Chinese fire therapy | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 05, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Chinese fire therapy

Chinese fire therapy

A therapist pours alcohol over a patient and sets him alight -- for some in China, playing with fire is a treatment for illness.
So-called "fire therapy", which proponents claim can cure stress, indigestion, infertility and even cancer, has been used for hundreds of years and recently garnered a blaze of attention in Chinese media.
There is no orthodox medical evidence that it is effective, a fact that matters little to one of China's most prominent fire therapists.
"Fire therapy is the fourth revolution in human history... it surpasses both Chinese and Western medicine," said Zhang Fenghao, who trains students at a dingy apartment in Beijing and charges around $48 per hour for treatment.
He applied a herbal paste to a patient's back, covered it with a towel and poured on water and a 95 percent rubbing alcohol, adding proudly: "Using this method, patients can avoid operations."
Many in China cannot afford expensive treatment for chronic ailments, sparking demand for cheaper alternative therapies. However, several long-term studies of that supposed therapy have found little evidence of any effectiveness.

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