Australian police are investigating a seven-year-old boy's death who died after attending a "slapping therapy" workshop conducted by a Chinese therapist. Aidan Fenton was getting treatment from the alternative Chinese medicine workshop at the Tasly Healthpac Center in Hurstville when he died on April 27.
Police have spoken to a Chinese therapist, Hongchi Xiao, who advocates the use of slapping therapy until patients are bruised to cure illnesses and rid the body of poisons. Hongchi has left the country.
According to police reports, Hongchi has claimed participants in the seminar were asked to fast for three days and to undertake the slapping and stretching exercises that can prompt vomiting and dizzy spells, known as a "healing crisis".
Hongchi said Aidan looked well during the seminar and had eaten rice but became ill on Monday evening.
Police and paramedics were called to the nearby Hurstville Ritz Hotel where Aidan had been staying with his parents after the little boy was found unconscious. His heart stopped beating on the way to the hospital.
Police are now investigating if the "healer" advised his parents to take Aidan off insulin and instead encouraged alternative therapies to treat him, including massages and slapping.