By Hannah Aauger
Near Haeundae station hides a very good “통증의학과,” meaning roughly “pain medicine.” This particular specialization focuses solely on muscle pain, combining medicine and science you may find in a hospital with the more holistic massage and electro-shock therapy.
When you first enter, the small, unassuming office is clean, but quaint. Make sure to looks around the corner to your left just after you enter, as a cabinet full of indoor shoes is hidden from plain view. Luckily, the office does not require any kind of appointment, so you can pop in whenever you are free. Some days you might be ushered straight into the doctor’s office, and on others you may wait around fifteen minutes. If possible, it would be very helpful to have a Korean along, as the staff’s English skills are minimal. Still, the doctor will likely know enough to comprehend your situation; I, personally, have seen him without a Korean-speaker and had no issues.
In fact, it only took about two minutes for him to discover the cause of my problems. He wrote a prescription for anti-inflammatories and pain killers, and promptly sent me to the next room.
The second room is equipped for a variety of treatments. For me, I first had my legs elevated and a hot pack strapped onto my knees; after this, I had two stone-cold panels attached to side of my knees. Suddenly, the panels started vibrating and buzzing, and I got a little scared. I quickly realized what I felt was awesome. This electro-shock therapy is intended to help muscles move back to their original place, and break up the knots. At times, the spasms were annoying, but never painful; in fact, my biggest complaint would be that it tickled and my attempts to stifle laughter confused the nurses, all of whom were very accommodating. They even seem excited to have a wayguk in their midst. They often came by just to ask if I was alright, or if anything needed adjusting.
After a half hour or so of treatment, I was passed back to the front desk. With insurance, it cost anywhere between 5,000 to 8,000\ for treatment, prescription, and diagnosis. Given how cheap and easy the whole experience was I would recommend this place to anyone with muscle pain. If you are scared you may have something funky going on in your joints, this guy can tell you what it is in no time flat. On top of that, any prescriptions you need can be filled just downstairs. Walk downstairs, outside, and to your left (in the same building) is a pharmacy. Look for the green awning with the word “약” in the window.
Directions: From Haeundae Station (exit 2) walk straight to the next three-way intersection. The office is in a cluster of buildings on your left. Go through the door marked “Medi Hyundae” and up the stairs.
The sign is a bit obscured, so also look for the pharmacist (again, green awning, “약” in the window.