A number of mysterious therapies have surfaced in recent years as people have strayed from the typical herbal remedies and cupping procedures to seek out alternative “cure-all” treatments. We’ve taken a look at some of the more baffling out-of-the-box remedies across China that have proven, for the most part, to be pretty ineffective.
1. Urine therapy
On August 8, 2004, around 30 elderly folk gathered at a hotel in Guangzhou to share their experiences in urine drinking and toasted one another with a fresh glass of the stuff.
Since then, it’s been reported that chugging down one’s own urine could cure illnesses such as hyperthyroidism. Founded in Hong Kong in 2008, the China Urine Therapy Association claims to have gathered more than 100,000 followers who’ve turned to urine therapy, even though medical experts pointed out that the practice is likely more harmful than effective.
These two people claim to have been using urine therapy for over 10 years and swear by it (June 24, 2014 in Chongqing).
2. Ant-eating therapy
In 2001, a Hangzhou hotel hosted a free event for live ant tasting, inviting “experts” from ant farms to demonstrate ant-eating to the public. Claiming that the critters are rich in protein, the eating of ants is believed to have anti-aging effects.
3. Fire therapy
It’s believed that fire therapy has various advantages, including stimulating blood circulation. In 2005, authorities issued a notice regarding the management of Chinese medicine massage, Gua sha (scraping sha-bruises), cupping and so on. Fire therapy, somehow, was not mentioned.
Apitherapy, a folk therapy using bee venom, is claimed to be effective in curing rheumatism, arthritis, migraine headaches, stomach pains, high blood cholesterol and other ailments, although the state has not approved Apitherapy as a useful Chinese medical treatment. Experts say the biggest risk is allergies, which could be deadly. This picture taken in August 2013 shows a very unpleasant-looking patient in Beijing undergoing the treatment.
5. Sand therapy
On 30 October, 2013 a new health concept called “Western Yusha (sand) therapy” was introduced in Nanjing. The idea is basically to bury your body in sand until you begin to sweat. The treatment claims to be a combination of “magnetic therapy”, “hyperthermia”, “light therapy” and “massage”. On the plus side, you could probably go to the nearest beach and do it for free.
6. Plant therapy
On July 12, 2008, the summer that Beijing hosted the Olympic games, an artist drew an Olympic Fuwa (the mascot of the games) on the back of two women with the essence of flowers and grass. The artist said that the plant “juice” had skin revitalizing effects.
7. “Stretch and Beat therapy”
On April 11, 2011, Xiao Hong-ci, the author of a book introducing the idea of muscle-stretching and body-slapping, spoke at a press conference in Taipei to boast benefits of the therapy that he said could cure hundreds of diseases. Since 2009, the “stretch and beat therapy” has become increasingly popular in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Guangzhou and other cities that offer lessons, workshops and books promoting the treatment.
8. Green bean therapy
In 2010, “miracle doctor” Zhang Wu promoted the idea in his best-selling book that by simply eating green beans, one could cure diseases of all sorts. Ironically, in February 2014, Zhang was diagnosed with cerebral infarction. In an interview, he admitted that his green beat diet wasn’t working and had to cease the treatment.
9. “Electricity” treatment
Li Yi, who was dubbed a “fairy priest”, claimed he had found a way to “master 220 volt electricity,” allowing him to cure patients’ cancer with electrical current. A paraplegic patient of his was able to have conscious control of the body after the treatment, and medical experts have strongly questioned it.
10. “Holy water” therapy
Images from October 5, 2012 show nearly a hundred people fighting over the so-called “holy water” from a creek in Zhejiang. It was believed by residents that the water could cure ailments, although medical tests showed that it was no more special than the tap water in their kitchen.
11. Dietary supplement therapy
On December 5, 2005, a group of businessmen visited a remote village in Hunan, boasting a health care supplement which they claimed could cure illnesses. One of the buyers happily showed off her “achievement”, which cost her 160 yuan, although she was completely unaware that the supplements had a value of only 10 yuan.
Not only are they overpriced and ineffective, sometimes the supplements can prove dangerous. Earlier this month, supplements meant to treat cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases were blacklisted after they were found to have damaging impurities inside the liquid.
Images Via News QQ
By Christy Mak