Body & Sports

Crotch on fire: Therapy called 'huo liao' is popular in Fujian

Updated: 2014-06-14
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Read more on: Fujian Huo liao   Fujian Fire therapy  
In Fujian province, you need balls of steel for this massage. Or maybe balls of fire?
As noted by reporter Chris Buckley, Photo Sina has a series of picture of a type of fire therapy called "huo liao" (火疗). And it looks utterly terrifying. 

According to Sina and The Nanfang, here's how it works: A rope made from various herbs is placed on the patient's body and covered with plastic wrap. Then, two wet towels are placed over the wrap and the herbal coil. Alcohol is poured on the towels and then set ablaze.
Also, they should have a bucket of water on standby should things go awry.

The heat apparently creates a warm feeling for the patients and can supposedly help relieve stress and, according to one clinic, everything from depression and diarrhea to indigestion and infertility. 

Apparently originating from Tibet, this is now a form of Chinese medicine. It's like moxibustion, which has been practiced throughout Asia for centuries, but more terrifying looking.

However, website The Nanfang points out that people—perhaps, younger people—online in China appear equally bewildered by the practice, cracking jokes like, "Sir, how well would you like your meat cooked?"
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