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Apparently finding an English speaking chiropractor in Seoul is, depending on what part of the city you live in, sometimes difficult. So…..lucky readers! I’ve got two items of information here about my Seoul chiropractor that you’ll be able to use.
First of all…….I found his card and I’ve got some names and landmarks to point out that’ll make it much easier to find him (Dr. Park S Woo (Andrew) chiropractor in Seoul).
Secondly, I found a great article that discusses the difference between chiropractors and physiotherapists. I’m going to paraphrase it here(below) because I thought it was informative.
There’s a lot of other types of medical/therapeutic practitioners in Seoul who do something that’s sorta like chiropractic care and I think it’s important that people, like you and me, who want ‘real chiropractic‘ get exactly that.
Personally I think it’s important to find and stick with somebody who’s actually trained specifically in the profession and art of chiropractic care. If somebody’s going to be jerking around on my weary bones, I want them to really know what they’re doing!
First, here’s Dr.Park’s official address:
Dr. Park S Woo (Andrew)
Center Plaza Bldg., Suite#710
(opposite the BurgerKing)
Gangnam, Seoul, S.Korea
Tel: 02 533 5124
He answers his phone personally so don’t hesitate to call. When you call, ask him if ‘Art’ (that’s me) is there. It’s sorta a game….if I’m there he’ll give you a free piece of candy or a ballon or something when you come in for your appointment.
Remember……it’s Exit 10 of the Gangnam subway station. Walk down to the corner. You’ll see a fairly big store called ‘The Body Shop’. It’s a cosmetics store. You see’em other places in Seoul too so maybe you know the store I’m talking about.
Anyway…..there, you take a left. Actually, from that point you’ll be able to see his building. It’s on the other side of the street, slightly diagonally to the right, down about 100 yards or so. They’re putting in a brand new convenience store on the corner next to his building. It’s a Family Mart I think. I noticed it two weeks ago.
So……that’s item #1. Now…….the article:
Chiropractors and Physiotherapists both assist their patients in improving their ability to move and function but many people get the two professions confused. Actually, even though there is somoe overlap between wheat they do…..they’re not the same at all. Going to one when you need the other could be a big mistake.
First of all……their education and training:
I do know that the profession of chiropractic care in Korea is much less influential in Korea compared to other countries. In Korea as in most Western countries, the practice of chiropractic isn’t as highly regarded and ‘tradional’ medical techniques (i.e. drugs and surgery).
In fact, Korea is one of only two countries that make it very difficult for somebody to practice chiropractic treatment. There’s several ‘hoops’ a chiropractioner has to jump through and that’s one of the main reasons why it’s not easy to find an English speaking chiropractor in Seoul.
Why isn’t chiropractic highly regarded here?
Here’s the long answer:
Well, it’s just my opinion but I think it’s because Western medical techniques are not native to Korean methodogy. They didn’t used to do things that way. So, when Korea began to adopt western medical practices they went with the ‘center-mainstream’ of medicene in the Western world……..read ‘drugs and surgery’.
And, as ‘we’ all know……chiropractic still isn’t fully appreciated by many medical doctors even in the US, Canada and UK (yeah…..stupid!) so naturally the prejudices of their medical establishments got established over here (in Korea).
The short answer?
There’s a lot more money in drugs, medical equipment, hospitals, insurance and surgery than in something as simple as laying on a table and having someone do a spinal manipulation on you. That’s my opinion.
A Chiropractor offers his patients pain relief through various types of physical manipulations, primarily on and around the spine, which increase beneficial nervous system function and thereby tends to relieve pain.
In some cases, the patient has a problem which can be corrected and he/she never has to comes back to the chiropractor. In other cases, perhaps like mine, the patient may have some condition which defies permanent correction but which nevertheless can be mitigated by frequent chiropractic treatment.
In all cases however, the good news is that chiropractic treatments are still a lot less expensive, easier and cheaper than the drugs and/or surgury that most tradional doctors would recommend.
A Physiotherapist services his patients through a variety of methods but mostly through training and helping the patient achieve ease and efficiency of movement and motion. As the patient becomes more proficient in using his/her limbs and muscles, the need to see the phisiotherapist presumably decreases.
If I may use an automotive analogy………
“The phiosiotherapist will teach you how to be a better driver. The chiropractor will help get your vehicle back into ‘showroom condition’.”
Secondly…..their system of beliefs:
Chiropractors believe that all of a patient’s problems can be traced back to the spine and other paths of the central nervous system. This includes problems involving specific organs of the body as well as obvious problems in the back and joints. Chiropractors believe that if the spine is fixed, the other ailments will heal as well.
Physiologists do not believe that everything can be cured through spinal alignment and, I think that literally speaking they’re probably correct. But that’s a decision me or you, the patient, has to make themselves. I much prefer taking the chiropractic option first.
I think the biggest difference is that chiropractors tend to look for the underlieing causes of pain whereas physiotherapists treat the specific injury that is troubling the patient while doing what he can to reduce the patient’s pain.
The differences lie in how an illness is addressed. If your problem is spinal related, it seems to me that a chiropractor would be your best bet because they’re better qualified to tackle the main problem.
Here’s a link to a very interesting discussion of Chiropractic science and care on Wikipedia. I’ve also found that there’s a lot of excellent videos about chiropractic care and treatment on YouTube. Check it out.
And in the meantime, I highly recommend my chiropractor in Seoul, Dr. (Andrew) Park S Woo . U.S licensed and RMIT(Royal Melbourne) graduated. He’s easy to get to, reasonably priced and has the knowledge and tools to, most probably, help you. It is one of good information for expats living in korea also.
My Seoul chiropractor. I love the guy but I can’t remember his name!!
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, I know. I’ve been there probably 10 times now and I can’t remember his name. I just call him ‘doc’. I remember he told me that the ‘English’ name he uses is Andrew but he didn’t seem too attached to it.
Anyway……yeah, I’m a big believer in chiropractic treatment. I’ve been that way every since I started using a chiropractor occasionally back in Houston, Tx., (where I’m from). That would be sometime back around 2000.
Her name was Brenda Hassbrock. She’s a really nice lady. Her office is probably still over there on Fondren @ Westheimer. I’d highly recommend her for anybody in Houston, Tx.
I seem to remember that I went to her because she was a Christian, as am I, and she was recommended to me by someone I knew. It was constantly amazing to me how, even though she wasn’t really a ‘big’ lady, she was nevertheless able to handle me with relative ease in doing her subluxations (that’s what chiropractors call it when they crack your back).
I can’t say for sure specifically what the source of my back problem is.
Back in Houston, I had a mobile windshield repair business. As any reader will know, automobile windshields have gotten pretty big in recent years so you can understand, I’m sure that working on them can be pretty physical. Oftentimes, reaching where the rock chip or crack was on the windshield that I was working on was ’a stretch’. No pun intended. I think that might have been one of the things that aggravated some basic problems I’ve had with my back for a long time.
Or it might have been that evening in Bellaire, Houston, Tx. when I was waiting for an African band (Sunny Ade from Nigeria) to come play for a concert. They were late so when they finally did arrive, 3 hours late, I thought I was being both nice and practical by helping them unload their equipment. I might have overdone it in my exhuberance because I do remember that my back did hurt a few days later.
Or it might have been that time back in Saigon, around 1970, when I was visiting my apartment neighbor, co-worker and buddy Rick Snyder. Rick was the Director of Accounting at USO Saigon where he and I both worked(I was the Director of the Call Home Program) We both lived in an apartment building right there across from the club on Nguyen Hue Street. I was bouncing his little son on my extended legs and I vaguely remember that it put a strain on my back. I actually remember hearing something go ‘snap’ although it didn’t hurt at the time.
Or it might have had something to do with the fact that, when I was a teenager, I used to bowl a lot. Throwing those big, heavy bowling balls around, even just a 13 pounder like I used, does put some strain on your bodily frame even for a 15 year old teenager like I was.
I’ll surely never know exactly the source of my back problems. But I do remember that for years thereafter I sorta knew what chiropractors were and what they did but I never felt it was anything that concerned me. I’ve always been pretty healthy and I usually dislike going to doctors.
So I sorta generally knew no more than the average person about what chiropractors were. I was also aware that chiropractic has been a profession which, although actually a very old profession, has been somewhat maligned and riduculed and not regarded with much respect by ‘main stream’ medical doctors.
For sure, I never figured it made much difference to me. That was……..until my back started to hurt and I had to evaluate the lest expensive, most practical and most effective solutions. The answer, for me anyway, was regular chiropractic care. That’s how I came to know a little bit about Seoul chiropractic care.
All I know is that it’s always the same thing and in the same area. A pain in my lower back and on the right side. Sometimes I get up in the morning, or after perhaps lieing down for a nap for awhile, and I literally walk in a tilted angle because the pain is so sharp in my lower, right-side, back.
I forget how I found my chiropractor in Seoul. There are a few who advertise in some of the publications(Seoul Travel and Culture, Groove, and Ten) that foreigners in Seoul read. Maybe that’s where I found him. But I think it’s more likely that I found him in one of the forums that English teachers in Korea read. That’s what I do….teach English in Korea.
His office is only a 5 minute walk from exit #10 of the #2 Green Line of Seoul subway. I’ve been going by there every other week for the last several weeks. I don’t feel it’s expensive and, in fact, it cost about what I used to pay Brenda, in Houston, and that was several years ago. I know she’s gone up in her prices, so……….my guy Andrew is a fair deal I think.
It wasn’t easy to find him either. In doing some research I found that there’s several guys who position themselves a practitioners of ‘sports medicene’ and ‘pain clinics’ and ‘massage therapists’……stuff like that. And, yeah……there’s a few chiropractors too. But darn few. It ain’t nothing like back in Houston where there’s two chiropractors in every building. Chiropractic care in Seoul is not easy to find.
Andrew’s office isn’t tine but it isn’t huge either. He’s just a one-man practice. But he’s got a lot of equipment in the room and every time I’m there there’s always somebody there before me and somebody coming in as I’m going out. So, I get the impression that he has a good clientele.
I like to ask questions and he’s told me a lot about some of the techniques and tools he uses. I’ll be sharing more about that later. But I wanted to start this blog because I know how rough it can be for teachers in Korea (like me), and other foreigners in general, to find things like chiropractors that we take for granted back in the US (or Canada).
I wish I could give you his address but I can’t be any more specific that tell you it’s out of exit #10 of the Gangnam subway station in Seoul. You walk down to the corner (about 2 minutes), then turn left, walk to the next small side street…..and cross it. There’s a Burger King on that block. His office is in the big (10?) story building almost exactly across the street from that. He’s up on the 7th floor.
I’m sure I’ve picked up at least 4 of his business cards when I’m there but, I swear, they dissappear into some mysterious black hole somewhere in my travel bag. All I can do is promise to get another one this coming Saturday when I’m there for my regular appointment.
If you need chiropractic care in Seoul, I’d highly recommend Andrew, my chiropractor in Seoul. Hopefully, help for expats living in korea south.
First of all, since chiropractic is so common in the US (and probably Canada and the UK, AUS too), it’s usually quiet startling, even distressing, for foreigners to discover that chiropractic isn’t common in Korea. Yeah, sometimes certain types of oriental medicene practioners do their own version of it but, according to Dr.Park, it’s not exactly the same.j
Did you know that chiropractic is the third most common medical profession in the US? Yeah………..after doctors and dentists. So it says in an interesting blog I found called “Confessions Of A Quack Buster“. Overall the article is complimentary toward chiropractors.
I wish chiropractic was that common in Korea. It’s not. In fact, Korea is one of the very few Koreas that (and I’m probably not explaining this literally correctly) don’t recognize chiropractic. Koreans who want to practice real chiropractic have a very circuitous route to go. It’s not easy.
Not that it makes much difference what anybody else says. For people like me, who’ve benefitted immensely from chiropractic treatment………we darn well know that chiropractic treatment works. There’s no ignoring the reality of pain or the absense of it. I can tell you for a fact that since I’ve been visiting Dr. Park at his office just a few short minutes from the Gangnam subway station, I’ve been consistently better.
I really can’t remember where I found Dr.Park. I remember googling “English speaking chiropractor in Seoul” and also a few other terms. I wasn’t specifically looking for a chiropractor in Gangnam because, in fact, I don’t go there very often for anything else. There’s one salsa club there but it’s not one of my favorites.
I think I found an ad or two in oneof the magazines that expats read here in Seoul. I really don’t remember. But, somehow and for some reason which escapes me now, I found and picked Dr. Park.
I haven’t had any complaints.
I also found his prices to be reasonable…….totally on par with any other chiropractor in Seoul that I’m aware of.
One thing the author commented on that I found quiet interesting and very topical concerned the issue of vaccinations. He mentioned that, generally speaking, chiropractors believe in holistic approaches toward healing as a first alternative. I totally agree with that. As you know, this issue of the swine flue is much in the news lately.
The more I read about it, the more leary I am of the idea of vacinnations. Yeah, you can call me radical or conspiracy theorist if you want. But I do know that this recently touted swine flue vacine is not thoroughly tested. Yet the government still tells the average person to take it.
Not me, baby!!
There’s lots of evidence that untested or improperly tested vaccines caused untold number of medical complications for US soldiers in the Gulf War. The basic thing to remember here is that a vaccine gets into your blood stream and your body and does God-knows-what. And in my opinion it simply takes the long way around to solve a problem that, in most cases, is probably simply mechanical. And that mechanical approach is what chiropractic is about (or seems to me to be about).
All I know is that I feel a heck of a lot better since I’ve been going to Dr. Park in Gangnam. His office isn’t what you’d call huge. But there is lots of equipment in it and he seems to always be reading something (or working on somebody) when I come in. That’s proof enough for me that he’s doing something right.
I remember back in my days of direct sales in the US, selling signs and also leadership training material, that I met a lot of different kinds of professionals, including chiropractors and traditional medical people. Almost without exception, regular doctors had no idea what chiropractors were about. I never met one of them who had much good to say about chiropractors.
But you know what? Without exception, all the chiropractors I met and knew were nice people. They seemed to operate clean, efficient, mission oriented practices and profitable businesses. I think if I had to start over again and pick a career, chiropractic would be one of the professions I’d consider. To me, being able to see the results and the benifits of your work is very important.
So…….I know that Gangnam might be more convenient to some people than others in the Seoul area. But if you live anywhere within reasonable distance of Gangnam, I’d highly recommend Dr. Andrew Park, chiropractor and pilates instructor in Gangnam seoul korea.