Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Buddhists At Risk for Repetitive Strain Injury

Chicago, IL

The American Medical Association warns that certain religious practices, particularly common among Buddhists, may be dangerous to your health.  After seeing a drastic increase in Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) since the 1980's, one medical researcher believes he has identified the most likely risk factor. 

"The statistics are astonishing," reports Nahtu Bright, M.D., PhD., author of "You Pray, You Pay,"  published in this months's Journal of the American Medical Association.  "In the 1980's, RSI was virtually unheard of.  Now, an estimated 7% of Americans suffer from it.  So, I said to myself, 'Nahtu, what major changes have taken place in American culture over the past few decades?  Then it hit me!  There has been a surge in the number of Americans practicing Eastern religions.

Bright's article posits that American bodies just are not limber enough for the kinds of devotional practices common in the East.  "We Americans are generally very stiff and brittle.  I believe we would be better off with more harmless activities such as watching television, or at most, playing miniature golf."             
Critics of Bright's theory argue that it is obvious that increased computer usage since the 90's has caused the significant rise in RSI.  "Beyond obvious, actually," says colleague Karuna Nogelmeyer, MD, PhD, Bright's most vocal opponent.  "People are suffering from RSI because of heavy computer usage, nothing more."
"Karuna is a hypocrite!," argues Bright.  "She herself has carpal tunnel syndrome from years of counting mantras!  She is worse than one of those anti-gay Republican Congressmen who gets caught in the men's bathroom with their pants down."
Bright warns that Catholics and Muslims should not sit back and imagine they are immune to the implications of his theory.  "Go ahead and perform your prostrations," he urges, "but stretch for at least five minutes before and five minutes after.  If you are going to use Rosary beads, please include a prayer for healthy joints in your daily supplications."
Written by Diana Shapiro
Photo of mala courtesy of
Photo of prostrations courtesy of

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