I arrived here the day before yesterday, but it feels like it was months ago. My flight was pretty good, although I was a little emotional due to saying goodbye to my dearest ones at the airport. That was tougher than I had imagined it to be.
At the airport in Seoul I was picked up by Dr. Lee and his son Kevin. They gave me a safe ride to Cheonan City. On the way, Dr. Lee talked to me about how his right arm had become paralyzed spontaneously, and how he had realized that this was due to malfunction in the body-brain communication. That event evoked him to search for an effective treatment, and brought him to where is today: his own body cured a long time ago, a proprietary treatment method for re-establishing the passageway between body and brain – applicable to a range of chronic disorders –, his own clinic in Cheonan City, a long list of successfully cured patients, a doctorate in alternative medicine, a university professorate, his own education centre, nation-wide fame, and more. He explained that he has started treating spasmodic torticollis in 2002, and that since then 103 patients have been treated with success.
Once in Cheonan we dropped off my luggage at the apartment where I will be staying, and went to the clinic. Dr. Lee examined me, and his diagnosis was: subluxation of C1 and C2, i.e., a misalignment of the upper two cervical vertebrae. He then did some chiropractic manipulations (loud cracking sounds!) on my neck to re-align the two vertebrae, and even gave me a first treatment for balancing the TMJ, i.e., the temporomandibular joint, or joint of the jaw. He made me bite on two stacks of paper strips in both sides of my mouth and he started to vary the thickness of the stacks until the TMJ was balanced. His method to assess this consists of muscle testing. Once the TMJ is balanced in all directions, the patient will be able to keep his stretched arm up and resist the downward pulling that Dr. Lee exerts on it. If the TMJ balance isn’t optimized, as a consequence the body-brain communication isn’t optimized, and one or more of the specific muscle tests will fail, i.e., the stretched arm will be pulled down even with Dr. Lee’s little finger. It’s as simple as that. It does sound logical though.
With the ideal thickness on both sides of the TMJ, Dr. Lee then makes a tailored mouthpiece, called YBA (YingYang Balancing Appliance). The material for the YBA is a two-component putty that hardens within a minute. The patient will then keep this YBA in his/her mouth until a “variation” occurs. This usually can be perceived by increased muscle tension in the neck and/or failing muscle tests. At that moment, the YBA has done its job, and a new balance needs to be established, i.e., a new YBA needs to be made. Often, this means that one of the stacks of paper will be made thicker by just one thin piece of paper. This appears to be insignificant. But on the other hand, the human system is so complex and sensitive, that this may very well be the case. For CD/ST patients, it is normal to experience up to 6 variations per day in the beginning of the treatment. But as the treatment proceeds, the variations become less frequent, i.e., the TMJ becomes more and more stable. In the end, there will be no more variations, and the passageway between body and brain will be permanently open. In other words: the patient will be cured.
By the time we finished the first treatment, it was already 18.00 PM local time. I hadn’t slept in the plane, so I was ready for a quick bite and a long sleep…
The next morning, i.e., yesterday, I went into the clinic to get an extensive intake. My medical history was recorded, I got a physical check-up, and then went through a long health questionnaire. All kinds of things were asked, about virtually all aspects of my health, both physically and mentally. I like this holistic approach, since I believe body and mind are one, and everything is interconnected.
Subsequently, I got a new YBA treatment. Then I was put on a pelvic balancing table, where I received an acupuncture treatment and a cupping treatment. I will elaborate more on these treatments at a later time. These were followed by chiropractic manipulations (cracking sounds!). After lunch (a delicious Bibimbap dish together with Dr. Lee’s son in a nearby restaurant) more muscle tests were done, and Dr. Lee concluded that a variation had occurred, so we went through the whole sequence again. And by the end of the afternoon, a third sequence was done, minus the acupuncture. In between sequences, I lay down on a special pillow (“CST pillow”) with spikes that support the head and neck right at the suboccipital area. I will elaborate later.
Dr. Lee is a charismatic person. The Japanese would say he has a ‘hara personality’, i.e., a strong, focused, and natural presence. He clearly has a lot of compassion for his patients, paying close attention to all of them. At the same time he is a little severe, telling them to improve their posture, to follow his guidelines more strictly, etc. I know this, because I have seen all the other patients and his interaction with them. Dr. Lee even introduced me to most of them, telling me about their issues. Several of them have CD/ST. At some point, almost all patients were in Dr. Lee’s examination room together at the same time. Some just came in from acupuncture or cupping treatments, some were about to be picked up, others were getting a quick muscle test, another one was getting a chiropractic manipulation, etc. Dr. Lee’s assistants were walking into and out of the room to accompany patients, to assist in making new YBAs, to record patient data in files, etc. Everything went very smoothly. This is a serious clinic with professional people and a well thought-out process. The fact that there is not much privacy, and that I can see other patients most of the time, doesn’t bother me. We are all in the same boat anyway.
Dr. Lee’s English isn’t fluent, but I am glad that there is always a way to understand each other. Either someone from his clinic who masters English helps out, or we use good old Google Translate or a smart-phone translator.
The level of discomfort is eminent, although it never really hurts. The treatment really takes up most of the day, so quite some perseverance is required. But I am sure I will get used to the treatments as time passes. Positive thinking! And I must say that I do experience relief in my neck muscles from all the treatments.
Dr. Lee explained to me that there are 5 factors, important for smooth recovery.
- Positive thinking. Be grateful for the good things in life. Tell yourself that you are powerful and that you will always overcome.
(E.g., Dr. Lee showed me that when I think I am very tired, I immediately fail on the muscle test.)
- Correct posture and exercise. Straight, military posture, in order to facilitate an open passageway between body and brain. Exercise: stretching, walking several kilometers per day.
- Healthy food. During the treatment: vegetables, fruits, no meat, no white bread, no white rice.
- Length of time with YBA in mouth. Recovery will speed up if the time that the patient wears the YBA is maximized (i.e., until a variation occurs).
- Number of YBA treatments. The more treatments a patient gets, the closer he gets to recovery. E.g., if a patient needs 40 YBA treatments to fully recover, this can be achieved in 40 weeks if the patient gets only one treatment per week. But if he would have had 4 treatments per day, he could have recovered within 10 days.
He emphasized again and again that positive thinking is the most important part of the healing process. E.g., it is much more important than regular exercising. With positive thoughts, the pituitary gland excretes hormones and endorphins that are very good for the body and promote healing. Ideally, I should have positive thoughts every 5 minutes! That is not yet my specialty to be honest, so there is some serious catching up to be done here. On the other hand, the positive-thinking concept nicely fits with my persuasion that we completely create our own reality with our consciousness.
Right now it is hard to imagine that I will be in this routine for several weeks at least. It is not going to be easy. But then again, I never thought it would be. Yet if there is one person in the world who can help me to recover, I think it is Dr. Lee. And no matter what exactly will happen during this period, it will be a tremendous learning experience for me that will possibly transform me in a profound way. And that is a positive thought.
Well, this should be enough for my readers to digest for now. Please send me all the good vibes that you have in order to help me thrive here.