Chinese medicine is mostly based on some simple truths of human body. It advocates that disease prevention and treatment can be as simple as clearing meridians (the body's energy fields) and expelling toxins and waste in the body.
Paida and Lajin (pronounced 'pie-dah' and 'lah-gin') are two ancient Chinese medicine techniques. Paida (slapping) and Lajin (stretching/pulling the ligaments or tendons of the body) are the most direct methods in this regard, which is believed to activate the body's self-healing power by stimulating and cleansing the body's meridian system. This method is believed to be beneficial for daily health preservation and to relieve the agony of diseases and pains.
AdvertisementBBC news has recently reported that Xiao Hongchi, a Chinese therapist, who promoted the controversial "self-healing" paida lajin method is now at the center of controversy after an unexplained death of a seven year old boy in Sydney, Australia, who had earlier attended one of his workshops. This boy named Aidan Fenton, had type 1 diabetes, and police believe he may have stopped taking insulin based on the advice of Xiao.
In the workshops conducted by Xiao, participants reportedly slap various parts of their body, including the joint areas and the head, until their skin turns red or starts looking bruised. Xiao believes that repeatedly slapping one part of the body builds up heat, causing blood vessels to expand, and draws out "sha", which is the toxin that is built up in the body. However, critics say that this method of healing could only lead to bruising of the skin and broken blood vessels.
Xiao's book entitled The World of Medicine: The Paida Lajin Self-Healing Method, which was published in 2009, was reportedly very popular. Xiao's workshops have been attended by hundreds of people in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and recently even in India, US, Germany and Australia.
Even though Xiao's website is filled with many testimonials from parents who have successfully used his slapping techniques in their children to cure them of various ailments, critics firmly believe that Xiao's method of healing has no scientific basis and is now in a big controversy or dispute. Another of Xiao's group slapping games for children with autism, wherein children hit one another on their limbs, head, hands and feet is also under the scanner.
In April 2011, Xiao was fined NT$50,000 (Ł1,060, $1,600) by Taiwan for making claims that diabetic patients did not need medication and could be cured with paida lajin. China and Taiwan are now questioning and debunking Xiao's method, arguing that his method is not part of traditional Chinese medicine.
While this self-healing technique may have shown positive results in many individuals, health experts believe that few randomized, double blind and controlled trials are essential to justify the effectiveness of this method.