most of them were written by the means of imitating and editing Chinese publications. However, medical books gradually transformed by adopting the method of selecting contents of the prescriptions appropriate for Korean society.

Among numerous medical books on Hyangyak, Hyangyak-gugeubbang(鄕藥集成方) is considered as a representative. Published between 1236-1251 by unknown authors, Hyangyak-gugeubbang is the oldest book of medicine in Korea. It is written in three volumes and a supplement called 方中鄕藥目草部. It follows 太平聖惠方, Biyebackyobang(備豫百要方), Qian-Jin-Yao-Fang(千金要方), and Zhou-Hou-Fang(肘後方); but consists of prescriptions and first aid which does not require pattern identification/ syndrome differentiation and treatment (辨證論治). 方中鄕藥目草部 listed 170 kinds of native domestic herbal medicines, and described their properties according to pharmaceutical theories such as four qi and five flavors(四氣五味). Therefore it serves as an important refercence for studying medical herbs in Koryo Dynasty.

After the establishment of Chosun Dynasty, medicine including Hyangyak makes huge advancement on the basis of government bureaucracy. During Chosun Dynasty, Hyangyak was systemically studied; its collection, cultivation, selection, measurement, and effectiveness were studied. In King Taejo period, 鄕藥濟生集成方 is published, and Hyangyak-gugeubbang is re-published during King Taejong period. Nevertheless, the overall development of medicine is accomplished during King Sejong period.

King Sejong direct efforts to complete Hyangyak(countryside medicinal material) research which has been studied since Kyoro Dynasty. Sended Kim eul hae et al. to Ming dynasty to differentiate Hyangyak between Tang herbs and let doctors accompany them to purchase medicinal material whenever he dispatched ambassador. Hyangyak research in joseon dynasty is at an end as ≪Hyangyakjipseongbang≫ published, which caused the independence of domestic medicinal material, finished in 15th year of sejong.

≪Hyangyakjipseongbang≫, consist of 85 volumes, have much more comprehensive medical system and larger volumes compared to kyoro dynasty's medicinal material texts. By absorbing theory and prescription of major medical texts from Sung, Jin, Yuan, Ming dynasties, ≪Hyangyakjipseongbang≫ extended the application of Hyangyak and straightened up as systematic medicine. Therefore, we call medicine system that integrated in ≪Hyangyakjipseongbang≫ as Hyangyak medicine.

By Joseon dynasty, there were rising interests in plantation, circulation, management of Hyangyak rather than clinical research of it. In addition, sejong had imported medicinal material be cultivated on Jongyakjeon to localize and distinguish domestic medicinal material from chinese medicinal material in order not to prescribe wrong medicinal material.

Though after publication of ≪Hyangyakjipseongbang≫, in korean medical world, Hyangyak was not considered as big issue anymore. It does not mean increasing weight of chinese medicinal material or decline of Hyangyak, but that Hyangyak research, which had been lasted since 11c, reached its peak so that supply and demand of home-grown herbs was almost at its completing stage.

The fact that ≪Sejongsilrokjiriji≫ records much medicinal herbs as local product and ≪Hyangyakchaechuiwolryeong≫ was published and distributed exactly prove it. Also in medical books published afterward, instead of emphasizing Hyangyak, added medicinal herbs-contents as appendix to keep Hyangyak research alive.

Establishing process of korean medicine's identity, which is represented by development of Hyangyak, took a new turn over as ≪Euibangyoochui≫ was issued. ≪Euibangyoochui≫ is the greatest oriental prescription book, completed in Sejong era and published in early years of king Sungjong. This masterpiece synthesized all the medicine from Ming dynasty chinese medicine to Joseon dynasty traditional medicine into 260 volumes.

The significance of this book, however, is in not just publication of new medical encyclopedia, but the fact that it was cornerstone of independent advance of korean medicine. To assimilate oriental medicine which is basically exotic study, these kind of organizations should have been preceded. Intention of compiling ≪Euibangyoochui≫ after organization of Hyangyak by ≪Hyangyakjipseongbang≫ and the fact that king Sejong, who pushed Hyangyak project ahead had ≪Euibangyoochui≫ be written support this idea.

After all, Korean medicine could accumulate masses of information resources by pressing and proofreading of ≪Euibangyoochui≫. And it became good opportunity to establish peculiar korean medicine theory and publish unique medical books.

6월 29, 2011

History and features of Korean Traditional Medicine






Korea opened its gates to the outer world in 1876. Since that, western civilization has been flooding into Korea and medicine was no exception. Hwalinseo and Hyeminseo, traditional medical institutions for citizen was closed. Instead, Jejongwon which was operated by western doctors was opened.

Japan annexed Korea in 1910 and the Japanese colonial period had lasted until 1945. From 1913, Japan issued licenses, called Eui-sang which position was inferior to Western Doctors' , for TKM doctors. It limited the TKM doctors' sphere of activaty. In 1930s, the colonial Japanese government changed their health policy. However, this does not mean the encourangement of TKM. As the relationship with China aggravated, the provision of medical herb became unstable and it started to support Korean oriental medicine. From that time, TKM revivalism was running. Especially Jo Heon-yeong emphasized a well-balanced compromise between Korean and western medicine.

After Japan defeated in World War Ⅱ, Korea was independent of Japan in 1948. From that time, the TKM system was sattled. In 1961, Korea government abolished the TKM system and oriental medical schools by the doctors' strong insistence. However the TKM system revived through revised medical law in 1963. Since then, Korea maintained the dualistic medical system, which meant oriental doctors and western doctors treating patients independently.
Meanwhile, DongyakEuiyak college, which had been built in 1946, had the department of TKM and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1955. In 1964, the college got the equal educational system to medical colleges'.( a two years preparatory course and a four years regular course). The next year, DongyakEuiyak college was connected to Kyung-Hee university and it lasted as the department of oriental medicine and pharmacy of Kyung-Hee university. Since the end of 1970s, a number of the department of Oriental medicine was been built in many other university.



Features of Korean Traditional Medicine

The basic theory of Korean medicine before the Four Constitution medicine was Taoism. Therefore, medical theorists at that time tried to explain medical theory by Yin-yang and Five Phase Theory. However, Je-ma, Lee, the author of Longevity and Life Preservation in Eastern Medicine was mainly affected by Confucianism.

The difference between Taoism and Confucianism generated the differences. In this background, genuine feature of Korean medicine compared to the Chinese medicine was generated. These characteristics of Korean medicine are human-oriented pathology, Structure based on number four and Curative means by balance between body and mind

Human-oriented pathology
Taoism’s medicine considered a human as a part of nature. It explained the causes of sickness by Yin-yang and Five Phase Theory and correspondence between nature and human. For example, reasons of the sickness could be the food and other one-sided natural environment. However, four constitution medicine more values yin-yang theory and human itself. In the four constitution medical theory, not only food and the natural environments but also emotional change in human can be the major reason for the disease.

Structure based on number four
The four constitution medicine analyzes the world by number four. Je-ma, Lee considered the major components of universe as nature, human, temperament, and life. Also, he regarded four human constitutional components as greater yang person, lesser yang person, greater yin person, and lesser yin person.

Curative means by balance between body and mind
Korean medicine before the four constitutional medicine tried curing by herbal medicine and acupuncture practices. However four constitutional medicine started mental stabilization as the curative method. Je-ma, Lee thought that mind was not only a part of body but also the part of human that composed human with the same importance with body. Therefore, Four Constitutional medicine recognized the role of mind in the formation of constitution.

Human-oriented pathology, Structure based on number four and Curative means by balance between body and mind are the major distinctiveness from the Chinese medicine. Other than these three characteristics of Korean medicine, unique view of herbal medicine by Je-ma, Lee and life nurturing in daily life can be other characteristics. Due to these uniqueness, the book Longevity and Life Preservation in Eastern Medicine and its author are important in today’s Korean medicine.


4 constitution medicne - Longevity and Life Preservation in Eastern Medicine

Longevity and Life Preservation in Eastern Medicine(東醫壽世保元) is the book of Four-constitution Medicine (the branch of traditional Korean medicine initiated by Lee Je-ma, which stresses the theory of the four constitutions: physiology, pathology, diagnosis, and maintenance of health). It was written by Lee Je-ma, who was a medical scientist at the end of the Joseon Dynasty and divided people into four classifications based on their inherent traits. The name of book, ‘Dongeui(東醫)’ means medical practice or medicine of the Korea, 'soose(壽世)' implies longevity and 'bowon(保元)' signifies preservation of life.
The contents of the book is divided into seven sections : Seongmyeongron(性命論), Sadanron(四端論), Hwakchungron(擴充論), Jangburon(臟腑論), Uiwonron(醫源論), Gwangjeron(廣濟論), Sasanginbyeonjeungron(四象人辨證論). And it demonstrates respectively the formulary and treatment. The author divided human body into four types of constitution(a greater yang person, a lesser yang person, a greater yin person, and a lesser yin person) according to the temperament and personality. In treating a disease, he insists that the doctor place emphasis on the constitution rather than the symptoms of a disease.
'Seongmyeongron(性命論)' classified the foundation of nature(天機) as region(地方), humanity(人倫), society(世會). The foundation of nature(天機) regarded that ears hear the time of nature(天時) and humanity(人倫) smells something, with combining features.
‘Sadanron(四端論)’ divided human into four types and demonstrated that choices of the prescription and medicine change according to types.
'Hwakchungron(擴充論)' considered various matters that are relevant to the foundation of nature(天機) in Seongmyeongron in connection with sad and angry temperament of a greater yin-yang person and happy and glad temperament of a lesser yin-yang person in Sadanron.
'Jangburon(臟腑論)' explained the position and physiological function of viscera and bowels.
'Uiwonron(醫源論)' contained all time medical books of the China from Pyeonjak(扁鵲) and especially, Treasured Mirror of Eastern Medicine of the Korea.
'Gwangjeron(廣濟論)' account for difference of personality from childhood to old age and difference of temperament by job.
'Sasanginbyeonjeungron(四象人辨證論)' statistically explained results which distinguish many people into four constitution types.

6월 28, 2011



Atopic dermatitis in Korean medicine


Atopic dermatitis is one of the most well-known Environmental Diseases that is frequent in contemporary men who are familiar to Western life-style. Among the Environmental Disease that caused various problems, atopic dermatitis especially increased by almost twice in the 10 years period from1995 to 2005.







In fact, atopic dermatitis' incidence rate in 2008 relative to that in 2002 seems to decrease. In light of the fact medical expenses of atopic dermatitis patient increases it can said that concern toward curing atopic dermatitis disease is expected to increase more. In conclusion atopic dermatitis' incidence of the contemporary men is mostly increased and interest in atopic dermatitis therapy is also increased.


Environmental Disease like atopic dermatitis, Asthma Sharply Increased the patients of Environmental Disease increased by 57.7% but the medical expenses of the disease increased by 65.4%
Among the Environmental Disease, especially atopic dermatitis disease patients a bit decreased, the medical expenses of that increased by 17.8% and deductible increased by 11.9%.
by Park Hyun-Cheol [phyunchul@hanmail.net]




If we refer to the graph below, we can know that the main patients who have atopic dermatitis are of young age, mostly kids and teenagers. However, in these days atopic dermatitis which is considered as children's preserve shows unusual tendency that atopic dermatitis diesease radically increases in adults.



[Health] Painful 'Adult atopic dermatitis' Rapid Increase
[SBS TV 2006-11-22 12:21]




According to HIRA, the number of atopic dermatitis patients increased 25% in their 20s and 18% in their 40s for 3 years.
by Ahn Mi-Jeong

The point of atopic dermatitis treatment in Korean medicine is the activation of lung function. Lung and skin are two respiratory organs in our body. If lung respiration, which accounts for 95% of total respiration, doesn't function perfectly, skin respiration, which accounts for the rest 5% and is controlled by lung respiration, cannot function perfectly too. The abnormal respiration of the skin blocks the pores of the skin, so waste products cannot go out of the body and are stacked under the skin, which occurs atopic dermatitis. Therefore, to treat atopic dermatitis, we have to help our skin breathe well through activation of lung function.


Atopic dermatitis in Korean medicine's viewpoint


Atopic dermatitis is called fetal heat(胎熱) in Korean medicine. Fetal heat was cured when child starts walking, so it was thought that it will heal when child steps the ground with his own feet. In Korean medicine, lung supervises skin and hair. In modern days atopic dermatitis seems that it occurs on child who has low level of immunity in lung, bronchial tubes, nose and skin. There are various causes in Atopic dermatitis. Bad condition of modern environment is one of the reasons. It lowers the immune system so the invasion of the atopic dermatitis will be done easier. Another reason of atopic dermatitis is based on Four-constitution medicine(四象醫學). Four-constitution medicine splits the people into four groups, as greater yang person(太陽人), lesser yang person(少陽人), greater yin person(太陰人), and lesser yin person(少陰人). Greater yin person has more possibility of having atopic dermatitis than greater yang persons. Other reasons are inner chronic weakness, leak of nutrition to skin, and wrong treatment of primary stage skin diseases.


Treatment


At the first step of treatment, we use herbal medicine that eliminates toxins from the body. Herbs such as Lonicera japonica, Coptis japonica, and Scutellaria baicalensis are used. At the second step of treatment, with the medicine used at the first step, we use herbal medicine according to personal physical constitution. For example, Ophiopogon japonicus and the root of a kudzu are prescribed for Tae-eum In(太陰人), and Siler divaricata and Rehmannia glutinosa for hueichingensis are prescribed for So-eum In(少陰人). These herbal medicines not only eliminate hot toxins in the body, but also reinforce immunity and protect respiratory organs. Sometimes, acupuncture treatment is also used. The last step of treatment is preventing recurrence and maintaining healthy skin through proper living habits. When waste products are released at once, it feels really itchy, but patients should not scratch himself. Take a light bath with lukewarm water often, and don't forget putting on lotion.

↑ A patient(17) who had suffered from atopic dermatitis for a long time
He took herbal medicine for three months. You can see that the redness of the skin and the scabs around his neck almost disappeared.
: http://www.wwdoctor.com








Introduction by Director Park junhyeong

Four Constitutional Medicine is one of the main theories of Oriental Medicine, which suggests that one can live a long and healthy life only, sticking to the general rules of the very Constitution that he is involved in, and that doctors can cure the patient's disease easily by observing the rule after detecting which Constitution the patient is involved in. When we say Four Constitution, it means Greater Yang person, Lesser Yang person, Greater Yin person and Lesser Yin person. People have relatively stronger organs and weaker internal organs(Zhang Fu臟腑) according to the Constitution s/he involved in. If relatively weak organ gets weaker, or stronger one gets more power, it causes diseases. We call the weaker one Lesser, and stronger one Greater(It also means the size literally). Below are the explains of each of the Four Constitution(There might be slight differences of formation among each article, because four students wrote their own parts. However, there is no differences of contents, for they read the very same documents and articles). Befor getting start, please remind yourself that all the characteristics are determined "relatively", and that it is highly impossible for one to meet all the conditions because of our different lifestyle and environments.

1. Greater Yang person by Hyejin Seo

According to Lee Jema's book, "The Principal of Life Preservation in Oriental Medicine" (東醫壽世保元), Greater Yang person (太陽人) is the rarest trait of the four constitution types. The internal organs (臟腑) of greater yang person can be defined as “Large lungs, small liver."(肺大肝小)
Typically, greater yang person has well-developed head and neck and slender waist. Thus, greater yang person is often compared to dragon. The overall exterior of person of this constitution type can be described as “spherical,” particularly with a round face. In some cases, women of this constitution type are sterile despite all other healthy physical conditions.
In terms of character, this type of person is very progressive and active. He/she also has sociable character therefore he/she easily associates with other people. However, with “blazing temper”, Greater Yang person can easily become angry or pathetic. In addition, the most distinctive weakness of one might be self-indulgence(放縱之心).
For a greater yang person, healthy urine indicates good health. Lumbar pain can indicate severe illness, and having a large amount of saliva or bubble in mouth can also mean serious illness. Symptoms of disease include frequent hiccuping, indigestion, and drowsiness.
In order to take care of one's health, (養生), one of this trait is recommended to intake cold and plain food, but refrain from hot or boiling food. Examples of healthy foods for this type of people include buckwheat, grape, quince, apple, squid, octopus, and various kinds of vegetables. On the other hand, meat, pork, flour, peanut, carrot, ginseng, and deer antlers are few of the examples that one should refrain from.

2. Lesser Yang person by Park Junhyeong

Concept
Spleen is Greater(stronger), and Kidney is Lesser(weaker). 20% of Korean are Lesser Yang person.

Appearance
Since his/her Spleen is Greater and Kidney is Lesser, the chest is well developed(broad) and below pelvis is weak(slim). This can be explained by the location of the organs. Most of Lesser Yang person walks fast because they have light lower bodys. They have round heads, and sometimes these have front or rear bulges. Their faces are filled with clean and beautiful eyes, mouses of medium size, thin lips, and sharp chins.

Characteristic
They are not logical, and dislike spending times on discussing something they think useless. Because they are impetuous, they do works without carefull thinking, finish them quickly, and give up easily, which causes rough results with many mistakes. They love to works for others, while making light of their familys' and even own matters. If they see something that seems to them unjustifiable, they do correct it even when it costs their time, money and life.

Disease
Since Kidney which controls Essence and Qi is weak, woman can bear few children, while man suffers from insufficient Yang Qi, which causes fatigue and impotence. They easily get nephritis, cystitis and urethritis(This is because urinary organs are involved in Kidney System according to the Oriental Medicine). In addition, they suffer from lumbago because of the unbalance between well developed upper body and weak lower body.
On the other hands, they rarely have upset stomachs even when they overeat, because of their stronger Spleen(In Oriental Medicine, Spleen represents the whole digestive system, and is related with digestion and excretion). However, this fact leads overeating into their lifestlye, which causes chronic digestive tract disease and obesity. Since they have Greater Spleen, their excretion is very smooth. Constipation is bad sign which implies the stronger organ gets too much weak, so that it cannot do its own work normally.

Food
They love to intake something cool even when it is winter, for they are people with Yang. Hence they dislike hot and spice sauces with ginseng, garlic, mustard. They like pork, and watery fruits such as watermelon. Since spice foods, alcohol, and flied foods make their body warmer, Lesser Yang person who are warm enough originally should avoid these sort of foods. Ginseng, coffee, honey are not good for them too.

3. Greater Yin person by GoYaejin

Concept
Liver is Greater(stronger), and Lung is Lesser(weaker). 30% of Korean are Greater Yin person.

Appearance
Since their Liver is Greater and Lung is Lesser, their waist is so developed that they stand strongly, and the upper of back of their neck is weak. They are usually tall and unusually small. They are usually fat and have a bulky build, compared with the other three types. Their skin, muscle tissue is tight and they sweat well. If he/she sweat a lot, it is not a sign for bad health but a sign for fast metabolism. Most of Greater Yin person walks with faltering steps seeing foots because they have healthier lower body. Eyes, nose, ears, and mouth are big because of clean lines in their face. Their chins are long and stout.

Characteristic
Their character are constant, composed and they end the work which they started or got. Even if they know work would not head smoothly, they start it recklessly. They plan variously in their heart and succeed after action. So there's a high probability that they will succeed.
Greater Yin person looks gentle but doesn't believe anyone easily, so doesn't tell their thought to other. Sometimes they insisted on their opinions. When they insist continuously, they don't care other peoples thought.

Disease
Since their Liver is Greater and Lung is Lesser, they can absorb and accumulate energy well, but burn up and excrete not well. They eat a huge mount of food, high calories food and exercise little, so they could gain weight easily. To develop respiratory and cardiovascular function they should exercise regularly which promotes the circulation of the blood and quit smoking, drinking. It is easy to get heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, arteriosclerosis, fatty liver, and asthma now that respiratory and cardiovascular function of Greater Yin person are weak. Greater Yin person has moist body. If he/she sweat or urinate lot, we regard him being in health.

Food
They eat various food a lot because the digestive organs are stronger than other people. Sometimes they eat and drink immoderately, so their organs are damaged. In fact, it is good for them to take high protein food, vegetable, and sea food. But it's good for their health to avoid foods that are chicken, dog meat, greasy food or strong-tasting seasoning.

4. Lesser Yin person by SeHyun Kang

Lesser yin person is one who has strong kidney and weak spleen in the context of Four-Constitution Medicine. The person has a cold feature of one's body and has discreet and detailed character and weak ability of digestion.

In the feature of Lesser yin person, the main characteristic of the body form is the appearance that is strong lower body and weak shoulder and chest. The person has a face with neat but beautiful feature. Also, the person has a decent look and walks quietly and carefully. But most Lesser yin persons seem to be a little peaked and there are some persons who are lower weight. The feature of skin is bright color, tender and soft condition and little sweat.
Second, we explain Lesser yin person by one's mind. Lesser yin person has a tendency to stay back and has a quiet, neat, and careful mind. That person has a ability that grasps whether some person has a real capability and kindness or not. Using this ability, (s)he intends to get along with some congenial friends. In addition, the person doesn't have many friends because (s)he is so hard to mix with unfamiliar people.

The personality of Lesser yin person is delicate, tidy, and careful mind so Lesser yin person is very careful in one's business and has a logical way of thinking. However, Lesser yin person has a passive and compulsive tendency and in some cases of relationship, the person shows cold-blooded aspect. Also, Lesser yin person is jealous of other's business work ability.
Third, in the nature of a disease, the characteristic of Lesser yin person is weak digestive systems and a cold constitution. The person commonly suffers from cold hands and feet, low energy, low amount of menses and etc. It comes from a chronic and weak digestive systems so, it is the key of health that is recovering the digestive functions and keeping oneself warm. The serious illnesses of Lesser yin person are condition of excessive pleasure, continuous diarrhea and a case that is too cold under the navel and etc.

In the base of features of Lesser yin person, Lesser yin person should eat food that warms the body and develops the digestive systems. There are examples that make Lesser yin person healthy; glutinous rice, chicken, goat meat, honey, pollock, yellow corbina, anchovy, garlic, ginger, chili, pepper, onion, lemon, jujube and etc. Also, there are medicines that prevent and remedy Lesser yin person's diseases; ginseng, bai zhu, licorice and etc.

Embedding Therapy(埋線療法)

Wonkyung Moon, Jeongtaek Hwang,
Dahye Jeong, Sunwoong Kim, and Heeyeon Shin

Overview of Embedding Therapy

Embedding therapy is also referred to as medicinal thread inserting therapy. It is the practice of embedding certain threads with medicinal properties into one's skin for the purpose of elongating the duration of stimulation on the acupuncture points. It was originally practiced in ancient China by incising one's skin, embedding stitching fiber used in surgery into the skin, and then suturing the incised skin. However, with time, this practice has developed in a way that the procedure has become more simplified and sanitary.

In modern Korea, oriental doctors use embedding therapy more customized to the circumstances of Korea. That is, embedding therapy is used mostly for the purpose of enhancing one's beauty rather than to provide duration for acupuncture treatment, surgical thread is used instead of the traditional sheep gut, and so on. There may be different arrangements of threads according to how the practitioner wants to bring out the effect, and even the methods of embedding the threads may differ from person to person, depending on the nature and location of the illness.

Two kinds of instruments - metal instrument(i.e., acupuncture needles used to embed threads into the skin) and medicinal thread - are used during the practice. Detailed procedure is to be explained later. Embedding therapy is thought to be highly effective for chronic diseases, which also is to be explained later in the last part of this writing.

History and Background of Embedding Therapy

The Embedding therapy is a newly devised type of acupuncture therapy. It stimulates acupuncture points through the percutaneous injection of alien substances - mostly threads. The embedded substances constantly gives physical and chemical stimulation to the acupuncture points, as they soften, liquefy, and finally get absorbed into the body. It is recorded that a similar therapy had been used in Egypt and Assyria as early as 2000 B.C. There is an another record that, during the Song dynasty in China, people dressed a diseased area by putting wool into it.

Hippocrates is also said to have used the salted intestines of sheep in the same measure for healing purposes. As the therapy has developed over centuries, it began to be performed with nylon threads, chitosan, and gold threads. Although utilizing these materials enhanced the effect, there was a problem that those remained in the body. Nowadays, the oriental doctors use the chromic threads instead, which get naturally dissolved in the body. The new material has enabled the doctors to practice the therapy more easily and safely. So far, a vast amount of the clinical experiences of this therapy has accumulated. Moreover, the range of application has greatly extended, so that the therapy is now actively practiced in a variety of departments including pediatrics, internal medicine, gynecology, and so on.

Principles of Embedding Therapy

Embedding therapy is also known as the medicinal thread inserting therapy or acupoint embedding therapy which has developed from the concept of acupuncture and meridians. It is a new therapy in Oriental Medicine. Physiological and physical stimulation(it is also continuous and soft) is caused by needles, each of which contains a tiny thread. In this treatment, the thread which is inserted into human body stimulates the acupuncture points and removes the pathogen, controls the meridians, qi, and blood, and enhances immunity of five viscera and six bowels. It also affects the muscles and peripheral nerves. This effect activates the immunity of organs and bloodstream.

The threads which is used in this therapy are harmless and induce the defense mechanism of the human body. The threads used in suture can be absorbed into body. The threads may be liquefied for 30 days in the bloodstream, and then become absorbed in the body. In this process, absorbing threads strengthens the muscles, so the neuralgia which is caused by slipped disk is slackened. And, it has long-lasting therapeutic action(which is the best part, since non-enduring therapeutic action is the shortcoming of acupuncture treatment). Moreover, the principle of treating abdominal obesity and othotherapy through this therapy is that the insertion of thread which is put into the fatty layer of the subcutaneous tissues strengthens the abdominal muscles and straightens the leaning abdomen.

Indications of Embedding Therapy

1. Pain

It is effective for chronic pains, such as lumbago, pain in the shoulder, headache and painful stiff nape, pain in the neck, slipped disc, and muscular ache.

2. Correction of Position
Bend in the spine means that there is an imbalance in the muscles and circulation of qi-blood. Thus, one has to help the circulation of qi-blood and to strengthen the week points in order to correct the balance. This method is effective for herniated cervical disc, lumbar cervical disc, and scoliosis. Also, it's an effective means for the indication of protruding neck bone, which is caused by bending of head and upper body by aging.

3. Skin, Beauty treatment and Plastic
In Korea, oriental doctors use medicinal thread and acupuncture in order to bring about the effect of plastic surgery. They give continuous and repetitive stimulation by stimulating the inner skin and softened-tissue during the time of one month to six months. Traditional plastic(cosmetic) treatment is especially effective for eliminating wrinkles. It's usually used to treat wrinkles on the forehead and wrinkles around the mouth and the nose. It is also possible to use this therapy in order to correct the outline of one's face. In this case, one can use something called 'minute facial acupuncture'.

4. Body type and Obesity
Causes of obesity can be categorized into psychological cause, genetic cause, and environmental cause. Usually, obesity is caused by excess of calorie intake. It can cause myopachynsis, by which muscles expand and contract abnormally. It usually occurs in the forms of drooping hip and drooping flesh of forearm and side of the body. Embedding therapy can be used to correct these indications.