Learning to be happy / Staying Healthy

Alternative Routes to Medicine: Korean Acupuncture

I clench my jaw at night. Clench, grind, chew, you name it. I’m going to take a wild guess and say it’s probably from stress. And I carry all my stress in my shoulders. Physically, it’s just really painful. I’ve tried massages, but no matter how hard they press, I couldn’t seem to get rid of the knots there.

So I thought I’d try acupuncture. There’s a great Korean acupuncturist in Salt Lake City named Dr. Sool who does all kinds of acupuncture. It’s kind of cool to get pricked with needles. But the kind of procedures he does that I liked best was Damp Cupping.

The practice of cupping was conceived during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) in China, though ancient medical transcriptions suggest its existence in Egypt as well. In its original application, cupping was prescribed for the treatment of conditions such as pulmonary tuberculosis and rheumatoid pain. In ancient times, animal horns were used to facilitate the practice, primarily to drain snakebites and lesions. The remedial application of cupping has evolved concurrent to the refinement of the cup itself, and now cups are primarily fabricated out of glass or bamboo.


Damp cupping is actually blood letting. He cups my shoulders for 15 minutes and then pricks them with something to let out blood. Bad blood, apparently. It was so detoxifying that I felt kind of sick afterwards – like a quart of toxins had been released from my shoulders. But that went away when I drank a good amount of water.

I can’t even tell you the difference it made, even the first time. It was like 10 pounds had been lifted off my shoulders. Plus I was left with some pretty awesome round bruises that looked like hickies.

What types of alternative (to Western) medicine have you used? What has worked for you?


2 thoughts on “Alternative Routes to Medicine: Korean Acupuncture

  1. Oh my gosh that sounds amazing. I have headaches and stress in my shoulders, too. The only thing I have had the time to do is take ibuprofen which doesn’t even work. You’ll have to let me know about this dr.

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