Controversial Slapping Therapy Leaves Practitioners Covered in Bruises

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.”


Photo: Paidalajin

Calling western medicine “concentrated pollution” and “poison”, Hongchi says that he is able to diagnose people’s illnesses by simply stretching their legs. He also dispenses seemingly absurd theories about diseases, like that women suffer from breast cancer due to unhappy marriages. “If they are dearly loved and if the answer is yes then you will never have this kind of problems,” he said. “The tumor in the womb or the breast, you would never have that normally. It’s always from your heart you get confused you get frustrated you get troubled.”

Hongchi’s website carries all sorts of outrageous claims about the effectiveness of his therapy. It says that he completely cured an eight-year-old boy with severe kidney disease. “I have treated 250 men with prostate problems, every single one of them has had great success,” he said in a demonstrative video. “How to judge them? Normally they get up at night at least four times – after doing this they get up one time.”


While Hongchi appears to believe strongly in his healing powers, he also advocates that people begin self-healing by slapping themselves. Only two years after he began to study Chinese medicine, at age 44, Hongchi wrote a best-selling book about self-healing through slapping. There’s also a bizarre video in which he teaches people how to heal themselves by slapping their heads.

Unfortunately, in spite of his strong beliefs, Hongchi’s therapy did appear to backfire when it resulted in the death of a seven-year-old child. The incident took place in Sydney, where Lily and Geoff Fenton took their diabetic son Aidan to Hongchi’s seminar at the Ritz Hotel in Hurtsville. The parents were advised not to give the boy any food for 72 hours, while he was undergoing the slapping therapy at the workshop.


Photo: video caption

The parents complied, but the boy ended up retching during the session. Later, Aidan was found unconscious in his hotel room. His parents’ screams drew the attention of the hotel staff, who called emergency services.

“At about 9.50pm on Monday April 28 emergency services were called to a hotel in Hurstville after a family member found a seven-year-old boy in an unconscious state,” a police spokesperson said. “The ambulance paramedics performed CPR on the boy, however he was pronounced dead at the scene.”


Photo: Facebook

The police are now waiting for the results of the post-mortem test to determine the cause of death. “Police are continuing to interview witnesses and the matter will ultimately be handed to the coroner for ruling,” the spokesperson added.

Australian man Ben James, who believes paida lajin, expressed shock over the incident. “I’m pretty shocked to hear about this happening, and my heartfelt condolences to the family for their loss,” he said. James regularly practices stretching and slapping himself, and says that it “instantly relieved” his back pain. But he admitted that he does not fully understand the science behind it.


Photo: Lajin Paida Deutschland

“It is tough. It’s not for everyone,” he said. “It basically starts the circulation. If you already have some medical issue or condition, you should take it to a doctor and get professional advice. I would say it’s more like a yoga teacher who shows you the positions, and you go home and do it at home.”

Meanwhile, Hongchi has left Australia and is getting ready for his next workshop this month in Germany. He has not commented on the death of Aidan so far.


Sources: Daily Mail, The Sydney Morning Herald