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
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.