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Body World of Acupuncture

Rotator Cuff in Archery

Image © Steve & Michelle Gerdes [flickr.com/smgerdes] under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you get a chance to visit a Body Worlds exhibition, it will not only fascinate but also instruct you on body mechanics and the concept of referred pain syndromes.

These are real cadavers, without the formaldehyde smell. It is not postmodern art, but postmortem—lifeless bodies in beautiful athletic pose, as if reanimated. This is where body mechanics is visualized, where you can see the connections beneath the skin.

Shown here is a female archer after the release of a drawn arrow. It is a good demonstration of a repetitive motion that can not only cause a rotator cuff injury but also referred pain that can mislead into thoughts of either a deltoid or arm strain/tear.

Referred pain can be due to a transfer of abnormal forces along connective tissue planes (confounding with adjacent muscles), nerve impingent (confusing pain signals along the length of a nerve), and/or to a tendency to look at the surface (where outer-layer muscle groups may obscure the injured muscle beneath). [click to continue…]


Hong Kong Shift

Cultural Paradigm

Image © Carmen Kong [flickr.com/bitterlysweet] under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Keeping abreast of global trends in Chinese medicine is informative. For one realizes that the adoption of medical currents is not only influenced by scientific query but also culture.

The cultural influence is quite evident in Hong Kong. One may assume that Chinese medicine has enjoyed continuous acceptance there, since it is technically part of China. However, it is a “Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China,” and was under British rule for 156 years until 1997. The 20th century geopolitical climate of Hong Kong was likely responsible for its still preferential treatment of Western medicine.

Though, since the transfer back to Chinese governance, there has been greater momentum towards the use of Chinese medicine. It is becoming an emergent shift, as the ageing population is increasingly presenting with chronic diseases that Western medicine has had difficulty in managing.

The crest of this shifting tide is evident in Hong Kong Baptist University’s endeavor to open the city’s first Chinese medicine hospital.