이상일의 한의원 영어- “English of, for and by 한의사” (40)안녕하세요 원장님들! 어수선한 한주였던 것 같습니다. 글을 쓰고 있는 이 순간 세월호의 침몰로 뒤숭숭하지만 각자 위치에서 최선을 다해야 할 것 같습니다. 이제 마지막 연재를 쓰면서 그동안 부족한 점도 많았고 또 여러 가지도 배우게 되었습니다. 지면 할애해주신 민족의학신문사와 읽어주신 원장님들께 진심으로 감사드립니다. 마지막 연재는 임상에서 흔히 듣는 질문에 대해 다루어 보았습니다. 함께 보시죠.
1. I felt more pain after getting acupuncture. Why is that?
A: There are 2 possible explanations for this.
One is that other factors besides acupuncture itself might have worsened the pain. For example, overwork, stress, incorrect body positioning during exercise, lack of sleep, etc. These conditions can disrupt the flow of qi thus cause more pain even after a proper treatment.
The other is the acupuncture treatment itself. Sometimes, you feel more pain several hours after the acupuncture treatment, especially at night. The pain usually disappears in the morning and you may find yourself in better condition. This phenomenon could be explained by a hyperactive flow of qi. However since healing is occurring within the body, the pain will eventually subside.
2. Why do you put needles in places that seem irrelevant to my symptoms?
A: What seems irrelevant is actually closely related to your symptoms. There are qi pathways called meridians in our body. They run through the whole body. If you have certain symptom, it inevitably creates corresponding points at certain part of your body along the meridians. Thus needles could be stuck in the hands or feet, though the actual location of the symptom is, in the case of back pain.
3. Can I take a shower right after the treatment?
A: Generally, in order to stay away from the infection, it is recommended to wait to take a shower for at least 3 to 4 hours after the treatment.
4. Is it ok to exercise after the treat -ment?
A: It depends. If you have an acute injury such as sprained ankle, it’s always good to take enough rest. Otherwise, the inflammation in the affected area can grow more severe. However, an appropriate amount of exercise is recommended for some chronic pain, such as a chronic lower back pain. Exercise can help strengthen the muscles in the spine to support the core.
5. Herbal medicine? I can’t believe it. Who knows what’s in it? It is a compound material unlike western medicine so the ingredients can’t be controlled.
A: It is true. There are too many ingredients in herbal medicine, so no one knows exactly what they are.
But, let’s think about it. Ephedrine, Aconitine, Saponin... These are well-known herbal substances, but their contents cannot be entirely explained, I mean, ginseng is not saponin itself. When you are eating food, you are taking whole lot of different substances into your body. It’s a very frightening fact, isn’t it? How can you eat an avocado even though it has never been analyzed thoroughly to find out its most minuscule ingredients. Then how can you believe that that avocado is safe? Empirical evidence is thus endowed a power. So many people around the world have been eating avocados and it seemed all right to eat avocados. People ate it before analysis and proved that an avocado is not toxic. Just like that, herbal medicine in Korea has been prescribed so many times over for a long period of time. Meanwhile, non-toxic herbs are widely used in prescription and usage of toxic herbs is controlled. Numerous cases has presented the power of herbal medicine. In Korean Medicine, it has been used as an important herb and in combinations with many different herbs. For example, 相須(synergy) and 相殺(antagonism) between herbs are explained very well in Korean medicine books.
To eyes of western people, chamomile may be a very safe herb but how about ‘Angelica Gigas(당귀)’? Accessibility also plays an important role, because it’s directly related to familiarity. Herbal concoctions may seem like ‘unidentifiable dark-colored fluid’ but what you’re perceiving could be a preconception due to lacking of familiarity.
Even after an explanation about misunderstandings, you might not accept herbal medicine in your mind. Just remember this. No one can force belief but at the same time no one can distort facts.
-Thank you very much! <끝>
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