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Bone Setting- An Ancient Remedy to Modern Malaise

Bone Setting- An Ancient Remedy to Modern Malaise

Zanolife • Mar 26, 2021


For as long as we have broken bones and succumbed to illness, there have been individuals who have dedicated their lives the bringing aid and healing to those in need. Bone Setting as a medical form has roots across the globe from ancient times.

There is mention of the practise in ancient Egypt, Greece and China as well as elsewhere in Asia, and also in more recent times in the nunneries and monasteries of the British Isles. In many cases, Bone Setters were self-taught with their secrets passed down from generation to generation.

Historically, as their title would suggest, Bone Setters would have gone to the assistance of those with broken bones. In recent times, however, the practise has gravitated towards addressing a far broader array of issues, including joint manipulation or massage for the management of pains, addressing dislocations, soft tissue issues, congenital anomalies and associated complications.

In Hong Kong, Bone Setting is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM); an area of specialty of the overall practise. Historically in the SAR, the healing form has traditionally been a source of remedy for the aches and pains of physical labourers, but more recently has become popular with office workers; those suffering lower back pain and neck issues as a result of extended poor seating posture from long hours in front of the computer.

In Hong Kong the practise of Bone Setting has become formalised with University qualifications and certificates available, but bridging the past with the future is Owen Lee Yin Kwai, a 6th generation bone setter. His path did not begin with the family business, however.

In 1989 he travelled overseas to London to study mime, after first encountering the art form at the Fringe Club in the mid 80s. His heart was set on a career in the arts, however, this dream came to an abrupt end in the early 90s with the loss of his mother to cancer. The loss weighed heavily on his father, who lost his focus on his Traditional Chinese Medical practise. It was at this time that Owen needed to support his father and turned his focus to the family business.

"I saw it as a way to help people", he says.

And with this decision, Owen began a 10-year journey of formal study to become an accredited and qualified Bone Setter in Hong Kong. Prior to this formal study, he had already developed a strong grounding in this traditional method of healing, learning of the practise from his father, who in turn had studied his own father's techniques. As well as seeing more and more white-collar workers with joint and muscle pain, he says he is seeing more and more people developing emotional issues from stressed lives.

Owen primarily works with medical massage and herbal remedies to help people find wellness. Based on the theory of TCM, he says that strong kidneys are connected to good bones, and a strong liver is related to healthy soft tissue.

As well as working with bone setting to help heal people, he also blends other methods into his work to help people relax and de-stress. This includes teaching breathing techniques to help people release tension in the neck and shoulders, as well as to find focus.

"These are exercises that people can do at their desk and in the office, even when they are too busy to do any other form of exercise", he comments, acknowledging the hectic nature of modern life for many people these days.

He not only brings health to others; he also practises what he preaches. Owen makes sure his daily life includes 4 routine aspects, including time spent reading; a decent amount of sleep; a period of meditation and also practising the ancient Chinese form of Qi Gong.

As our discussion with Owen drew to a close and we headed to the door, he told us what he tells all his clients and patients:

"Don’t wait until you get sick to get healthy".

His words resonated as we descended in the elevator and walked out into a hectic Central street scape, filled with individuals; all with their own hidden tensions and stresses.

Lee Yui Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic
Tel booking:2546 8355
e-mail : [email protected]
Address: Rm 902 , Cheong K.Bldg,84-86 Des Voeux Road, Central, HK
Zanolife members could enjoy 10% off for the consultation fee

For more details, please contact [email protected]