There's an article in the Korea Times that came out today called '3 Simple Suggestions for a Healthy Body' (link now dead, but I've copied most of the article below) that I'm not sure was meant as an April Fool's Day joke or not. In addition to having the normal ridiculous content on 'alternative' ways to be healthy (for those believers, I guess every day is April Fool's Day), the writers name is 'Roar Sheppard.' Seriously, who (other than Frank Zappa) would name their kid something like that?
Some choice selections of the article, along with my own commentary:
Let me make three simple suggestions for a healthy body. The first is exercise... I'm referring to Korea's traditional taoist teaching on stretching call Doinbeup. Long before there were doctors in Korea, [and the average lifespan of Koreans, including Doinbeupists, was about 40] Korean taoists learned how to manage the joints of the body through simple movements to maintain the vigor of the organs. Each joint is related to a different organ and, by understanding the simple connection and flow of energy and of course doing the exercises diligently, one can sustain a healthy body.
"Each joint is related to a different organ." There's only one joint, by the way, that is related to the part of your brain that makes you believe this kind of shit, and I understand it's getting far easier to find in Canada these days.
Let's look at an example. Slowly turn your wrist in a circle, clockwise then counter-clockwise. Do you hear any clicking sounds? The wrists may be overtired from clacking on the computer all day. [that, or you forget to remove your watch] The wrists are linked with the lungs and large intestine, and the heart to some extent, so diligently turn them. Also, lift a foot off the ground and twist your ankle. Does it rotate well? If not, lie down on your back and kick your feet together, thus strengthening your kidneys, bladder, and spleen. In this way, learn to know your body.
And that's all there is to it! Don't do something silly like quit smoking or moving out of Seoul to save your lungs, just twirl your wrists around diligently everyday. Sure, you might look stupid doing it, but then again, you are, so it all works out. And then rather than cut back on drinking, you can just lie on your back and kick your ruby slippered feet together until your body magically cures itself.
Doinbeup specialists also realized the body is composed of two energy systems, blood and energy. Western doctors only know of the former [the morons!], but it's the latter that contains the mind, body, and soul. The energy system is made up of 12 meridian lines and 84,000 acupoints. By lightly tapping, pulling, extending, stretching, twisting and turning the joints, the blocked parts slowly open up and a feeling of clarity, clairvoyance, and crispness fills the body.
But perhaps I was too quick to scoff. 12 meridian lines, 10's of thousands of acupoints. How can something that sounds so complicated NOT be true?
And naturally, this stuff is all well researched and tested. What, you think these people would devote their lives to something that is just based on superstition and wishful thinking? I did some intensive research and found this 20-year study, conducted some 1,000 years ago or so by a bunch of bored Taoist monks (I mean really, what the hell else did they have to do all day?).
Apparently, to really make sure their health treatments actually did something, they got 500 subjects and randomly assigned them to four different experimental groups.
Here are the details of the treatments:
Group A 'The twirly-bird group:' Subjects in this group spent 30 minutes a day rotating and twirling various parts of their bodies (while humming popular tunes from musicals).
Group B: "The jerky-boys group" This group spent 30 minutes a day jerking on various parts of their bodies. (the most enthusiastic subject group, they later found).
Group C: "The pokey-group" This group spent 30 minutes a day poking themselves with pointy sticks in various parts of the body.
Group D: The Ro Sham Bo group: See appropriate Southpark episode for the details of this intensive medical practice.
It turned out, in contrast to most people's expectations, that Group A and B subjects were much healthier than those who repeatedly poked themselves with sticks or kicked each other in the nuts daily.
So rotating and jerking were prescribed by Taoists for some time (the original origin of the term 'circle jerk', for all you trivia buffs out there). Eventually they realized that most boys don't really need to be encouraged to do the jerking stuff, so they later focused mostly on the rotating.
Back to Sheppard's mighty roar...
The second method is a psychological one. No matter how much money you spend on fixing a broken faucet, if you don't fix the leak inside the pipes it can't be fixed. It's the same with the body.
There's a ``normal’’ method and a wise method to fix the body. The normal method fixes a headache with Tylenol, the wise method reflects on the internal cause of the headache: What am I worrying about? What habits or behavioral patterns are unsuited to my being? What uncontrollable thoughts are weighing on my mind?
This is great, because I just happened to have woke up with a headache this morning so I decided to try out Roar's suggestion (I wonder if he felt any pressure growing up to yell everything he says, by the way). So rather than take a few tylenols, I asked myself some hard questions and realized that I am not at peace with others around me, and this stems from my inability to really accept and love myself for who I am, and not try to be the kind of person that others wish me to be.
Oh, and the 9 beers and 6 tequila shots I had last night probably didn't help much either.
The wise method is not promoted well in society today. Reflection is hard and painful, as is changing the habit that caused the pain. First recognize that comfort neither exists nor is desirable. With comfort, growth is impossible. It is through pain and conflict, whether large or small, that you develop as a person.
Allow me to paraphrase that for you: Comfort does not exist, and despite not existing, it makes growth impossible.
So you see, when you are in pain, you need to reflect, and this in turn leads to more pain which is great, because now you are a better person because of it. I guess this is why I should be very pleased right now because after reading and thinking about this article, my headache has gotten a helluva lot worse. If someone would just come along and Ro Sham Bo me right now, I'd probably attain instant enlightenment and/or nirvana.
Well, we've come a long way in a short time, from traditional taoist Doinbeup exercises to release blocked energy and tense joints all the way to facing our worst fears _ our own mind.
This calls for a happy new-age rainbow picture.
Lead us to the final Oasis of Wisdom, oh great Sheppard.
Lastly, I will briefly mention a palatable method: Ttum. What's that? It's a basic treatment, also know as moxibustion (to burn something), to warm the body. As you know, all sickness originates in coldness. [you did know that, right? That's why the real serious diseases like malaria and typhoid are so common in places like Siberia] Ttum [pronounced 'dumb', I think] is made up of mugwort. Mugwort, whether as a food, tea, or as moxi (in this sense a small candle) is a traditional method [read: untested and unproven, see also 'superstition'] to heal the body, and promote circulation through heat.
Moxi is burned on the hands. Oriental doctors burn would also burn it on thee [I think the proofreader was on a smoke break at this point in the article] stomach or knees, but these often leave scars. [no shit?] Instead find a local sujichim, Koryo Hand Acupuncture office, and buy moxi for the hands. Traditional Korean hand acupuncture claims that hand acupoints stabilize the organs.
Wait a minute. I thought we had already established earlier that the joints were related to the organs. Now points on the hands are related to all the organs?
Perhaps we should believe that everything OTHER than the actual organs themselves are related to the organs? Sounds good to me.
I'd love to hear you guys give advice for auto repair some day. 'What's that? A problem with your engine? No sweat, just rotate your tires and you'll be as good as new. Oh, and clean out your ashtrays too."
Just place them anywhere on the center of the hand, from the palm up the 3rd finger to the top, front and back. Make sure to place something under them as they are hot! A small box a day will heat cold bodies and balance over-heated ones. Oh, one last thing.
[the paragraph ends there. Perhaps that is the way 'Roar' likes to finish paragraphs, or maybe he thinks that works as a smooth transition to the conclusion paragraph. Or maybe the proofreader just couldn't get through this entire shitty article and quit working on it after the fourth paragraph.
Anyway, I hope that 'one last thing' that got cut out of the article wasn't some crucial information like "Oh one last thing, the nurses there also give complimentary hand jobs."
Cheer up. Korea's a beautiful place. Just with the fact you are in such a lovely place as northeast Asia, should make you content. How lucky you are!
Kind words, but if Korea is the kind of place that should make us content, and contentment, being the evil twin brother of 'comfort', can deny us personal growth, wouldn't that make Korea a bad place?
Thanks for the best April Fool's Day article I've read in a long time Roar. I'll be looking for more of your stuff in the future.