Sensible advice for aches, pains & injuries


The smell could almost be heard 

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on are updated regularly over the years.

“The smell could almost be heard.”

That image refers to a child’s rotting leg — rotting because of the incompetence of traditional Chinese medicine, as described in The Reality of Ancient Wisdom, by Dr. Harriet Hall.

This article is essential, morbidly fascinating reading. I didn’t think I could get any more cynical about ancient folk medicine. I was wrong! Dr. Hall packages up a few excerpts from an old book by a physician working in China in the late 19th Century. His matter-of-fact reports of the actual medical habits of the Chinese at that time are chilling, and a harsh reminder that traditional Chinese medicine was not wise and profound, but rather cringe-inducingly horrible, just as brutal and bizarre as any pre-scientific European “medicine.” In particular, the stories concerning acupuncture expose a mess of superstitious and vicious excess. Bloodletting was the tip of the iceberg. Little wisdom is possible in a state of profound ignorance.
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