No, no, I haven't picked up a nasty IV drug habit! I have started acupunture treatments! ^_^ (this is a happy face symbol used in Korea)
Gumdo is quite the high-impact martial art. Consequently, my right knee started to give me painful interruptions in walking, and sleeping. Thus, I decided to try out acupuncture. Western medicine is available here, but Eastern medicine is, of course, easier to find. Since Western medicine doctors tend to be extremist, I feared I'd be put in a cast or a walking splint and crutches if I saught medical attention from the Western style doctors. Turns out, a friend of mine's uncle is an acupuncture doctor and has a clinic not too far from my home. I said, "Why not give it a go!?! It couldn't be THAT bad, right!?" hahaha
Well, I arrive and the doctor assesses my issue as being: "You're too fat!" baahaaahaa Now, don't get me wrong, the mirrors work in my house, but that was a bit over the top. In Korean culture, as I have mentioned in other blogs, appearance is of utmost importance. They are obsessed with plastic surgery and being thin. Knowing this, I put my pride aside, and said, "Ok. What can be done?" He tells me that I should lose 40kg (that's 88 lbs)!! I had to keep myself from bursting in laughter. I told him that it's too much and I NEVER want to be that thin. Of course, he can't imagine why I would not want to be a size 2! I agree that I could stand to lose 20kg (44 lbs) but don't want to lose anymore than that. [I have alread lost 11kg (24 lbs) without making any effort to do so, since coming to Korea 6 months ago]— on with the needles
So, he agrees to treat me and tells me I should stop Gumdo while in treatment. Not happening. I made a committment and I will keep that commitment. He proceeds to stick a few needles around the sore area, burn some herbs on one of the needles and then adds these electronic suctioncup type things around my knee. If you have ever been to the chiropracter and had those pads that send electronic waves (tensing and relaxing your muscles), that's what the suctions were like.
After about 30 minutes, he turns up the strength. Another 15 min and I'm done with my first treatment.
I go three times a week and it really makes a difference. I have stopped going this past week, only due to a holiday vacation and chaos in my own schedule. I'll return next week, even though the pain is vertially not there anymore. Gumdo agitates it, but I'm learning to tough it out. Afterall, with all these needles… who needs pain medicine!!