In today's fast-paced society, people are becoming more vulnerable to diseases that are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. According to Korean traditional medicine, qi[기] is what accounts for health and balance in one's body.
But what exactly is meant by qi in Korean medicine
[Interview : Kim Dae-hyeong, Director Seoul Donguibogam Oriental Medical Clinic] "Many cases of back pain relapse. The reasons are usually stress, lack of exercise, and unhealthy lifestyle, all of which cause an imbalance in the body. We teach our patients to practice "chongmyeong", which is a preventative exercise based on the "yangsaeng" philosophy of Korean Oriental medicine".
This oriental medical doctor teaches his patients how to practice "chongmyeong"[총명], a meditative exercise that helps clear one's mind.
Following the Taoist protocol for meditation, patients exercise and massage their bodies to recover their physical and emotional balance. This exercise also helps unknot their muscles and internal organs, stimulating and restoring their normal functions.
[Interview : Lee Hyeon-suk, Patient] "Since I work a lot in front of the computer, my shoulders start to ache and my eyes get really tired after long hours of working. But after following my doctor's instructions on how to massage myself, I feel very refreshed and my eyes feel a lot better".
More and more foreigners are now taking interest in the Korean concept of qi. The 400 years of history and practice of "Donguibogam" are therefore being seen under a new light.
Professors from different areas of expertise have gathered at this research center to study what role the mind plays in physical illnesses. Among these scholars is James Flowers who is enamored by the spiritual world of "Donguibogam".
[Interview : James Flowers, Ph.D. candidate in Korean medical history Wonkwang University College of Oriental Medicine] "In Korean medicine, there is more of a link between the mind and the body so that there is more of an acceptance that mind can affect the health of the body and the body also affects the mind. So that means that we should pay attention to our spiritual health as well as our physical health. These are not separate things".
This hospital treats cancer and stroke patients with music therapy, founded upon the principles of Korean Oriental medicine.
This music therapy center is, in fact, the first of its kind in the world, and carries a wide array of Eastern and Western musical instruments.
Different instruments are employed according to the patient's condition.
[Interview : Lee Seung-hyeon, Director Oriental Medicine Music Therapy Center] "I didn't tell him to, but his hands immediately responded to music. That's amazing progress!"
The sound and the rhythm restore the balance of qi and improve the body's immune system through relaxation.
[Interview : Park Jae-hak, Stroke patient] "My doctor just took me by the hand, and to my surprise, I was able to get up by myself".
Stroke patients who received this music therapy, in fact, showed dramatic increase in their walking speed.
The role of music therapy in improving brain blood circulation was also verified. Stroke patients who received acupuncture and medication for four weeks showed 25% improvement in their condition.
And in another four-week experiment, patients who received oriental music therapy on top of other treatments showed 80% improvement in their condition.
More foreigners are becoming aware of these astounding effects of music therapy in Korean medicine. They're recognizing its effectiveness in treating stress-related chronic diseases and hwabyeong[화병], an emotional disorder caused by repressed anger. Music therapy is therefore emerging as a promising field in Korean Oriental medicine.
[Interview : Lee Seung-hyeon, Director Oriental Medicine Music Therapy Center] "The music therapy in Korean Oriental medicine helps find the balance in our internal energy as well as our body. It also moderates the seven emotions, which are what cause our illnesses".
Korean Oriental medicine drives home the message that qi is important in our overall well-being. And it is slowly transforming the way we perceive the link between the mind and the body.
Source : www.arirang.co.kr/New... ( English Korean )
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