Friday, September 07, 2007
NEW HEALTH BREAKTHROUGH: Air-Conditioning Leads to Back Pain
You may be asking yourself:
Air-Conditioning? Back Pain? What does one have to do with the other? They're not related!

Well, you'd be wrong. According to my newest acquaintance - a (mostly) blind Chinese "an moi" masseur - they ARE related. And if he said it, then it MUST be true.

While getting a company-sponsored massage to work out the kinks and muscle tightness from my bicycle accident a couple days ago (What does YOUR company do for YOU?), the masseur said just that. He found a knot in one back muscle just inside my right scapula and apparently deduced from this that I have a love for air conditioning (oh, do I ever...).

"The Chinese understand balance and know how to engineer natural ventilation of their homes," he began. "Often, foreigners don't get this. They use air conditioning to control the temperature of the home. That's what causes this difficult type of muscle knot."

Really? If anything, I would've guessed it would be the horribly contorted way I sleep, the stiff office chair I sit in nine hours a day, getting thrown from my bike just a few short days before, or cycling an hour and a half every day through stressful Beijing traffic. But air conditioning? He definitely got me on that one. I would never have guessed.

He also kept telling me how strong my muscles were and repeatedly asked me if I was a swimmer. Which I will choose to take as a compliment. Despite the fact that, in reality, it probably translates as, "you're husky for a girl and built larger than most men I've encountered."

Which, all things considered, is probably true. I don't know if that says more about me or Chinese men. I'll let you decide.
posted by Rachel @ 12:23 PM  
THE WILD WILD EAST: Everything you never knew you didn't know about life on the other side.
In China, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The Chinese, who call this land "home," and the expats who migrate here. My name is Rachel. I am an expat. These are my stories.
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