Friday, April 8, 2005

Oriental Dentistry

Another post saved from oblivion from my old Pooper site. Some choice comments from the original post are included as well.

Here's an interesting article from the Korea Times on "oriental dentist clincs." The author, alternative medicine guru Dr.* Park Chan-joo, poses the question:

"How do suppose [sic] people in ancient times dealt with toothaches and other dental problems? "

The answer? Will, the true answer of course is that the supposed Oriental doctors of that time just dished out some bullshit advice and ridiculous "treatments" until the tooth completely decayed and they just had to pull the damn thing.

However, for an "alternative" answer to that glaring truth, Dr. Park describes the glorious product of thousands of years of oriental learning and wisdom.

Teeth were considered by the ancients to be extensions or protrusions of your bones. Just as bones are related to the kidneys, teeth are also controlled and nourished by that organ. So, it is said that when your energy or ``chong,’’ the essential bodily material stored in the kidneys, is weak, you can have dental problems.

Buckle up and hold and tight as we try to ride this rickety roller-coaster of unreason. Teeth are bones, which is obvious because teeth are white and so are bones. Bones are related to the kidney which is obvious because...well, anyway, it's obvious and therefore if you get a cavity it's because you have kidney problems.

Got it? No questions? Good, because she's just getting started!

Of the five elements, the upper gums belong to the earth element, which by the way is unique to oriental medicine.

Yeah, unique to oriental medicine. Isn't it amazing that no one else in the world came to the same conclusion? This great insight allowed oriental doctors to know where to use acupuncture in order to cure tooth decay. She doesn't mention why acupuncturists still do not follow this practice.

Tooth ailments have specific symptoms and require special treatment. Toothaches, for example, are caused by accumulated heat in the intestines, which cause your gums to be swollen and your breath to smell bad.

You know, I don't even think the oriental doctors of yesteryear were even trying to make sense. Toothaches come from heat in the intestines? How much opium do you have to smoke before that makes sense? Honestly, believing that toothaches are caused by tiny invisible gnomes pounding on your teeth with their wee little gnome hammers makes more sense than this.

Now, you might say, hey, Pooper, she isn't saying that this old belief is true. She is just explaining how things used to be in the past.

But if you read her columns faithfully as I do (and believe me, she never fails to entertain and amuse), you know that she eats all this shit up. She's an oriental doctor, so to question any of the ancient wisdom would undermine their entire religion practice.

Just as with other health related issues, prevention is preferred to treating problems after they occur.

True, but the prevention she talks about is not avoiding sweets, brushing and flossing, and seeing a dentist regularly. It's 'clicking your teeth gently' in the morning and 'gargling' with any liquid. If that makes any sense to you, then be my guest and click away, but I'll stick with my trusty toothbrush, thanks.

Although there are few people who go to see an oriental dentist about their tooth problems, the lessons from this old medical book can be helpful.

As usual, no studies to back up any of this. Just dish out the bullshit to the idiots who keep people like Dr. Park in business. Thank the gods for stupid people, huh?

We look forward to your next column, Dr. Park. Your entire profession might be built on superstition and quackery, but if laughter is really the best medicine, your column is doing a world of good.

*the title of "Doctor" here is not to be confused with the kind of doctor who actually knows the human body and can cure things

Select comments on the original post:

I try to avoid reading the KT as a rule, but that was hee-larious. "Dr. Henry" isn't nearly as funny, but he has his moments, like "Dirt can be removed by simply taking a shower" in his classic "How to Take a Shower in Summer." But the all-time winner is "How to Block or Open the Bunghole"--I shit you not:

Michael, that article was wild. That guy is a total nut (in a lovable way, that is). Good stuff.

I'll be needing a wisdom tooth pulled in the next couple weeks, and this sounds like the guy to do it. Thanks.


hiiiiiiii!!!! i liked reading some of your articles. they are funny! i'm interested in korea, and i dont know much about it. i was adopted from there, and was wondering how i looked compared to the other girls there? heheh

Hi Miki. I'm glad you liked the posts. It's admirable that you are trying to find out about your country of birth, but a little scary that you might be learning about it from my site. ;)

As for how you look in comparison with Korean girls; that's hard to say since I've never seen a picture of you. But odds are that if you just double the amount of makeup you currently put on in the morning then you would probably look very similar to the average girls here.

I disagree with your assessment. Have you ever visited an oriental clinic before? At first, I thought acupuncture was a total sack of shit but now I'm a fan. Next time you sprain your ankle, don't whine to your doc that icing doesn't help - check out your local taboo yellow witch doctor :)

I nominate Dr. Park for a never-ending, Arirang TV "loop."

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