Monday, April 23, 2012

Delving into Eastern Medicine

A few months ago, I realized it was finally about time to find myself a doctor in Saigon.  Rather than trudging down the all-too-familiar Occidental route, I thought it was high time to try traditional Eastern Medicine.  I found Dr. Kim Sung Soo and his family-run clinic, Happiness (Hanh Phuc) Oriental Medical Center, and knew I that had met my man.

He has been practicing Eastern Medicine for over twenty-five years, six of which have been here in Saigon. While his English is halting at times, he is informative, helpful, and kind, and has been treating several ailments and problems of mine ranging from the flu and inner ear difficulties to women's issues and pain management.  Below are some of the various treatments I"ve received:
Acupuncture: Inch-long needles that are gently tapped into various pasts of my body.  Both insertion and removal are (nearly) painless.  This balances my body's energy (called Qi) and heals ailments and diseases.  Recently, I went in for an earache and a nagging pain in my shoulder.  I received a thirty minute treatment, with about twelve needles placed strategically around my body, followed by an electroanalgesia treatment on my shoulder, and a smoke treatment for my ear.  Shockingly, I left feeling like new and the pain hasn't returned since.

Moxibustion: Conical incense that is burned in a container directly on my skin.  The smoke helps with circulation, allowing my blood to flow better during acupuncture.  Usually, it is placed on my stomach between two acupuncture needles.  It leaves a yellow sticky ash that slightly dyes my skin for a day or two.

Fire Cupping:  A suction treatment that promotes healing by getting your circulation moving.  I have had this treatment done three times and it's by far my favorite... even Gavin has had it done!  The doctor heats air in cups and moves them from place to place on my back, sort of like an incensed octopus is attacking me!  The suction isn't painful, but can feel a little uncomfortable in some places.  The only downside is that it leaves your back covered in dark bruises like a domestic abuse victim.  On a recent visit, I had fire cupping done to finally rid my body of a lingering cold and fever.  Immediately after, I was feeling much better.  Gavin recently tagged along and filmed the procedure.

(Be warned that half of my bare bottom is exposed!  Watch at your own risk!)

Massage:  Massage is also an important part of acupuncture as it gets your blood flowing.  An added bonus is that it feels great! As mentioned above, I have had electroanalgesia treatment on my shoulder and neck to treat pain.  I also get to wear some pretty cool boots (much like the picture below) for an air-compression circulation-promoting massage.

My experience with Eastern Medicine has been great so far.  I would highly recommend Dr Kim Sung Soo, as long as you are patient with the slight language barrier.  (He speaks Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and some English).  Happiness (Hanh Phuc) Oriental Medical Center is located at 432 Pham Thai Buong in District 7 and Dr Kim Sung Soo can be reached at 0906 684 969.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

i just booked an appointment with him then i found your review.. thanks - hope my experience is as good :)