Wonsik Um, L.Ac., KMD
I am a NCCAOM certified acupuncturist licensed in Virginia and also a licensed medical doctor of Korean Medicine in Korea, who is well-trained in all fields of Korean Oriental Medicine, such as internal medicine, acupuncture & moxibustion, herbal medicine, meridians, Sanghan, cardiovascular and neurologic diseases, spleen system, Korean gynecology, Korean pediatrics, Sasang constitutional medicine (SCM), oriental dermatology & ophthal-otorhinolaryngology, rehabilitation medicine, neuropsychiatry, oncology, prescriptions and constitutional medicine and basic western medicine.
I received my six-year bachelor’s degree of Korean Medicine from College of Korean Medicine, Daejeon University in South Korea. Before I started my study in Korean Medicine, I already earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from Korea University, one of top three universities in Korea, and then worked at Hyundae Engineering & Construction, the top company in Korea and worldwide, as a professional civil engineer designing structures for large civil engineering works overseas for years.
Meanwhile, I was motivated by my family and friends, who were suffering from health problems, to have the idea of dedicating my life to Korean Oriental Medicine. Therefore, I started a six-year program in Korean Medicine. Korean Medicine as Alternative Medicine replacing the Mainstream fascinated me because Korean Medicine can provide a cure where conventional medicine cannot, and holds many possibilities for the future of medicine.
FYI, Korean Medicine (KM), has played an important role in the caring and treatment of health and diseases of Korean people for thousands of years. Medical Doctors of Korean Medicine currently have to undergo six years of undergraduate courses or four years of specialist courses. In Korea, there are about 20,000 Korean Medicine Doctors (KMD) in 15,000 KM clinics and 180 KM hospitals and university hospitals. And there are 11 universities and 1 graduate school of KM.
After successfully completing my six-year study, I ran my own medical clinic named Barunmom Oriental Medicine Clinic (바른몸 한의원) in Seoul, Korea and gave professional treatments to thousands of patients for years. Then I moved to Virginia from Korea with my family in 2015 and worked as a clinic supervisor and Oriental Medicine professor at Kings Park University and South Baylo University for two years.
My areas of specialty in Oriental Medicine include Pain Treatment, Auto Injury, Acupuncture Therapy, Internal Medicine, Gynecology, Weight Loss, Rhinitis, Allergy, Herbal Medicine, Skin & Acne, Facial lifting & Embedding, Pharmacupuncture, etc.
I opened Four Seasons Acupuncture & Wellness Clinic in Fairfax, Virginia in April, 2018 and practice Integrated Medicine which combines the strong points of both Eastern and Western medicine. I surely believe that my expertise and clinical experiences in Korean Medicine with thousands of years of wisdom will be great advantages for treating patients suffering from pain and disease, and develop the quality of life of the people throughout the nation.
There are many effective pain treatment methods and chronic pain medications for pain relief. We could safely say that everyone has at some point taken a pain relieving medication or anesthesia treatment. These kinds of acute pain treatments and chronic pain medications usually work by relieving pain temporarily while the natural healing process takes care of the actual painful symptom.
Acupuncture treatment is a very powerful treatment for pain. It works by stimulating the flow of the Qi in the area being treated. In Traditional Eastern Medicine (TCM and TEM) theory, pain is caused by an obstruction in the flow of Qi. Thus by stimulating the Qi of a specific painful area, we are able to elevate the pain. In western terminology, we can say that acupuncture therapy and treatment raises endorphin levels, thus diminishes the nerve system’s pain response.
Although scientific researches are still in the midst of trying to successfully explain the mechanism behind acupuncture, Qi treatments and other alternative pain treatment methods, there are vast number of studies that have already found meaningful effectiveness of acupuncture for acute pain and chronic pain syndromes and symptoms.
Of course, just because it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet does not mean it is not effective. As most patients who have already done acupuncture and acupressure treatments for low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, migraines and chronic headaches might have experienced, it is a superior way of treating pain compared to conventional pain therapies like just consuming effective pain killers, NSAIDS and effective analgesics.
Anatomically, acupuncture needles can reach directly into the specific muscle fiber that has formed a knot, a trigger point (TrP), that could be said is a cause of pain in trigger point acupuncture styles. Deep tissue massage and Tuina uses fingers to press down deep and ease out the tension of that point. In trigger point acupuncture treatment, or muscle acupuncture, we use very thin needles( 33G / 0.18mm disposable needles), needles that are usually 10 times thinner than a usual injection needle, to insert it directly into the knotted muscle fiber and cause miniscule injury to that trigger point. The miniscule injured muscle is now triggered into an inflammatory recovery mode thus removing the knotted tension from the painful muscle simultaneously.
Acupuncture is a superior way of treatment, compared to conventional pain killers and analgesics, since it also stimulates the healing process of the pain’s origin itself, thus fundamentally treating pain. Also conventional medicine require a continual increase of dosage to maintain the desired effect, while acupuncture can be applied how many times as necessary without the toxicity of the medication.