Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This is a photo I shot of a "patient" of the practice of coining. I found the following explanation online

"Coining, or cao gio (pronounced phonetically gow yaw), is an alternative form of medicine most commonly practiced in Southeast Asia.  The practice of coining involves rubbing heated oil on the skin, most commonly the chest, back, or shoulders, and then vigorously rubbing a coin over the area in a linear fashion until a red mark is seen.Coining is believed to allow a path by which a 'bad wind' can be released from the body.  This 'wind' is believed to be the cause of the patient's illness.  Advocates use this method to treat a variety of minor ailments including fever, chills, headache, colds, and cough.."

To be completely honest, when I first saw the results of this 'treatment', my immediate gut response was that this poor woman... was dying. Seriously. I was horrified. 

I should have known better. The strange homeopathic treatments I've seen firsthand: raw garlic applied directly to abdominal stab wounds and incense smoke waffed into the eardrums of hard-hearing septagenarians - they all seem to work at least as well as conventional pharmaceudical medication. Sometimes better.

P.S.  - the homeopathic remedies described above are complete fabrications. I would urge anyone with an abdominal stab wound to avoid raw garlic. The incense ear thing is downright stupid. 

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