Chan Chi Ying Medical Clinic (陳志英醫館)

Sticking to my promise that is as much about local delicacies as it is to culture and all things tradition, I present to you Chan Chi Ying Medical Clinic (陳志英醫館) on Lockhart Road in Wanchai-borderline-Causeway Bay (under the bridge, next to OK convenient store). This place has been around for over 40 years now I think …

I sprained my left ankle recently (playing tennis … I know, so lame) and my parents recommended that I visit this “clinic” to have the folks there slap on some Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM), which is basically a bunch of herbs and spices mixed together and its supposed to heal any injury. We call it “铁打” (“Teet Da” in Cantonese) which roughly translate into … err “invincibility”? haha … okay, it literally translate into “Metal” and “Hit” so you figure it out. I think stunt doubles would live by these forms of healing whenever they smash through brick walls and free-fall down 20 storey buildings back in the heydays of Hong Kong’s kung-fu film industry (think Bruce Lee, early day Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Jet Li, etc.)

Between the 1950’s to 1980’s … everyone who injures themselves in Hong Kong would visit one of these clinics and its suppose to heal all … burns, sprains, headaches, old injuries, broken tendons, broken bones (yes even broken bones) … you name it. But with the introduction of Western sciences and medicine, these places are now slowly becoming obsolete. People still go … I mean, the place is packed sometimes, but I think people tend to go for the Western methods.

Anyway, back to the herbs and spices … no one really knows what’s in it because its supposed to be a closely-guarded secret. With every visit, you’ll have to wait about 1-2 hours. Once its your turn, they look at the injury and would place a really hot bag of TCM on the affected area … rub it around for a couple minutes before they put on the real deal – the secret sauce I was just telling you about. Normally, it is recommended that you leave the medicine on for at least 10-12 hours before you take it off. One visit to look at the ankle cost about HK$ 280 where they spend about 10 minutes on you.

Here’s what it looks like inside the clinic. See the picture of Chan Chi Ying on the top right of the photo below? The master is no longer with us, and the folks running the shop are apprentices of the late Mr. Chan … apparently, its really not the same without the master.

Chan Chi Ying Medical Clinic (陳志英醫館) 1

Chan Chi Ying Medical Clinic (陳志英醫館) 1

Bring newspaper or magazines with you if you’re going there … and prepare to wait a long time.

Chan Chi Ying Medical Clinic (陳志英醫館) 2

Chan Chi Ying Medical Clinic (陳志英醫館) 2

Would I recommend this place? Hmm, I doubt it.

In retrospect, I actually didn’t think it helped that much, other than the fact that the “secret ingredient” helped prevent my foot from swelling too much. But after the 4th visit, I started getting some ugly reaction (read: rash) to the stuff and I stopped going. Nothing like some good setamol and RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation).

The days of genuine 铁打 are over. To be fair though, they do sell this medicine oil, which is quite effective for bruises and headaches. Just rub a small amount on the area and keep rubbing … Otherwise, you’re probably better off at a Western clinic if you’ve got a sprained ankle or sth.

Chan Chi Ying Medical Clinic (陳志英醫館)
Lockhart Road near the big bridge


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