Oriental Medicine in Korea
- Oriental medicine has been developed over a long period of time in
Korea. When Medical Service Act was legislated in September 25, 1951
for the first time, Oriental medicine began to have the support of
the law system. Presently Oriental medicine has the same legal status
as the Western medicine in Korea.
Students of Oriental medicine are qualified for the National
License Examinations for Oriental Medicine Practice after finishing 6-
year courses in College of Oriental medicine.
Before Medical Service Act was enacted in 1951, acupuncturist was
educated based on acupuncturist system. But after the legislation of
Medical Service Act, acupuncturist system was invalidated and legally
assimilated into Oriental medicine system since 1962.
Presently Oriental medicine Doctors are entitled to practice all
the medical actions of Oriental medicine, including acupuncture and
traditional medicine prescriptions.
When medical resources are compared between Western and Oriental
medicines, the number of licensed doctors are 62,609 and 10,707 for
Western and Oriental Medicines respectively, and the number of such
medical schools are 41(entrance quota of 3,300) and 11(entrance quota
of 750) respectively. The number of hospitals and local clinics is
16,643(hospital 767, local clinic 15,876) for Western medicine and
6,272(hospital 115, local clinic 6,520) for Oriental medicine.
Korea's most peculiar medicine field in OM is Sasang
Constitutional Medicine(SCM) which was originated with I Che-ma in
1894 with ¡ºTong- isusebowon(ÔÔì¢áøá¦ÜÁêª)¡». And it
being into four types and presents medications according to different
SCM explains the function and size of viscera, which are decicively
dependent on nature and emotion of sorrow, anger, joy, and pleasure.
These cause four different constitution. T'aeyang-in tends to have
large lungs and a small liver, t'ae min has a large liver and small
lungs, soyang-in has a large spleen and small kidneys, so min has
large kidneys and a small spleen. These four constitution has their's
own symptoms and treatments. In treatments, control of mind
inclination, that is to say, moderation takes a very important role.
SCM emphasized the cultivation of mind and body, like this.
One more peculiar medicinal field is Hand Acupuncture.
From the view point of Oriental Medicine, hands and feet are of
vital important in that the meridians and collaterals distributed
over the entire body, circulating ki and blood, connect the internal
organs with the extremities and Saam(ÞìäÜ), a taoist's acupuncture
therapy in the five phases is located on the lower part of the elbows
The human body is an organic unity which is made up of internal
organs and other tissues. Although each body system has different
physiological functions, all are related to each other and necessary
for the physiological well-being of the whole body.
The five organs are then related to each other via the meridians
and collaterals that regulated all the functional aspects of the
different system of the body.
Therefore, when analyzing a disease, it is necessary to view the
human being as an integrated organic whole. Because each part of the
body is closely related to the whole, a local pathological change
will cause those through the entire body.
For that reason, it is believed that Hand Acupuncture inserted on
hands, considering the categories from the body acupuncture,
functions as a part being applicable to the five su(âÃ) points of
Accordingly, Hand Acupuncture may be described as follows:
- Hand Acupuncture functions as a place linked with the meridians.
- Hand Acupuncture functions as a part of corresponding to the five
su points of the body acupuncture.
- Hand Acupuncture as a neglecting part due to being apart from the
The most important thing to select the acupuncture point as a
corresponding acupuncture is to thoroughly take in the meridians and
collaterals running along the surface of the body.
Selecting points along the meridians is a most commonly used
method. For example, the diseases at the upper (lower) are treated by
the points at the lower (upper), the diseases at the middle by the
points at the sides and the diseases at the left (right) by the
points at the right (left). For example, take headache, besides the
local points, choose points along the meridians. With headache of the
t'aeyang meridian, choose local point ch'anjuk(BL2) and the distal
points hugye(SI3) and kollyun(BL60). With headache of the yangmy ng
meridian, choose local point tuyu(ST8) and distal points hapkok(LI4)
and naej ng(ST44) of the yangmy ng meridians. With headache of the
soyang meridian is usually treated by local point p'ungji(GB20) and
distal points chungj (TE3) and chogim p(GB41).
For more informationa about the contribution of Korea's Oriental
Medicine, I suggest you to visit the web site below;