Grandmaster Joon Pyo Choi Biography: Acupuncturist, part 7

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     I had one student whose father was a famous acupuncturist. He brought his son who was 16 or 17 years old to me for instruction in Taekwondo. His son was giving him all kinds of trouble, and it was his hope that Taekwondo would give him discipline and self-control. In exchange for teaching his son, the acupuncturist taught me his healing arts.

     The method of acupuncture that he practiced was called Oh Hang Chen, which means Five Elements. Those elements are Metal, Water, Fire, Wood, and Earth, each of which will either help or interfere with the others. This methodology was invented about 150 years ago in the late Yi Dynasty and was very famous and well thought of.

     I studied with him for six months, and I learned the system well. After six months, the government gives you a license if you pass a test. I did that, and so became a licensed acupuncturist.

     My study as an acupuncturist, my study as a martial artist, my study of hypnotism, and my deep meditation, all strengthened my spiritual side. It was opening inside me, like a waterfall, and I felt my ancestral knowledge boiling inside me from generations past. From the cellular level, it nourished me, strengthened me, and allowed me to become a spiritual warrior.

     In Oh Hang Chen, each element has a supporting side and a destroying side. Metal supports water, water supports wood, wood supports fire, fire supports earth, and earth supports metal. Those are the five elements in a cycle. On the other hand, metal blocks wood, wood blocks earth, earth blocks water, water blocks fire, and fire blocks metal. The same elements are in a different cycle, a confrontational cycle. This is called the Sung Fang Sung Guek principle. Sung Fang means "Five Complementing". Sung Guek means "Five Disrupting".

     The number five also corresponds to the number of starting pressure points on the arms and feet. There are five pressure points, called Shoi, from the finger to the arm, and five more from the toes to the hip. Each of these paths is connected to an organ in the human body. For instance, if you have lung disease, then that is treated from the pressure points in the second index finger and the thumb. The heart is treated with the pressure point in the last finger.

     These pressure points are triggered with acupuncture, acupressure, and burning, called Moxa. The five elements also appear in the Taeguk, which has two more states, Um and Yun, which also correspond with negative and positive. Um and Yun represent moon and sun, day and night, cold and hot, man and woman, life and death. Every element in the universe has its opposite side, and the opposite sides are actually one together, forming the middle energy, the neutral energy. Science tells us that atoms have electrons, positrons, and neutrons in this same pattern.

     Oh Hang acupuncture was developed by a grand master of the Yi Dynasty. The grand master wrote a small book summarizing the study and style of Oh Hang. It specializes in arms and legs, where all the pressure points, acupuncture points, and meridians that control the body are known. This is a very strong style of acupuncture because the stimulation it causes is so strong.

     The father of my student knew this style of acupuncture, and in exchange for teaching his son, he taught me acupuncture. This connected strongly with my other studies.

     As I learned with him, I realized that if I wanted to apply the healing powers of acupuncture, I would need to be licensed. The government offered six months of training from a certified school, after which you were tested and graded. If you passed, you became a licensed acupuncturist. After I studied with my student's father, I entered the Song Hak acupuncturist school and became certified in that healing art.

     This is how I became a healing acupuncturist. Just as my martial arts could be used to hurt and maim, I now had skills to allow me to heal. This was my own Um and Yun, two opposites concentrated in one neutral being.

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