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TV Show Drives Oriental Medicine Tours

Posted November. 30, 2005 07:19,   


Ten Japanese visited Korea to participate in an oriental medicine health tour for foreigners offered by the Kyung Hee Medical Center.

They started their schedule in Korea with watching a 30-minute video on Sasang Compositional Medicine at 8:30 a.m. After that, they filled in a survey on physical composition, saw how herbal medicine was compounded, were diagnosed, told about their physical composition, and consulted a doctor.

By noon, they were served with foods that were good for their individual physical composition. When a nurse and a chef explained about each food, they took photos of their lunch table or wrote down what they heard.

Maki Hasegawa (32, female) said, “They advised me to keep my stomach warm because I have the Soeum constitution. As a Soeum type of person has weak digestive organs, I was served with digestible and soft foods like bulgogi (pan-grilled sliced beef with rice wine, soy sauce and vegetables) and radish shreds.

The Japanese tourists, ranging from those in their 30s to those in their 60s are all fans of the Korean drama “Dae Jang Geum.” They talked about “Jang Geum” all the time over the course of the program.

Kazko Watarino (61, female) said, “I joined this program because I became interested in herbal medicine after watching what Jang Geum did with herbs in the drama. I was surprised to see how clean and large oriental medicine hospitals in Korea were, compared to those in Japan.”

The Kyung Hee Medical Center set up a medical office for foreigners after Dae Jang Geum started airing on a satellite TV channel in Japan in March this year. The medical program offered by the medical center has drawn as many as 340 foreigners in only 8 months. The medical center provides the program two or three times a month with foreigners on group “Dae Jang Geum tours” in partnership with a travel agency.

The Oriental Medicine Hospital of Woo-suk University has opened an oriental medicine culture center in the city of Jeonju , Jeonbuk Province, located in the southern part of the country, in October and provides an oriental medicine program. The program includes a composition test, a foot spa, making oriental ointments and soap. About 20 to 30 foreign tourists a month come not only from Japan, but also from China, and southeast nations.

Professor Lee Su-kyung at the Sasang Composition division of the Oriental Medicine hospital of Kyung Hee Medical Center said, “As Dae Jang Geum enjoys great popularity across Asia, many people who developed interest in oriental medicine visit Korea to join our program. In some cases, people feel it worked for them and came back with their friends.”