[Pixs of models for illustration only]
“What’s wrong with you?” Master Mah (pix above) asks.
Chow Kah rests his hand on the tiny pillow on Master Mah’s desk. “My hands and feet are cold. My knees feel tired for no apparent reason.”
“Any idea how this condition happened?”
“Earlier this afternoon I was in a spa.” Chow Kah flicks his gaze down at the desk for a moment. “After the massage, I dunked in the jacuzzi and cold pool. A few hours later, I started to feel unwell.”
Master Mah feels Chow Kah’s pulse. “Was it a naughty session?”
Chow Kah’s face turns red. “Naughty?”
“Did you have sex?”
“Er, yes, then I drank cold beer – three bottles -- and took a dip in the cold pool.” Chow Kah heaves a sigh. “The weather’s hot so I stayed in the pool for more than an hour.”
“Be careful of what you do after sex.” Master Mah casts Chow Kah a stony expression. “You might have died of koro. That’s retraction of the penis into the abdomen, also called shuk yang. I'm serious, the result can be fatal. Luckily, you only caught a bad chill."
“Come on, that’s old superstition isn’t it?”
“No, Bruce Lee died of koro, didn’t you know that? The poor guy collapsed in Betty Ting’s apartment after a wild night of sex with her. The cause of Lee's death was the topic of gossip among the traditional physicians in Hong Kong.”
“Causes of koro?”
“Drinking excessive cold water after sex, excessive oral sex, sudden exposure to cold wind after sex. In your case, dipping in cold water after sex.” Master Mah pulls out a drawer, takes out a thick book and flips to a certain page. “Please read this.” He hands the book to Chow Kah, picks up a pen and starts to write a herbal prescription on a pad.
Chow Kah holds the book in his hands and reads mentally: “In 1834, traditional physician, Pao Sian-ow, wrote in his book New Collection of Remedies of Value that koro 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 transposition. 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.” Chow Kah looks up at Master Mah for a moment, notices that the sinseh is giving his prescription a once-over, so he continues to read. “In Chapter 14, the author identified cold as one of the causes of koro. He wrote that 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.”
Kah returns the book to Master Mah. “Thank