Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bruce Lee died of koro (or penis retraction)?

When martial arts expert and movie star Bruce Lee died in 1973 after having had sex with Taiwanese actress, Betty Tingpei, speculation was rife among some traditional physicans in Hong Kong that Lee had died of koro! Koro refers to the retraction of the penis into the abdomen which causes death, and is termed "shuk yang" in Mandarin.

Wikipedia explains: "Traditional Chinese recognised koro as a sexual disease and classified it into two categories, namely 'cold conglomeration in liver' and 'depletion of kidney's yang'. " Western medical science, however, has dismissed koro as a mental disorder, or just a delusion by the patient that his penis is shrinking.

According to Chinese superstition, the following activities can cause koro:

--Drinking excessive cold water after sex
--Excessive oral sex
--Excesssive masterbation
--Exposure to cold wind after sex

Sheer baloney? In 1834, traditional physician, Pao Sian-ow, wrote in his book New Collection of Remedies of Value: "..this arises when after a fever, this poisonous heat remains in the sperm and the marrow, and can not be discharged. If intercourse is performed with a healthy person, the illness of the man will be passed on the woman, and vice versa, hence it is called Yin-Yan trasposition. The patient feels heavy and short of breath, the lower abdomen is tense, the genitalia may be affected by spasm and retraction, that heat rises in the chest, the head is too heavy to be lifted up, the eyes are blurred and the knees and calves are tight.”

In Chapter 14, the author identified cold as one of the causes of koro. He wrote: "...after an intercourse between the male and female, may be arising of exposure to wind and cold, or the ingestion of raw and cold food, the result is pain in the abdomen, the scrotum in the male or the nipples in the female are retracted.”


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