Not Sure That Helped

I went to taekwondo tonight. On the way into the building I passed Kwanjangnim. He asked how I was. I nodded, went to shake his hand, and answered in Korean, “My stomach hurts.”

“Oh, your stomach hurts?” he asked.

Suddenly I felt intense pain in the webbing of my hand. He was pinching a pressure point.

“Oh, that hurts? Turn around, put your hands together like this,” he said, clasping his hands below his chin. I did so and he stood behind me, hugged me from behind and said, “Breathe in deeply… Now relax.” He picked me up and shook me.

I felt my spine loosen.

He put me down and continued, “Now put your hands on the wall.” I turned around, faced the wall, and did what he said. He started slapping my upper back. Hard. “This will help. Korean-style. It’s good for you.”

Sort of 한방의학, I suppose.

I’m not sure that helped.

One thought on “Not Sure That Helped

  1. Comment from: Jason [Visitor] · http://kimchiicecream.wordpress.com/
    I either read it here or on another blog but the Korean idiom that runs something like “Learn to love the pain you can’t avoid” might have a cousin that runs something like “Learn to use one pain to ignore another you can’t ignore”….

    You’re far more trusting than I am–after having a freaking DOCTOR in a Korean hospital pound me on my back when I went in for upper back pains that were causing me problems with breathing I pretty categorically won’t let anyone in Korea touch me if I’m not feeling well till I know what they’re going to do and HOW…

    I think she just didn’t want to touch the fat white foreigner’s back….

    Anyways, I hope you feel better.
    J
    07/28/10 @ 05:59

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Hey Jason, I don’t know why I trust him, since last time he said he wanted to “see” something he shoved a needle into my skin and practiced bloodletting.

    I guess I’m pretty trusting of people I know. Ha!
    07/30/10 @ 19:19

    Comment from: Jason [Visitor] · http://kimchiicecream.wordpress.com/
    Needle put in my skin before getting permission and warning me….yeah, that’s a deal breaker for me in terms of trusting people….

    And yes, you’re far more trusting of people than I’ll ever be.

    Some days I wish I had that–but then I think of NEEDLES!
    07/31/10 @ 07:49

    Comment from: Jonathan in Florida [Visitor]
    Just don’t let him write on your foot. I remember my folks doing that when I was a kid — I still can’t tell if they believed it would help or if they were just messing with us.
    08/02/10 @ 21:14

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Write on your foot??
    08/02/10 @ 22:18

    Comment from: Jonathan in Florida [Visitor]
    Yeah, they would write something in Korean (don’t remember specifically what) in ball point pen on the sole of our (me & sisters) feet (which tickled alot). I got the feeling it was supposed to have some kind of general tonic effect.

    There’s also the supposed curative properties of morning 침 (dabbed on pimples or blemishes?). [facepalm] ahh Korean parents…
    08/03/10 @ 19:47

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