Controversial Slapping Therapy Leaves Practitioners Covered in Bruises

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A Chinese man is gaining notoriety for trying to cure his patients’ illnesses by literally beating it out of them. Former investment banker and self-styled healer Hongchi Xiao apparently believes that by slapping themselves black and blue, they are getting rid of toxins. But his methods have come under scrutiny ever since the death of a seven-year-old boy who attended his slapping workshop in Sydney.

Hongchi, who claims to have learned the ancient practice of ‘paida lajin’ from a Taoist monk, says that his slaps have cured several medical conditions ranging from diabetes to hypertension. “The slapping and stretching work together to clear the meridians of blocks and help the body get rid of the disease,” he explained. Slapping the body, he said, “builds heat, causing blood vessels to expand, and ‘chi’ to flow strongly. Yang rises, yin melts and long-held toxins and blocks are released.”

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The Man Who Tastes Sounds

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Meet James Wannerton, an Englishman with an incredibly rare ability to taste sound. That might seem absurd, but it is very much a reality for people with a condition called synaesthesia, which causes senses that are usually separate to intermingle.

Even as a young boy, James always experienced an involuntary taste on his tongue every time he heard a sound. Hearing the name Anne Boleyn in History class, for example, gave him a strong flavor of pear drops. He associated most of the British monarchs with a specific taste, making it easy for him to remember facts and events. His word-taste associations always helped him do better in school.

As he grew older, James found that his unique ability helped him in other aspects of life too. His relationships were all too delicious – he chose his companions not because of their looks or personality, but based on how their names felt on his taste buds. His schoolmates often had a strong essence of sliced potatoes and strawberry jam, while his dates’ names tasted like slices of rhubarb and melted wine gums.

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Leukemia Sufferer Roasts Himself on Barbecue-Like Contraption to Kill Cancerous Cells

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25-year-old Jia Binhui, from Yunlong County, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, was diagnosed with blood cancer two years ago. Sadly, he is unable to afford medical treatment, but that hasn’t stopped the resilient young man from trying to get better. In a desperate attempt to rid himself of the cancerous cells plaguing his body, he’s devised an alternate treatment that involves roasting himself in his backyard!

Binhui went through an unsuccessful bone-marrow transplant procedure that cost over $80,000 and was paid for by well-wishers. But, coming from a family of poor farmers, he was unable to afford further hospital treatments.That’s when he heard about the concept of using heat to fight cancer.

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Terminally Ill Man to Have World’s First Full Head Transplant

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A head transplant is something you’re likely to come across in a far-fetched sci fi movie, as in reality, as most doctors would tell you, it is medically impossible. But a Russian man suffering from a fatal condition is willing to put his faith in the dubious procedure. In a desperate attempt to gain a new, healthy body, he’s teaming up with controversial surgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero, who claims he can cut off the man’s head and attach it on another body!

30-year-old Valeri Spiridonov has suffered all his life from Werdnig-Hoffman muscle wasting disease, a rare genetic disorder. Tragically, the disease has worsened every single day, ever since he was diagnosed with it at age one. “My muscles stopped any development in childhood,” he told the media. “Because of this, they do not grow and the skeleton gets deformed. The back muscles cannot support the skeleton.”

“I can hardly control my body now,” he added. “I need help every day, every minute. I am now 30 years old, although people rarely live to more than 20 with this disease.” Having suffered for almost three decades, Spiridonov says he now wants a chance at a new body before he dies irrespective of the risks involved. So when he heard about Canavero’s research on head transplants, he decided that he was willing to give it a shot.

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Woman Finds Kidney Donor with Message on Car Window

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When 24-year-old Christine Royles was diagnosed with failing kidneys early last year, she had to join a waiting list of over 100,000 people in the US who needed kidney transplants. When she learned that over 4,000 people die each year just waiting for their turn, she decided to take matters in her own hands. And miraculously, she found a donor all by herself – through a simple message she posted on her car window!

“I saw a story about this old man in a different state who was asking for a kidney for his wife,” the South Portland resident said. “He stood on the side of the road with a sign.” Inspired by the idea, she decided to take it to the next level – instead of standing on the road, she turned her car into a rolling billboard. “Looking for someone to donate me their kidney. Must have type O blood,” her sign read, along with her phone number.

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Nepalese “God of Sight” Has Restored Sight to 100,000 People Around the World with Simple Five-Minute Procedure

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Nepalese eye doctor Sanduk Ruit is being hailed as a miracle worker – he has single-handedly managed to restore the eyesight of over 100,000 people across two continents. All it takes him is a simple, five-minute procedure!

According to WHO statistics, 90 percent of the world’s blind population live in low-income areas, and 80 percent suffer from easily treatable conditions. But because of poverty and limited access to public health services, they are unable to seek treatment. Sanduk Ruit, driven by a belief that the world’s poorest people deserve high-quality eye care, has made it his life’s mission to treat such people. So he devised a quick five-minute technique that enables large droves of patients to be treated in a short period of time.

His genius technique involves making a small incision in the patient’s eye through which the cloudy cataract impairing the vision is removed. He then replaces it with an inexpensive artificial lens. He offers this surgery to scores of poor patients all over the world, and also teaches it to countless eye surgeons in the hope of curing as many blind people as possible.

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Taiwanese Man Left with Almost No Memory Keeps Notes of Everything So He Doesn’t Forget Who He Is

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Chen Hongzhi, from Hsinchu county, in north-western Taiwan, suffers from a unique condition – he can’t remember anything for more than five minutes. The 25-year-old literally has to start his life from scratch every day. So he writes down every single thing about himself in a diary, in order to keep track of everything that goes on around him.

Hongzhi’s amnesia is the result of a serious head injury sustained during a car accident when he was 17 years old. After spending months in intensive care, his body finally recovered but the span of his memory was reduced to only five minutes. This means that he continually forgets pretty much everything that has happened between five and ten minutes ago.

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Healthy Man Refuses to Leave His Hospital Bed for Three Years

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While most people would love not to spend a single day of their lives in a hospital, one 55-year-old man in China refused to leave the hospital for three whole years, despite being healthy! When a Beijing court finally ordered him to leave, he chained himself down to his bed in refusal. The police finally had to intervene; they cut the locks and hauled a struggling man out of the building.

It all started in August 2011, when Mr. Chen was admitted to Beijing Jingmei Group Hospital to receive treatment for minor injuries he had sustained during an accident. He remained in the hospital for a month before going home, only to return a couple of months later complaining of leg pains.

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Rare Condition Leaves 19-Year-Old Girl Looking Like a Preschooler

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This little girl from Huzhu, China’s Sichuan Province, looks like an ordinary preschooler. Except she is actually 19 years old! Zeng Yushan apparently suffers from a rare medical condition that caused her to stop growing at the age of seven.

When she was seven years old, Zeng was diagnosed with a tumor on her pituitary gland, which caused a deficiency in growth hormones. While the condition is treatable, her parents unfortunately couldn’t afford it. Instead, they fought bitterly and divorced, leaving Zeng in the care of her father Yul Wei.

Shortly after the divorce, Yul was also diagnosed with a serious illness. Unable to pay for either of their medical bills, the father and daughter duo were forced to beg on the streets. They frequently traveled from their home to the cities of Zigong, Chengdu, and Guiyang, in the hope that Zeng’s unusual appearance would earn them some cash.

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Getting Your Legs Broken for a Few Extra Inches – A Growing Trend in the World of Cosmetic Surgery

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Limb-lengthening operations are a growing trend in the field of cosmetic surgery. The procedure is generally viewed as a godsend for people whose short stature affects their lives and psychological well-being, as the operations can add a good two to three inches to their height, but they do come at a cost. Not only are they ridiculously expensive, but they also involve having your legs broken!

The painful surgery was once reserved for people with dwarfism or children with uneven limb length. But now it seems that men and women with below-average height are willing to brave the torment for purely cosmetic reasons. The arduous and prolonged procedure begins with a doctor breaking the patient’s shin bones and inserting a telescopic rod into them. Over time, as the bones heal, the rod pulls the bones apart gradually – approximately one millimeter per day. As the bone is stretched, new bone, nerves, arteries, and skin grow to fill in the gap. The process is complete in about three months time, adding two to three inches to overall height. After this, the patient would need several months of physiotherapy to recover completely.

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21-Year-Old Girl Suffering from Cerebral Palsy Writes Fiction Novel Using Only Her Left Leg

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Typing with one hand when the other one is occupied can be a real pain, so imagine having to type with just one foot. It’s got to be a nightmare, but 21-year-old  Hu Huiyuan from China’s Anhui province is using her only functional foot  to write not just a few sentences, but an entire fiction novel!

Born prematurely, Hu was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was only 10 months old. This left her permanently paralyzed – the only parts of her body she can move are her head and left foot. As she grew older, she learned how to perform everyday tasks using her foot.

Despite not having received formal education, Hu is surprisingly well-spoken. Over the years, with the help of her mother, she taught herself to read and write. “I’m not a genius, but I’m very focused,” she said, modestly. “When I watched TV in my childhood, I often learned words with subtitles.”

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Hospital Creates Fake Bar to Test New Anti-Drinking Drug

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Believe it or not, the hospital at National Institutes of Health in Washington now has a fully stocked bar! Well, don’t worry, the bar is fake and all the bottles are actually filled with colored water. The whole setup is a part of an experiment to test the effectiveness of a new anti-drinking drug. The dimly lit replica bar is designed to amplify the alcohol craving of test participants in order to determine if the pill is able to counter the urge to drink.

“The goal is to create almost a real-world environment, but to control it very strictly,” said Dr. Lorenzo Leggio, lead researcher of the project. He revealed that the pill contains a hormone called ghrelin that is believed to increase appetite for food and perhaps inhibit the desire for alcohol.

NIH’s bar lab is one of about a dozen other versions in the US that are focused on experimenting with ghrelin. The hormone is produced by the stomach, and controls appetite via receptors in the brain. Researchers have discovered an overlap between receptors that fuel overeating and those that encourage alcohol cravings in the body. Dr. Leggio is now involved in testing whether blocking ghrelin’s actions also blocks those cravings, using an experimental drug that was originally developed for diabetes but never sold.

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Rare Disorder Leaves 28-Year-Old Woman Looking Like a Grandmother

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Hu Juan, a 28-year-old mother of two from Hunan, China, suffers from a rare condition known as Cutis laxa which has caused the skin on her face and neck to age at an accelerated rate, leaving her looking like a woman in her 60s or 70s.

The young woman’s nightmare began 11 years ago, right after she gave birth to her eldest son. She started noticing that her appearance was changing fast and just six months after giving birth, her youthful looks had deteriorated drastically to the point where she could hardly recognize herself in the mirror. Hu Juan was diagnosed with Cutis laxa, an extremely rare connective tissue disorder that causes the skin to become loose, saggy and wrinkled at a very rapid speed due to loss of elasticity. It has only affected her face and neck, and several medical checkups over the years revealed that she is otherwise  in good health. Hu Juan is the only known Cutis laxa sufferer in China and one of ten worldwide.

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Man Drinks 10 Cans of Coke a Day for Three Months to Show the Harmful Effects of High Levels of Sugar

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50-year-old George Prior wanted to show the world just how harmful Coca-Cola can be to the human body. So he embarked on a special ‘Coke diet’ challenge during which he consumed 10 cans of Coke a day for three months. That’s 35 g of sugar per can, and a total of 350 g of sugar every day, which is the equivalent of 70 sugar cubes. Needless to say, the results were not good.

George’s formerly healthy and muscular physique has now changed drastically. His Coke guzzling habits gave him a pot belly, he lost muscle mass, and his weight shot up from 168 lb to 192 lb. His blood pressure also soared from 129/77 to 145/96 – way above the ideal 120/80. All these alterations to his body have greatly increased the risk of heart disease or stroke.

George also said that he was experiencing intense cravings and feared he was becoming addicted to Coca-Cola. He did try his best to stick to his normal Paleo diet with low carbohydrates, lean meats, vegetables and berries, but he couldn’t shake off the sugar cravings that hit him from time to time. In fact, he found it difficult to eat as much food because all that Coke made him feel full at lunch and dinner times. And the actual drinking was an ‘irritating chore’ because of the constant visits to the restroom and a clutter of cans everywhere.

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Bizarre Condition Causes Woman to Grow Fingernails instead of Hair

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Since 2009, 32-year-old Shanyna Isom has been suffering from a mysterious skin condition that causes fingernails to grow out of the hair follicles all over her body. The mystery illness is so inconceivably strange that even after five years, doctors have no idea what is wrong with her. According to physicians treating her at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center, in Baltimore, Shanyna is the only person in the world suffering from the bizarre disease.

It all started in 2009, when Shanyna – then a law student at the University of Memphis – suffered a massive asthma attack. She went into the emergency room where was given a large dose of steroids. Soon after, she developed an allergic reaction to the steroids, and her skin began to itch uncontrollably. Although she was prescribed Benadryl and other allergy drugs , her condition kept getting worse.

“It was uncontrollable and we didn’t know what it was. Black scabs were coming out of her skin,” Shanyna’s mother Kathy Gary explained. “The nails would grow so long and come out and regrow themselves. They are hard to touch and stick to you.” Soon, her legs started to turn black.

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