Oct 22, 2012

Yay, Korea! Acupuncture

This is the first in a new series I'm calling "Yay, Korea!" There are a lot of things here that are just so brilliant, you don't know how you ever lived without them.

Today's "Yay, Korea!" is, brought to you by the letter P, for pain.

I've had back problems for a while, but my firm Korean bed, my uncomfortable work chair, and the Forces That Be have combined to make my lower back a constant source of pain and discomfort. I think (read: webMD tells me) that I probably have sciatica.

Anyway, as I mentioned in my pity party last week, I've been wanting to get acupuncture but have been  apprehensive about the language barrier. Today I decided, "Screw it, I know the word for 'here' and I know the word for 'hurts.' Let's do this."

I went to the clinic in the building next to mine. The place was warm and cozy and smelled like ginseng. A smiling middle-aged man greeted me and handed me a little registration form. When I looked at it uncomprehendingly (note to self: add the words for name, address, and phone number to your flashcard deck) he pointed and said "name," "address," etc.

He immediately took me to one of the offices in the back, where the doctor asked me a few questions. I have no idea what they were, I just kept nodding and saying 네, 네 (yes, yes) .  If that didn't seem satisfactory, I would point to my lower back and say that it hurt.  Then, he took my pulse and felt my shoulders. Right away, he cracked my neck, which felt AAMMMAAZZZINGGG. I already know I'm going back tomorrow for another one. Immediately my upper back and shoulders felt looser.

Then he took me to another room and had me lie facedown on a table. He examined my lower back, asked a few more questions (네, 네) and then started sticking me with needles. I think he use maybe 10 all together, but it's difficult to say because they're so small, you can barely even feel them.  He put a heat lamp over me, and left me to ponder my fate.

About 10 minutes later, he came back, took out all the needles, and ushered me to the front to pay.

The price for all of this? 6,000 won. Yep. In Korea, acupuncture is covered by insurance, so you can get it for less than $6 USD.  Honestly, I'd pay that just to have my neck cracked every day.

I'm definitely going back tomorrow.

Yay, Korea!


  1. While there is no definitive way to resolve lower back pain, the use of acupuncture to treat this condition has increased dramatically in the past few decades..
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  2. Im no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what youre speaking about, and I can truly get behind that. acupuncture Commack, NY