Notes from the Publisher

August 16, 2008

Funny / Medical Research on Sword Swallowing

JB

HT to YORF for this one.  It appears that medical researchers have begun looking into the side-effects of sword swallowing.  This authors must have been laughing hysterically as they wrote the paper:

We excluded cases in which injury was related to swallowing items other than swords, such as glass, neon tubes, spear guns, or jack hammers.

Ouch.

Some let the sword fall abruptly, a manoeuvre known as "the drop," controlling the fall of the sword with the muscles of the pharynx, and some invite members of the audience to move the sword. 

Shivers.  I don't think I'll take that up as a hobby.

On a more serious note, there was a comment on the paper which I thought was very interesting for medical science:

Having recently undergone an extremely uncomfortable endoscopic exploration of my own oesophagus and stomach I have learned that I have a small hiatus hernia. This perhaps explains why I still have ‘the worst’ acid reflux despite my religious use of esomeprazole 40mg and an array of ‘lifestyle’ measures. I read the sword- swallowing article with great interest especially the discussion on how sword swallowers must train themselves to voluntarily exert control over normally involuntarily controlled sphincters. I wonder if sword swallowers could teach GORD (gastrooesophageal reflux disease) sufferers to control their lower oesophageal sphincter thereby giving themselves relief of sometimes very resistant symptoms? 

Very interesting indeed.