Many different nations and ethic groups have deeply rooted medical practices that reflect the region’s unique culture and approach to wellness. Korean health and beauty regimens have recently been making waves in the Western world, but unfortunately, they are often misunderstood and misinterpreted.
So let’s take a brief glimpse into the history of traditional Korean medicine and how it has evolved with the changing times to use in our lives today.
Origins of Korean Medicine
The history of Korean medicine can be traced back to at least 3,000 B.C., when bone and stone needles were discovered in present-day North Korea. You can find influences of ancient Chinese medicine in Korean traditions; however, Korean practitioners developed unique practices all their own.
Korean medicine flourished during the early Joseon period, which is when indigenous treatments were compiled into a textbook. The local practices in ancient Korea focused on the human body’s constitutional characteristics and how it connected with nature, and this human-centered approach is still desirable with patients today.
Philosophy of Korean Medicine
Unlike wellness philosophies in some other cultures, traditional Korean medicine primarily focuses on perceived interactions within the body. Rather than just curing a single illness or ailment, traditional Korean medicine takes a holistic approach to treat the entire body. Practitioners have traditionally viewed the human body as a “mini universe,” and bodily symptoms can be explained by the five elements theory, which states that the yin and yang are the operating principles of the universe.
Korean Healing Methods
Acupuncture plays an important role in traditional Korean medicine, and needles have been used medically by Korean practitioners for centuries. Herbal medicines are also a big part of Korean medicine, with herbs traditionally prepared as infusions and teas. Popular herbs in Korean medicine include chamomile, peppermint, licorice root, and cinnamon bark.
Korean massage is a blend of various Asian techniques and uses herbal medicines and a holistic approach to relaxation and wellness. Korean body scrubs firmly exfoliate the skin with a thin, gritty loofah towel and are known to produce smoother skin results than any other type of exfoliation process. Other Korean healing methods include moxibustion, which involves applying heat to the body with a cone of burning mugwort, aromatherapy with essential plant oils, and meditation to calm the mind and body.
Korean Medicine Today
Traditional Korean medicine, also known as Korean Oriental medicine, has expanded well beyond the borders of Korea, and specialized medical schools have been established all over the world to train the next generation of practitioners. Traditional Korean medicine has also had a profound impact on a wide range of modern spa treatments, including Korean massage and Korean skin exfoliation.
At Aura Wellness Spa, we specialize in professional treatments inspired by Korean philosophy and would love to share this beautiful culture’s amazing health, beauty, and wellness benefits with you.