Korean Advanced TCM: Your Alternative Health Solution Across the Causeway

So, after a few years working in the media industry, my body got weaker. Then I embarked on my exciting life-journey to South Korea, a country with the highest suicide rate in all OECD countries. Students report a high level of depression, stress anxiety much of it caused by the All-Work, No-Play culture in the South Korean education system. – This worsens my health.

Although life in Seoul is interesting and I enjoy my days here most of the time, it is not an easy task to stay healthy juggling the coursework and to pursue my dream. I was constantly haunted with many stress-related illnesses. Not only I feel stiffness at my neck all the time, but I was also suffering from insomnia at night, extreme tiredness, as well as digesting problems.

It was until I visit Korean Advanced TCM (北京中医북경한의원 ), then I start to see improvement in my health and performance. After several courses of treatments including acupuncture and herbal remedies, I became a true believer of TCM in treating fatigue and restoring energy. A Korean TCM, or TKM? It is even better. Read on to find out why.


The Best of Both Worlds

A general, if not an oversimplified difference between the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Traditional Korean Medicine (TKM) is that the TCM specializes in the treatment of disease while TKM focuses on disease prevention and promotes good health and longevity. The Korean Advanced TCM skillfully combines the two medical cultures, so the patients enjoy the best of both worlds.

The “Perfect Blend” of Chinese-Korean Medical Practice

Dr. Lee himself is a good example of the “Perfect Blend”. At a young age, Dr. Lee was exposed to, and budded interest in oriental medicine as two of his uncles are TKM practitioners in Korea. He then spent 10 years in China studying under renowned TCM professors in the Beijing University of Traditional Medicine and working with Dongzhimen Hospital of Beijing University of Traditional Medicine and the Beijing Chinese-Japanese Friendship Hospital before returning to South Korea, where he worked at his uncle’s Yeongdeungpo TKM Hospital in Seoul.

Keen on promoting traditional medical practice overseas, Dr. Lee hailed from Seoul and explored options in establishing a Chinese-Korean medical clinic in KL, Singapore and Johor before deciding on Johor Bahru. Currently, there are two doctors, Dr. Lee and Dr. Jin working in shifts. Although the clinic is located in JB, it is centrally located at Taman Pelangi (some 10 minutes cab ride from City Square), not bad an alternative health solution across the causeway.

Korean Advanced TCM Doctors
On the left: Dr. Lee Dong-il (Dr. Lee). On the right: Dr. Lee Gyung-Jin (Dr. Jin)

Rich Clinical Experience

Doctors at the Korean TCM have accumulated 20 years of clinical experience. Their areas of specialization include stroke, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis and more. There were even patients coming for beauty-related treatment too.

Trilingual Doctors

The doctors have an excellent grasp of three languages: Chinese, English and Korean to ensure proper consultations and communication throughout your treatment. Their local clinic assistants can speak Malay and different dialects and occasionally assist in communicating, especially when an elderly / Malay patient visits the clinic.

Visitors are required to change into slippers before entering the clinic – A common practise for all TKM in Korea.

Advanced Korean Medical Equipments

The clinic relies heavily on advanced Korean medical technology to provide fast and accurate diagnosis, including an electronic pulse diagnostic machine and an electronic “Eight-Principles Diagnosis” 八綱診斷器, which the patient can take a firsthand look at their own health condition.

tcm 4

equipment Korean TKM

Gentle Korean Acupuncture

One thing I hate about acupuncture is the idea of needles poking into me. Seriously, how can poking me with needles relax and rejuvenate me? I am easily tensed and I hate visiting hospital because I dislike the suffocating atmosphere in there. Trust me, I freaked out at the operating table when I did my gastroscopy. That 4 minutes “operation” felt like forever. However, Dr. Lee’s Korean Acupuncture is gentle and much more bearable. Every acupuncture session in the clinic is less painful and more relaxed.

The clinic has recently upgraded their machines and brought in a painless option: An advanced Laser Needle technology imported from Germany. The machines penetrate laser lights to the desired points, providing a painless, safer and accurate treatment. I also like their Interferential Current Therapy, a combination of physics theory and TCM application to reduce pain and increase blood flow.


acupuncture TKM
Interferential Current Therapy

Conveniently packed medicine, in “Gangnam-Style

Your usual TCM either gives you medicinal powder or a prescription and you’ll need to settle the rest yourself. That is probably the biggest drawback for anyone who wants to give TCM a try – A tad too troublesome. Here in the clinic they prepare your personalized herbal tonics in machines imported from Korea. Each intake is pre-packed into pocket size sachets for your convenience.

Packed medicine sachet.
Packed herbal medicine sachet.

For those who loves Korean drama, I am sure you saw these herbal tonic sachets at least once in the Korean dramas you watched in your life. The Korean herbal tonic appeared in many episodes of The Greatest Love 최고의 사랑, one of my favourite K-dramas starring Gong Hyo-jin, Cha Seung-won and Yoo In-ah.

the greatest love 1

the greatest love 3

the greatest love 4

I like the pre-packed, pocket-sized medicine as it is extremely convenient for busy people. You can heat the packet up in a bowl of hot water and drink it straight from the package. Another benefit, albeit superficial: The oh-so-Korean packaging makes eating traditional medicine something hip. K-pop? K-drama? K-make-up products? Nah. Those are too mainstream!


Writer’s Note: The clinic has been practising and combining the Korean and Chinese medical cultures for the past 11 years. Although it is located across the causeway, I think it is a good alternative to explore if you are determined to make some efforts for the betterment of your health. After completing two courses of treatment, I felt more energetic than before and no longer get cold hands and feet in the air-conditioned room. Perseverance is needed throughout the period of treatment, and together with a healthy diet and lifestyle, I am sure you’ll see improvement soon!


Contact Details:

Korean Advanced TCM 北京中医 북경한의원
14, Jalan Pingai, Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
9am – 1pm / 3pm – 9pm (closes every Wednesday & Public Holiday)
Tel. 07 335 3023

Korean Advanced TCM Johor Bahru


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  1. Interesting article. Were the prices and techniques comparable to regular tcm? Did they try to sell you packages etc? Have you been there again ever since the last 2 times you’ve mentioned?

    • Hey, I’ve stopped visiting as I am getting much better. I’d think if you want to see a faster result maybe you can try it out. But again, it is also based on the individual and how well your body is receiving the treatment. (We all know TCM can be quite tricky and is on a case-by-case basis). I hope this helps!

  2. Hello, I just came across your blog! Thank you for writing this. I notice you reference the Korean herbal pouch. I was just recommended to take this – we are a little worried because we don’t know exactly what this does. Can you provide us with additional information? Thank you so much!

    • Hello, my medicines are given by Dr Lee after consultation of my body condition, which includes checking on my pulse and all. So it’s a custom herbal pouch that is made according to my needs. If you were recommended to take something similar like this, without any consultation, I’d say it’s a store-bought supplement that is in Hanyak (Korean Traditional Medication) form. So it is a completely different type of medicine compared to mine. If you are unsure, check in with a Korean that can read and translate the text for you, if not, check in with the person who recommended this to you, or find a Chinese/ Korean traditional medicine practitioner that can do a thorough analysis for you before taking them.

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