Stages Of Injuries and Pain (Part 2)

My arm was trapped by my martial art training partner. I knew I was in trouble if I didn’t tap fast enough to give him a signal.  

Oh no, I didn’t.  

I heard “Pop, pop, pop, pop” in my elbow joint, and I knew I had a ligament / soft tissue injury right away.   

That was seven months ago. Up until 3 months ago, there was still some residual pain.  

Phew, thankfully I am 100% recovered now.  

Pain can be our teacher if we can listen to the message and learn from it.   

I started playing soccer at 6 years old, almost always playing with kids and teenagers who were a few years older, physically strong, and better.  

Bruises, cuts, and, sprained ankles were my battle scars. Thankfully, I did not suffer from any serious injuries and was introduced to Trauma (“Die Da” 跌打) Medicine early in life.

Whenever I was injured, I would go to a Trauma Medicine Doctor right away, not to the emergency room, not to the primary care doctor, or a physical therapist.   

Trauma Medicine Doctors don’t work in hospitals. They work in their own private offices, with aromas infused by freshly grounded herbal powders, cooked herbs, herbal paste, and infused herbal liniments.  

Even though I was injured when I went to the office, I loved going there and talking to the doctor. Partly because I knew I would get better quickly, and partly because I enjoyed learning from the doctor. Little did I know I would end up being a practitioner one day.  

Trauma Medicine has a rich history- it came from different Chinese martial art lineages; Shaolin, Xing Yi, Bak Mei, Hung Kuen, Wu Dong Tai Ji, etc.

Exclusive and secretive knowledge was passed down from one generation to another, fathers to sons, masters to designated disciples, across different lineages.  

“A Tooth From The Tiger’s Mouth” was a saying that was used to describe how difficult it was to learn this healing art from a qualified teacher.  

After my injury in December, I went to one of my teachers Master Chan in Chinatown to get my injury assessed and taken care of properly. He carefully and thoroughly examined my injured arm, and concluded I had some ligament tear and soft tissue damage in the elbow joint.  

While he skillfully manipulated my arm and elbow joint back in alignment to facilitate healing, his wife was cooking fresh herbs to make herbal paste and poultice for me. They reassured me I would recover 100% with proper rest and rehabilitation.  

Immediately after the treatment, I didn’t feel any pain for the rest of the day. (I felt some pain on subsequent days though)

By day 3, I was back on the training mat. By week 2, I was sparring with a partner again, with one arm. 

I will explain my thoughts on rehabilitation in the next newsletter.   

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