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Best Chinese Sports Medicine 

Siu Kee Tang

Wrenched tendon? Sprained wrist? For centuries, Chinese sufferers have sought relief from such injuries by consulting practitioners of Chinese medicine, who specialize in a sub-branch of sports or accident injuries. One of the best clinics, located in Oakland's Chinatown, draws Chinese restaurant workers, high school-soccer players, and the occasional in-the-know Westerner, perhaps fresh from a biking bang-up. Run by a father-son team from Hong Kong, the tiny clinic is essentially a one-room fix-it shop, where the patient sits on a stool and is tended to while other patients waiting their turn look on interestedly. (There is a screened area if the injury requires removing clothing.) After a careful examination of the injured site, Simon Tang, who speaks English, or his Chinese-speaking father, will give a vigorous but careful massage, slapping, pummeling, pressing, jabbing, and rubbing the area of injury. Then an aromatic dark paste of Chinese herbs will be laid across the injury and wrapped with a flexible gauze bandage. The opposite of Western medical practices, which advocate immobilization and painkillers, this Chinese treatment is based on increasing blood flow to the injury to speed healing. Patients queue up (no appointments necessary) and plunk down $35 in cash after a treatment. Expect to return multiple times, depending on the severity of the injury. The real bottom line? It works.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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