Physical Therapy, Chinese-style I had

Physical Therapy, Chinese-style

I had to go to the hospital today to start physical therapy on my shoulder, which has been giving me grief for months now. The x-rays showed a chronic inflammation, similar to (if not the same as) tendonitis. The pain has become excruciating whenever I type or use chopsticks. Imagine what this means to a person who basically lives to eat and write.

This is a Chinese hospital, and the “physical therapy” has aroused my deepest suspicions. There is this gigantic contraption with leather straps that they wrap around my upper arm, and then they bombard my shoulder with jolts of electricity for half an hour. This ancient machine looks like it’s right out of a Boris Karloff movie (“It’s alive — ALIVE!”) and I have to wonder whether it offers any therapeutic benefit aside from titillating the stooped-over old man in the shabby white uniform who administers the jolts.

No, you haven’t seen China until you’ve enjoyed physical therapy here. It’ll be interesting to see if these jolts actually accomplish anything. I’ve gone three times now and so far nothing except bewilderment on my part.

The latest patient steps out of the Physical Therapy ward….

The Discussion: 4 Comments

Update, nearly one year later: It actually did start to help after about a month, but then in April I took a big fall and ripped my right shoulder’s tendons to shreds. Tragic; now it’s questionable whether my shoulder can ever be repaired…. Shit.

January 11, 2004 @ 2:22 pm | Comment

Dear Richard,

I am going to china to manufacture my Posture Pal cushion. Could you direct me to physical therapists and chiropractors.


April 10, 2005 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

I have been away too long. Just go to one of my recent posts and ask about it in a comment, and people in China will see it and hopefully reply. Just start by saying: Off-topic question…

April 10, 2005 @ 5:10 pm | Comment

Hi, i’m a physical therapist here in Canada…interested maybe in going to china to work…in this field.
Do you know any respectable hospitals in eg..beijing or anywhere else where evidenced based physical therapy is practiced…not wonky stuff?
Or do u know where I can look?


September 19, 2005 @ 12:17 am | Comment

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