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Thread: TCM Fails

  1. #1
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    And then there's this...

    Maybe we should launch a 'TCM Fail' thread.

    Young Chinese actress dies from cancer after choosing traditional Chinese medicine over chemotherapy



    Chinese actress Xu Ting died from cancer on September 7th at the age of 26; however, Chinese netizens are wondering how much of a part traditional Chinese medicine also played in the young woman's tragic death.
    In July, Xu revealed to her 300,000 fans on Weibo that she had been diagosed with lymphoma. "No matter how long I live, I want to enjoy every day happily," Xu wrote in her post.



    In that spirit, Xu decided not to undergo chemotherapy, the typical procedure used to treat lymphoma, reasoning that it would be too painful and could even result in a quicker death, adding that she didn't want to "let chemotherapy torment me to the point where there’s no beauty and talent left," The Nanfang reports.
    Instead, Xu opted for traditional Chinese medicine, conceding that it might not cure her cancer. On July 24th, she posted pictures of herself receiving cupping therapy from a traditional Chinese medicine "master" she had chosen to treat her. In that post, Xu admits that, "frankly, traditional Chinese medicine is also painful."




    Underneath, the Weibo post, Xu's fan's urged her to reconsider, writing that she was being "cheated" and that "the kind of illness [you have] can only be cured by Western medicine, not Chinese medicine."
    Xu received daily TCM sessions that included standard treatments like cupping, acupuncture, back scratching, blood letting and jiusha (揪痧) -- a folk remedy that involves repeatedly pinching the neck, throat and back to increase blood flow.




    However, none of these procedures produced results and Xu grew gradually weaker. According to Sina, Xu's sister became fed up and publicly accused the TCM "master" of being a "fraud." In August, she was able to convince her sister to start chemotherapy.
    Unfortunately, by that time Xu's immune system had become too weakened and it was too late. Her last Weibo post came on August 18th. She talked about the incredible pain she was under and wished that it would go away.




    For critics of traditional Chinese medicine, Xu's death comes as yet another warning of dangerous practices that are based more on superstition than science. TCM's defenders say that the young woman's death can not be blamed on traditional Chinese medicine. After all, she could have just as well have died receiving chemotherapy -- not to mention other kinds of experimental cancer treatments. People's Daily even published an editorial by Dr. Feng Li, Head of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Department at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, who writes that traditional Chinese medicine should not be blamed for Xu's death:
    Is it that TCM is bad at treating tumors? Regardless of whether it’s Western medicine or TCM, malignant tumors are not something that can simply be treated using a single method. They require a synthesized approach, combining both eastern and western methodology.
    For example, while western approaches like radiology, chemotherapy, and surgery are effective in shrinking the tumor. TCM is effective in reducing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, edema, and pain that comes with western treatment. Moreover, after the tumor is under control, TCM helps to repair the immune system, accelerate the body’s recovery, and minimize the chance of the tumor returning. It’s irrational to blindly reject one treatment in complete favor of another. No medical professional would say with certainty that TCM or western medicine is superior. They both have their own advantages and shortcomings. Each case requires specifically tailored treatment according to the stage and pathology.
    Therefore, in treating malignant tumors, solely relying on acupuncture and fire cupping is not enough. It’s not that acupuncture and fire cupping are useless. Rather, the treatment was used on the incorrect area.
    This incident reflects the mindset of some patients when considering treatment options. Some fear the agony and suffering felt by those undergoing chemo and radiation therapy. Out of a psychological fear, they choose to completely pursue the less painful option offered by Traditional Chinese Medicine. Some even feel that TCM has mystical powers, able to cure any illness.
    Additionally, public dissemination of the popular science behind treating tumors is insufficient. After contracting an illness, many feel lost and will desperately seek out any doctor that presents a solution. This is a situation we all need to hereafter avoid and correct.
    I recommend that once patients discover their illness, they go to a regulated, prestigious hospital and seek medical advice. On a national level, there needs to be an increase in regulation and supervision so that patients can receive a standardized level of treatment.
    Throughout her experience with cancer, Xu stayed optimistic and used her platform to help others in need. When fans wrote in with words of encouragement, she redirected them to other cancer patients that she had met that needed more help than her. She also donated money to children suffering from cancer and tried to encourage them to remain positive. "I believe without a doubt that if we can go forward without fear and with optimism and bravery, then we can make a miracle happen," she wrote.



    [Images via Weibo / Shanghai Daily]
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    HIV spread by TCM needles

    I'm guessing they were acupuncture needles, not hypos like pictured.

    At least five patients accidentally infected with HIV at traditional Chinese medicine hospital
    Virus spread through dirty needle use at hospital in China's Zhejiang province, officials say
    Katie Forster @katieforster Thursday 9 February 2017 14:33 GMT


    The patients were reportedly infected when dirty needles were reused at the hospital Blake Patterson / Flickr (bit.ly/1mhaR6e)

    At least five people have been accidentally infected with HIV at a hospital in China after a doctor reused dirty needles during treatment.

    The doctor at the Chinese medicine hospital in the eastern city of Hangzhou is under criminal investigation, according to the local health authority.

    The government statement said a "serious medical incident" had occurred at the Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, reported the South China Morning Post.

    The AIDS-causing virus is believed to have spread when the doctor violated procedure by failing to dispose of syringes after use, transferring the infection from one HIV positive patient to at least five others.

    Internet users in China reacted with shock to the news, stoking long-standing fears HIV could be spread by poor medical practice.

    However, most media reports and social media posts published in Chinese about the incident were swiftly censored, according to AFP.

    The health authority said it had learned of the five infections on 26 January, but did not disclose how many people might have been exposed to the virus in total, or what the original treatments were for.

    The Independent has contacted the large hospital, whose website claims it is "well known nationwide for its longest history and largest scale with the best technical capacity in Zhejiang Province", for comment.

    China had around 500,000 cases of HIV and AIDS at the end of 2014, according to a 2015 UN report, and the Chinese government has announced new efforts to contain the spread of the virus with a five-year plan.

    In 1990, thousands of people contracted HIV amid an infected blood-selling scandal in the central Henan province.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #3
    According to the Chinese reports it wasn't acupuncture needles.

  4. #4
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    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by xinyidizi View Post
    According to the Chinese reports it wasn't acupuncture needles.
    Well then, I stand corrected. Thanks xinyidizi. Do you have more details from the Chinese reports? I didn't bother to dig any further than the post above.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #5
    Not much. They are just firing a bunch of people.

  6. #6
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    Good catch, xinyidizi

    Huangzhou’s Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine. I wonder what the operation was that needed a tube. Bleeding? Maybe it wasn't a TCM hospital after all. Or maybe it was a hybrid that implemented both Western and TCM protocols. Curious...

    CHINESE HOSPITAL INFECTS FIVE PEOPLE WITH HIV BY REUSING EQUIPMENT
    According to the statement, the infected patients will receive compensation.
    BY ELEANOR ROSS ON 2/9/17 AT 7:24 PM

    A Chinese hospital released a statement Thursday announcing that five people had been infected with HIV after a staff member reused medical equipment that should have been thrown away.

    The infection was spread after a tube was used on others that had been used to treat an HIV positive patient, the BBC reports. A statement released by the hospital (in Chinese) declared that five members of staff had been fired as a result of the infection. The incident occurred at Huangzhou’s Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine.

    “One abandoned tube during operating procedures was reused in another operation which caused cross-contamination, resulting in the treatment of HIV infection. This resulted in five cases being diagnosed,” the statement said, acknowledging it as a case of “major medical malpractice.”

    The statement doesn’t mention whether anyone else has been affected, or what patients were being treated for, but it does mention that the infected patients will receive compensation.

    China suffered an AIDS epidemic in 2001 after hospitals conducted faulty blood transfusions in Henan, central China. It’s estimated that 30,000-40,000 people were infected, with many people suffering after receiving blood given by illegal donors and then pooled together. The plasma was removed, and then the blood was reinjected into people so they could keep donating.

    "A provincial-level hospital doesn't follow protocols, who can we trust as average citizens?!", wrote one person on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, according to the BBC.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
    Most hospitals in China have a TCM department. The so called TCM hospitals have a relatively bigger TCM department and have a more integrated approach but nevertheless they are hospitals and western medicine is the primary form of medicine they use.

  8. #8
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    "The AIDS-causing virus is believed to have spread when the doctor violated procedure by failing to dispose of syringes after use, transferring the infection from one HIV positive patient to at least five others."

    Doesn't sound like acupuncture needles were implicated at all. Besides, the likelyhood of cross contamination from acupuncture needles is considered to be miniscule compared to the risk of using dirty syringes, mainly as the filiform design of acupuncture needles leaves virtually no place for contaminants to hide, and most are likely "squeegied" off by the flesh during needle withdrawal.

    h.ox

  9. #9
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    Moxibustion to the 3rd degree

    Raffles is a dumb name for a TCM clinic. I get it though. I've been to Singapore and know the impact of Raffles. It's still a dumb name because it suggests winning something at random, and you don't want your medicine to be random.

    Woman suffers third-degree burns after TCM treatment at Raffles Chinese Medicine


    Ms Tan, who visited Raffles Chinese Medicine in April last year suffered third-degree burns after undergoing moxibustion, which was suggested to her as a new treatment. (Photo: Ms Tan)
    Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/...affles-8914420

    By Jalelah Abu Baker @JalelahCNA
    06 Jun 2017 09:56PM (Updated: 06 Jun 2017 11:55PM)

    SINGAPORE: Hoping to ease the pain in her shoulder, a 54-year-old woman sought Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment at Raffles Chinese Medicine, a unit of Raffles Medical Group.

    Instead, she was left with third-degree burns on her arm and will now receive S$50,000 in damages.

    The woman, a finance and human resources director who wanted to be known only as Ms Tan, said she first visited the clinic early last year. After receiving four or five acupuncture sessions with no improvement to her condition, her physician suggested a treatment called moxibustion in April.

    Moxibustion involves the burning of a spongy herb called mugwort on or near the skin. In Ms Tan's case, a mildly heated container was strapped to her arm and heat-generating bulbs were focused towards her left arm.

    According to court documents, the physician, Jin Jinhua, assured her that the treatment was risk-free.

    THIRD-DEGREE BURNS, PAINFUL BLISTERS

    Recounting the incident, Ms Tan said Ms Jin left the room shortly after setting up the treatment and estimated that she was left alone for about 15 minutes.

    “It was very hot, and I was in pain. I tried to flip the container off but because of the position I was in, I couldn’t. And there was a rattling sound so I was afraid I might accidentally cause the place to catch fire," Ms Tan told Channel NewsAsia.

    When Ms Jin returned, she appeared alarmed that blisters had formed on Ms Tan’s arm, according to court documents.

    Ms Tan said the physician apologised for forgetting to leave a bell behind, in case she needed help. Using an acupuncture needle, Ms Jin burst the blisters and bandaged the area, saying that it was likely to subside.

    Ms Tan said that the pain of the blister was unbearable when she got home. It was swollen with fluid. She called a dermatologist friend who gave her instructions to relieve the pain. She later consulted a plastic surgeon and an aesthetic doctor, and was told that she had suffered third-degree burns. Ms Tan has since spent more than S$4,000 on treatment.

    When Ms Tan approached the clinic unrepresented in September last year, she was offered S$14,400 in compensation by Raffles Chinese Medicine. But she decided to engage lawyer Raj Singh Shergill in October, after reading a newspaper article of a similar case.

    The physician and Ms Tan eventually came to a private settlement of S$50,000 in costs, expenses and damages, which Ms Tan accepted on May 19 this year.

    A spokesman for Raffles Chinese Medicine said: “The settlement agreement was negotiated independently by the physician with the patient directly. As part of the settlement agreement, the patient released Raffles Chinese Medicine from liability.”

    The spokesman added that Raffles Chinese Medicine has protocols in place which are "constantly reinforced" to its physicians.

    According to court documents, Ms Jin had been fined and censured by the TCM Practitioners Board in 2015 for having acted improperly, negligently and beyond her permitted area of expertise. This was when she was working for Raffles Chinese Medicine but continued to be employed by the clinic. Raffles Chinese Medicine said Ms Jin left shortly after the incident last year involving Ms Tan.

    PREVIOUS CASE OF MOXIBUSTION GONE WRONG

    In a separate case of moxibustion treatment gone wrong, a 70-year-old woman suffered third-degree burns on both legs in 2014, after getting the procedure at Annie Tiang TCM Clinic in East Coast Road.

    The patient, Chow See Mui, was also represented by Mr Singh and was awarded S$50,000 in damages.

    Madam Chow, who had minor aches before the treatment, ended up in hospital for a month with a S$95,000 bill, which she managed to claim fully from her insurance company. In her lawsuit, Madam Chow said she felt extreme pain during the TCM treatment but was told to bear with it as the treatment was harmless and that the pain would subside shortly.

    HOW EFFECTIVE IS MOXIBUSTION?

    According to Ms Tjioe Yan Yin, a TCM physician at Nanyang Technological University's Chinese Medicine Clinic, moxibustion - when done right - can relieve pain from ailments such as rheumatism.

    She explained that in direct moxibustion, the dried herb is rolled into the shape of a cone or cylinder and placed on the skin. The end that is not touching the skin is burnt, and the herb needs to be removed before the burning portion touches the skin. In indirect moxibustion, the moxa cone is kept about 3 to 4cm away from the skin to prevent burns.

    "Direct moxibustion will definitely cause burns," said Ms Tjioe. "Some people accept it because they believe that burning stimulates the blood. They expect the burn to recover."

    She added that while indirect moxibustion is widely accepted and used, the direct treatment is not common.

    Nevertheless, Ms Tan said her experience at Raffles Chinese Medicine showed that the public should be "made aware of the high risks of such treatments, even if it is done in a reputable hospital".
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
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    81 TCM product certifications revoked.

    They could've told us which ones...



    China’s Drug Regulator Closes Traditional Medicine Companies
    A recent government report points to a host of concerns about the country’s inadequately regulated producers of TCM.
    Bibek Bhandari

    Jun 08, 2017

    China’s food and drug regulatory body has revoked the certifications of 81 manufacturers of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) products after detecting irregularities in the companies’ production, quality control, and inventory processes, according to a recent inspection report.

    The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) last year withdrew 172 drugs from the market — 81 of which were classified as TCM products — because their manufacturers did not meet so-called good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards. Some of the inspections were unannounced.

    The CFDA found irregularities in the extraction of Chinese herbs during production, ultimately affecting their concentrations in the medicines. Some producers had falsified their supply records, as well as fabricated data on raw materials, according to the report. Other companies did not have enough personnel to adequately carry out quality control checks, resulting in batches of untested drugs being sold, it said. The report did not identify any companies by name.

    Industry insiders claim the issue is bigger than the infractions uncovered by the CFDA. Yan Xijun, chairman of Tasly Holding Group, which runs TCM clinics outside of China, told The Paper, Sixth Tone’s sister publication, that 50 to 60 percent of TCM enterprises with GMP certificates have problems of some kind.

    Xu Haoming, a deputy pharmacist at the Shanghai Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, told Sixth Tone that the poor test results for TCM drugs can be attributed in part to the same standards being used to test Western and Chinese medicines. Because TCM uses natural ingredients instead of synthetic ingredients, the contents of the products will vary, he said. But he also noted that farmers’ use of chemical fertilizers could mean some potentially harmful residue ends up in medicines.

    Xu also pointed to the GMP certificate, which was once quite easy to obtain, making the barrier for entry into the industry low. But standards have since become stricter, he added.

    “The GMP certificate does not last a lifetime; rather, it requires re-evaluation every five years,” Xu said. “So those companies that did poorly and still got lucky the first time won’t survive the recheck after five years, especially with today’s tighter regulations and standards for TCM and GMP qualification.”

    In order to achieve better oversight of quality and revitalize the TCM industry while at the same time promoting its globalization, the Chinese government issued its first white paper on traditional Chinese medicine last year. It said that the state had “improved standards for the quality and safety of TCM services.”

    TCM, a multibillion-dollar industry that constitutes 28 percent of China’s pharmaceutical revenue, is never far from controversy. Last year, the death of a young Chinese actress who opted to treat cancer with TCM instead of chemotherapy ignited a debate around the effectiveness of the former method. TCM is also often criticized for its use of animal parts, some of which come from endangered species. Though China officially banned the practice in 1993, wild animals are still killed for their supposed medicinal qualities. Last year, a draft law on how to regulate the industry led to a dialogue about whether China would promote unscientific practices going forward.

    Nevertheless, TCM is experiencing something of an international boom. Chemist Tu Youyou won a Nobel Prize for creating an anti-malaria drug derived from traditional Chinese methods, and athletes at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro showed up to events with their bodies covered in dark, wine-colored circles from traditional cupping treatments.

    Additional reporting: Qian Zhecheng; editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.

    (Header image: An employee weighs ingredients and portions out prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicine at a pharmacy in Beijing, May 9, 2008. Zhang Kaixin/VCG)
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  11. #11
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    Much of what is TCM is hybrid medicine, i.e. combining allopathic with TCM but the latter is so wrought with lack of basic science that they are slowly losing 'market share' due to unprofessional standards of care. Even the basic as clean needle care are ignored, and that in itself is a basic core of acupuncture.

    Cupping should be done by professionals following protocols favouring the best standard of care that does make make a condition worse!

  12. #12
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    Slightly OT

    Painfully ignorant.

    Vlogger live streams herself accidently POISONING herself by eating a plant she mistakenly thought was aloe vera

    A Chinese vlogger, Ms Zhang, accidentally poisoned herself live on camera
    She was videoing herself to promote the benefits of eating raw aloe vera
    The 26-year-old was actually consuming Agave Americana, a poisonous plant
    Reports said she is now in a stable condition but did have to go to hospital

    By Laura House For Daily Mail Australia
    PUBLISHED: 01:25 EDT, 3 July 2017 | UPDATED: 07:25 EDT, 3 July 2017

    A vlogger from China is said to have accidentally poisoned herself after consuming a plant she had mistaken for aloe vera live on camera.

    The 26-year-old, who goes by her surname Zhang, was live streaming her 'Aloe Vera Feast' to discuss the benefits of raw aloe vera.

    However, the woman didn't realise she was actually consuming Agave Americana, a poisonous plant from Mexico, according to local reports.



    A vlogger from China accidentally poisoned herself after consuming a plant she had mistaken for aloe vera live on camera. The 26-year-old was eating Agave Americana without knowing

    A video of the live show has been recorded and circulated on the internet by various Chinese websites, including qq.com.

    At the beginning of the video, Ms Zhang is heard saying 'yum' and 'this is great'. But soon afterwards, things took a turn and she realised there was a problem.

    'That's bitter... that's really bitter,' she said as the clip progressed.



    Chinese vlogger, Ms Zhang, thought she was eating aloe vera (left, file photo), but in fact she was chewing chunks of Agave Americana (right, file photo), a poisonous plant from Mexico

    The Shanghaiist reported that Ms Zhang was actually consuming Agave Americana, a 'poisonous plant from Mexico'.

    FAME AND FORTUNE: CHINA'S LIVE-STREAM BOOM
    Live-streaming websites and apps are big business in China.

    The country has nearly 200 live-stream websites and apps, which attract some 200 million users, according to recent statistics.

    During peak hours, around four million internet users tune in at the same time to watch their favourite internet hosts performing.

    Internet hosts, mainly young women, hope to gain fame and fortune by filming their daily activities - from singing to dancing to eating - through a webcam in front of a live online audience.

    Views are able to interact with the hosts by instant messaging. They are also able to send them digital gifts, which can be converted into cash by the hosts.
    According to Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Agave Americana has 'several toxic compounds'.

    'It contains the incredibly irritating calcium oxylate raphides (microscopic daggers of crystaline oxylate) as well as some other really irritating oils in the sap,' they explain.

    The aspiring vlogger's mouth then went numb and her throat felt as though it was on 'fire'. She cut off the live stream and went to the hospital.

    In the hospital, she was told by the doctors that she had been eating Agave Americana, not aloe vera.

    The doctors also said that she was lucky to have gone to the hospital quickly enough, otherwise the consequences could be serious, according to Chinese newspaper Chongqing Times.

    Despite the drama, Ms Zhang is reported to be in a stable condition now.

    The plant Zhang thought she was eating, aloe vera, is commonly consumed both cooked and raw.

    According to Livestrong, the meat inside the leaves and the natural gel are both edible and are often used on salads or in drinks for a 'refreshing taste'.

    'Aloe is considered safe for oral consumption, but because it has a natural laxative effect, long-term, regular consumption is not advised,' they explain.

    Ms Zhang is one of the thousands of vloggers in China who make a living by live-streaming their daily activities. They're known as internet hosts.

    The Chinese live-streaming industry, which attracts some 200 million viewers, is competitive.

    Internet hosts would do whatever they could to get viewers' attention.

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  13. #13
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    I never put any faith in TCM, but when I was severely injured, my Si-Fu gave me some Dit Da Jow he made, and I swear that it was magic in a bottle.

    You still won't catch me in line for acupuncture or cupping, but that Jow is legit.
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    self-inflicted

    Don’t try this at home: Chinese firefighters step in when cupping therapy goes wrong
    Glass cup removed from man’s back with a hacksaw after he uses kit he bought online to treat pain
    PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 August, 2017, 3:32pm
    UPDATED : Friday, 25 August, 2017, 4:56pm
    Jun Mai



    In central China, firefighters were called on not to rescue a cat stuck up a tree, but a man with a glass cup stuck to his back.
    The man, identified by his surname Hu, had been performing cupping therapy on himself at his home in Wuhan, Hubei province on Tuesday night to treat back pain, the Wuhan Evening News reports.
    He had bought the cups – which are used in traditional medicine that has been practised in China for thousands of years – online.
    Hu had been suffering from back pain and decided to treat it himself with his home cupping therapy kit.
    They have a mechanical pump to create a vacuum on the skin in a process that is believed to get rid of stagnation and is used to treat anything from pain to respiratory conditions.
    But he was unable to remove one of the cups.



    The suction was so great that an area of skin about 5cm high was pulled into the cup, causing bleeding, his family told the local newspaper on Thursday.
    They tried unsuccessfully to remove the cup using a hammer and a pair of pliers before taking Hu to hospital.
    The glass cups have a mechanical pump to create a vacuum on the skin in a process that is believed to get rid of stagnation and is used to treat anything from pain to respiratory conditions. Photo: Handout
    Doctors were also unable to remove the cup so the family decided to take Hu to the nearest fire station.
    Four firefighters stepped in to deal with the problem, using a hacksaw to create a small crack in the top of the cup to relieve the pressure so that they could remove it.



    A shocked Hu was happy to be free of the cup but told the newspaper that the incident would not stop him from applying the cups again in the future – though he said he would be more careful next time.
    Cupping TCM Fail
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    cockroach smugglers

    Elderly couple try to take 200 live cockroaches onto flight for use in medicinal skin cream
    BY ALEX LINDER IN NEWS ON NOV 29, 2017 10:00 PM



    On Saturday, workers at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport happened to notice something unusual inside of a container that had been put through the X-ray machine at one of the airport's pre-flight security checkpoints.
    When they opened the container up to see what exactly was inside, out scuttled a cockroach, scaring one poor female worker.



    However, things only got worse upon further inspection. Inside the container they found a white plastic bag that was filled with around 200 live cockroaches, Knews reports.
    The container's owners turned out to be an elderly couple. The old man explained that his wife had a skin condition and that the cockroaches were for a kind of traditional folk remedy. He said that the roaches were all mixed into some medicinal cream which was then rubbed on his wife's skin.
    Unfortunately for the woman, security did not allow them to carry a bucket full of live cockroaches onto their flight. The roaches were all left behind at the checkpoint with staff -- who we now presume have flawless skin.
    You might remember how just last month more than 100 cockroaches were mysteriously discovered on board two separate flights that landed at the Kunming airport. Authorities failed to explain how or why the roaches got there, but we may now finally have our reason. TCM!
    [Images via Knews]


    weird stuff - smuggling fail
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