Taping therapy facilitates the flow of qi and blood by applying tape to specific muscles, meridians and collaterals, and acupoints and stimulating them through the tape. It also treats diseases by restoring the balance of the body through curing strained or slackened muscles and ligaments without using medicine.
2. External Therapies External therapies are largely divided into eight methods- diaphoresis, emesis, purgation, mediation, warming, clearing, tonification and resolution. These therapies are used separately or jointly in various ways. They also use externally applied medicines for dermatologic disease, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory diseases, gynecologic diseases, digestive diseases, paralytic diseases, etc.
3. Music Therapy Music therapy is a specialized branch of music that helps individuals with the quality of their lives. It systematically helps to create improved functions of the human body and mind and improves behavior by using music activities. The methods of music therapyare classified into the following: 1) Pure Passive Music Therapy: it is a method of clients/patients listening to music, which helps their emotional security, heightens their excitement or promotes activities. 2) Pure Active Music Therapy: in this method patients play on their own, in some cases patients use percussion instruments following their instincts and in other cases patients are helped to play impromptu on the piano. 3) Passive active Music Therapy: this is a therapy in which patients are under medical care participate in a musical performance, talk with therapists about written music, or listen to music. In this process, a psychical treatment is performed.
The remedial value expected from musical therapy involves an enhancement of social skills, a better command of language, improved concentration, more confidence, a stronger sense of responsibility, and the recovery of bodily functions.
The objectives of music therapy are various. This kind of treatment is mostly given to people with mental disease or children with mental retardation. Recently it has been given for the rehabilitation of physically handicapped people, the maintenance and recovery of the bodily functions of people with senile diseases, emotional stability and reduction of stress in ordinary people. These are all in combination with KM.
Aromatherapy is a natural therapy that treats various symptoms in the human body using essential oil, which is the essence of life force in plants, extracted from the leaves, roots, fruit and petals of plants. Aromatherapy has 5,000 years' history and is still loved by people throughout the world. Aromatherapy is a compound word of aroma and therapy. It is a form of natural medicine that prevents and treats diseases using herb extracts, preserves health, and furthermore enhances health. When the therapy, which had been used regularly by royal families and nobles in ancient China and Egypt, was transmitted to Europe, Hippocrates recommended the high healing effect and safety of aromatherapy by saying, “the secret of health is in aroma bath, aroma inhalation and aroma massage every day.” Aromatherapy not only treats diseases in the body but also eases mental tension. In addition, it develops immunological competence for resisting functions in the body. Recently, with the finding of the side effects of alternative medicine and producing many notable results in advanced countries. It is also used frequently in everyday life. In Korea, aromatherapy was introduced and began to be applied to patient treatment in 1996 by ‘The Society of Oriental Medicine Natural Therapies’ organized by KOM practitioners. Since then, aromatherapy has even settled in people’s life and its effects have been known widely. However, aromatherapy is not a newly emerging therapy but its history traces back to the ages before Christ. Mummies discovered recently suggest that Egypt used many kinds of refined oil even from 4,500 B.C. In particular, there are records found in aristocrats’ tombs showing that aromatic substances were used to prevent the decay of corpses. According to a record retrieved in 1922 from Tutankhamen’s tomb, aroma-therapy used in ancient Egypt. These records suggest that Egyptians utilized the effect and fragrance of aromatic substances actively for religious, medical and cosmetic purposes. Entering the 20th century, French chemist Rene Batteferre proved the absorption path of refined oil in the human body. In addition, during the 2nd World War, surgeon Jean Valnet verified the medical characteristics of aromatherapy. He used refined oil particularly to treat burns and wounds. These days, Research institutes in Western countries are making various scientific approaches, and clinical reports have been published for various symptoms.
5. Wave therapy – Quantum Medicine Simply speaking, wave is a type of intrinsic energy below the level of atom, which is the basic element of matters. That is, it is the least unit of energy. All substances are composed of atoms, the smallest particles. In addition, each elementary particle or atom has its specific movement, and a substance composed of such particles or atoms also has its relative specific movement, namely, wave. The human body is composed of elementary particles-atoms- molecules – cells- tissues- organs-systems-the whole body, and components in each level have their specific movement, which is the sum of those below the level. For example, the heart has its own unique movement and the liver has its own unique movement. If the causes, outbreak and progress of disease are analyzed in the atom level in the future, the diseases will be treated in much more systematic ways. For example, we expect that the directions of treatment will be developed from the atomic level to the molecular level, the cellular level, and upward. In this way, wave therapy utilizes the waves of the human body in oriental medicine, and is also called quantum medicine.
6. Folk therapies Medical experiences have been accumulated through long history since ancient times as human beings execute various methods to protect human lives, treat diseases, and promote health. In the course, KM has established medical philosophies based on knowledge it has obtained from the change of the natural world. In addition, based on the medical philosophies, theories have been derived and practical clinical procedures were defined and all these have formed today's KM. KM can be defined as ‘herbal medicine developed by systematizing experiences from ancestors into principles and theories and developing them into today's medical theories and technologies.' In addition, it is very valuable traditional medicine that has created and refined new theories based on sciences, philosophies and techniques from old teachers. The definition of KM can be divided into two stages. The stage of 'accumulating experiences from last generations' is called the stage of 'folk therapy', and the stage of 'developing accumulated experiences into scientific principles and theories and furthermore into contemporary medical theories and technologies' is called the stage of future-oriented traditional medicine’. Accordingly, KM is neither the collection of folk therapies nor elementary primitive medicine but our traditional medicine with scientific system. Then, how have folk therapies been developed? Folk therapies originated from unscientific herbal medicinal acts and experiences to cope with disease and accidents instinctively without theoretical understanding. At first, they took the form of magical practice, praying to existence of supernatural beings and believing the healing works of natural objects. In addition, like animals do instinctive medical acts to treat wounds in their bodies, human beings also repeated medical acts for survival according to their instinct and in the course they accumulated knowledge and found methods. What is more, they came to be able to distinguish edible and inedible things, and furthermore discovered that some materials could be used not only as food but also as a remedy for diseases. In this way, people’s experiences in diseases and treatment accumulated and as a result folk therapies came to exist. Then, how is folk therapy distinguished from KM in terms of the administration of herbs for treating diseases? Folk therapy administers one or two kinds of herbs according to accumulated experiences based on the patient’s complaints and symptoms, and then expects to get effects. Different from folk therapy, however, KM administers several kinds of herbs in appropriate dosage based on established medical principles. Then, a remedy prepared by the prescription is applied to the patient. That is, KM considers not only the properties and efficacies of each of different herbs but also their synergy for a higher effect based on Korean traditional medical principles. Accordingly, KOM has more advanced systematic principles than folk therapies, which depends on people's experiences without knowledge and principle. In addition, it has developed sub-areas such as herbal pharmacology that studies medical materials and pharmacology and prescription science that combines medical materials based on principles.
7. Dietary Therapy
Dietary therapy is a method as good as self-healing takes advantage of homeostasis of the human body, which is the tendency of maintaining a constant state. Homeostasis is an ‘instinctive characteristics’ that tries to restore equilibrium like a seesaw continues to go back to the state of balance. That is, body temperature, chemical components, etc. are controlled in a way of restoring the state before the occurrence of diseases. In a sense, dietary therapy is one of folk methods. It is because people discover the efficacy of relatively simple food through long experience without expert knowledge and eat the food or take it as a remedy. However, it is not safe to practice dietary therapy based on people's opinion alone even if long experiences have been accumulated. Food may contain toxic substances, which do not work in usual but may produce in unexpected results in a weak body. Therefore, it is desirable to follow specialists' advice and directions. In particular, patients with chronic diseases such as hypertension, arteriosclerosis and diabetes must practice dietary therapy very carefully according to an Oriental medical practitioner. Then, how is our daily food different from herbs used in Oriental medicine? It is said that Shennong, who is regarded as a legendary figure in ancient Oriental medicine, tasted 70 kinds of toxin one by one a day in his examination of herbs. Among a variety of herbs, those harmless and nontoxic are used as food and those containing a little amount of special elements, which are toxic, are used as medicines (herbs) that produce curing effects through the toxic elements. On other words, diet is food that does not produce any poisonous effect regardless of how much it is taken. However, herbs produce a poisonous effect even with a small amount of intake. In addition, food used in dietary therapy should have the characteristics of both diet and medicine so that it can be used as both food and medicine depending on necessity. 8. Simple Korean Medical Therapies Health is a state in which the whole body and its parts are all normal and can cope with environmental changes without dispositional or functional discomfort. If the body cannot deal with environmental changes and shows abnormal physiological reactions, it is considered to have to have a disease. That is, one is healthy when he can lead daily life with normal body functions, and if not, he is ill. Allopathic treatments are often focused on visible symptoms without examining the root causes of diseases. This may lead to wrong diagnosis and even can aggravate the condition. Therefore, it is desirable to identify the cause of a disease and apply appropriate treatment. This is true in both Oriental and Western medicine, but how to diagnose and how to choose therapies are difference between Oriental and Western medicine. What plays a decisive role in treating a disease is the self-healing ability of the body, which is known to cure 75 % of diseases. Therapies in KM are focused on enhancing the self-healing ability. So-called healthy qi can be considered self-healing ability. When one is full of healthy qi, it drives out poisonous agents causing diseases in the body such as disease-causing germs. However, if healthy qi has been enervated by a long lasting disease, it should be toned up first. It is also important to poisonous air in the body. If an appropriate treatment procedure is selected, detailed practices are applied including herbal medication, acupuncture, moxibustion, manual therapy, physiotherapy and surgical treatment. Methods used frequently in medicinal therapy, which is one of internal therapies, are diaphoresis, emesis, purgation, mediation, warming, clearing, tonification and resolution. Since Hwundenaegyeong, these eight methods have been developed by numerous KM doctors and form the frame of today's KM internal medicine. The contents of these methods are as follows. - Diaphoresis: This therapy drives out poisonous air outside the body through sweating, and is applied to diseases on the surface of the body. - Emesis: This method is used to ease a serious state of a disease and cure the disease by discharge poisonous air or harmful substances through vomiting. - Purgation: This method is to accelerate metabolism by removing substances stuck in the body through excretion. - Mediation: When disease-causing germs cannot be removed actively through diaphoresis, emesis, or purgation, this method is used to neutralize such pathogenic agents. - Warming: This method treats diseases using herbal medicines containing warmth or heat. This is applied mainly to yin syndromes, which happen in constitutions lacking the strength of growth because yang qi is insufficient. Warming reinforces yang qi, accelerates anabolism and blood circulation, and promotes growth. - Clearing: Contrary to warming, this therapy lowers body temperature and protects body fluid and humor from excessive sweating using herbal medicine that contain a cold and chilly nature. - Tonification: This method tones up qi and blood and restores balance between yin and yang. In addition, it invigorates weak internal organs and cures infirmities. Specific invigorating methods include the tonification of qi that strengthen infirm vigor using herbal medicine removing poisonous air, the tonification of blood that produces blood in the body through herbal medication, the tonification of yin that strengthens yin qi in the body, and the tonification of yang that strengthen yang qi. - Resolution: This method resolves, destroys and removes masses in the body. After taking herbs, sometimes we see unexpected symptoms that have not been predicted an all and the existing chronic disease is healed quickly. Such a case is called ‘myeonghyeon phenomenon.' If patients are ignorant of the myeonghyeon phenomenon, they may give up treatment. However, such a reaction disappears soon in 2-3 days in most cases, so does not need to be minded. Other treatment methods in KM include acupuncture and moxibustion. Acupuncture and moxibustion are based on the basic theories of KM. They are parts of traditional Korean medical technology that prevent, alleviate or treat diseases by giving physical stimulation to specific points of the body by pricking with a needle or burning moxa and causing the reaction of the body. Both acupuncture and moxibustion are external treatment. Acupuncture is mechanical stimulation using various acupuncture tools, and moxibustion is thermal stimulation that burns or warms specific parts of the body using moxa or various kinds of herb. Acupuncture and moxibustion can be regarded as physiotherapy, and in a broad sense they include cupping, doin angyo, finger-pressure treatment, etc. Recently, with the development of manual therapy methods for acupuncture and moxibustion, people use electric and electric heating appliances, various herbal medicines, laser beam, etc. in addition to traditional acupuncture and moxibustion. What is more, the therapies are being developed and applied by combing the meridian theory and the anatomical and physiological knowledge of Western medicine. Acupuncture and moxibustion have advantages as follows. First, it can be applied widely not only to treatment but also prevention and diagnosis in internal medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, neuropsychiatry, surgery, five sensory organs, etc. Second, the effect appears relatively fast and the curing rate is high. Third, they are very economical because they do not need expensive equipment or facilities. Fourth, they are safe, free of side effects. Fifth, they can be practiced conveniently. Of the two, acupuncture is the simpler. Acupuncture is advantageous in that it uses small-size tools and is not restricted by place. Therefore, it can be practiced very easily. Acupuncture can be used to treat various diseases including sprain, digestive troubles, neuralgia and paralysis. These days, ear acupuncture has been found very effective in smoking cessation. The principle of acupuncture is based on the ‘government–of-spirit-through-harmonization-of-qi'(조기치신) works of stimulation needling. The harmonization of qi means regulating circulating the qi and blood of the five viscera and six bowels, and meridian and collateral vessels, so that they cooperate with one another. It also facilitates the harmonization of qi and blood. The main functions of qi and blood are represented by wigi (defense and qi), which protects the body by making it well adjusted to external environment through opening and closing the pores of sweat gland, and yeongwi (nutrient and defense), which indicates nutritious substances from food taken into the body and nutrient and blood from the substances. Therefore, the harmonization of qi and blood means promoting the comfortable interaction and normal operation of external defense and internal nutrient. In addition, the government of spirit makes the mind concentrate on a point and flow into it. This enhances the efficiency of qi control and strengthens the movement of qi and blood in meridians and collaterals. The works of moxibustion are similar to acupuncture. Like acupuncture, it has the ‘government-of-spirit-through-harmonization-of-qi' works in that it attains the treatment effect by stimulating acupoints and strengthens the circulation of qi and blood and the activities of spirit and qi in the body. However, moxibustion is different from acupuncture in that it uses thermal stimulation. Accordingly, acupuncture is used commonly in acute diseases, febrile diseases, and symptoms resulting from the concentration of qi and blood or the concentration of pathogenic substances in specific body parts due to the poor circulation of body fluid. In addition, moxibustion is used mainly in cold syndromes, which refer to all symptoms resulting from declined body functions and metabolic activities and lowered resistance due to weakened healthy qi or aggravated yin qi, and in deficiency syndromes resulting from low resistance and weak physiological functions due to deficiency in healthy qi. Both acupuncture and moxibustion prevent and treat diseases by controlling the yin and yang of the human body and normalizing the activities of essence, qi, and spirit of the viscera and bowels. Besides, cupping is recommended as one of other treatment methods. It treats neuralgia, bruise, internal diseases, etc. by attaching small vessels to the sites. This method may strengthen immunological functions.