An old woman from Harbin, China, has almost gone blind after enduring numerous beatings as a form of therapy. The simple-minded lady actually believed that by getting hit in the head and other parts of her body would actually improved her health.
The woman, known only by her surname – Bao – started attending “punching therapy” sessions in 2011, at the recommendation of a therapist from the “Natural Shock Health Club.” Somehow, receiving heavy blows to the head, eyes and body didn’t convince Bao that the treatment was a seriously bad idea, so she kept attending the painful one-hour sessions twice or three times a week. She was apparently convinced that getting hit repeatedly could cure all illnesses, although anyone with a bit of common sense would probably realize the beatings would only cause illnesses, not cure them.
After enduring punching therapy about 160 times in 18 months, Bao started noticing that not only was the bizarre treatment not curing her health problems, but it was also affecting her vision. After receiving hard blows to the head and eyes, the woman found that she couldn’t see clearly out of her right eye. She apparently informed her Natural Shock Health Club therapist, who reassured her that it was a “normal reaction” of her body and that it would go away eventually. So she kept playing punching bag in the name of health, only her sight gradually got worse. She could barely see anything with her right eye, and after visiting an eye doctor, she was diagnosed with cataracts.
At this point, you would think anyone would not only stop attending the dubious beating sessions, but also give the therapist that convinced them to do it in the first place a taste of punching therapy. Not Bao, though… She confronted the Natural Shock Health Club about her eyesight problem, and he somehow persuaded her to continue with punching therapy, as it would help cure her cataracts. It wasn’t until she could barely see with her left eye as well that she finally decided she had had enough of punching therapy.
Bao sued the “health” club, blaming it for her eyesight problems, and, according to Tencent, the court found evidence that her cataracts were indeed a result of hundreds of hours of beatings. The club was required to pay the woman 100,000 yuan ($15,000) in compensation.
Shanghaiist reports that Weibo users were dumbfounded by the woman’s blind faith in a treatment that was obviously causing her serious health problems, not curing them. “How did the health club manage to persuade the woman, the eloquence is impressive,” one person asked. “This woman really is simple-minded. I don’t think any sane person would ever believe in ‘punching therapy,” another wrote.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is very popular in China, and while some, like Tai Chi and acupuncture, have proven truly beneficial to practioners’ health, most are dubious at best. Just a few days ago we wrote about elderly and middle-aged women in Xi’an city lying on hot rocks under the scorching sun to improve their health. Before that we also wrote about China’s Urine Therapy Association, members of which regularly drink their own urine, and Fire Facials, a strange beauty treatment that involves balls of fire placed on the eyes. And let’s not forget the controversial paida lajin, the slapping therapy that leaves practitioners covered in bruises.