China is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. While people in many parts of the world were still running from their own shadows, people there were busy developing tools and infrastructure. So, it comes as no surprise that the country is full of ancient traditions some of which live on to this day.

The traditions themselves, however, can be quite surprising as seen above. This practice is known as Huǒ liáo and involves lighting the patient on fire to provide soothing relief for whatever ails them. We saw this before when we came across a photo of a woman getting her eyes lit on fire, but let’s learn a little more about this old art.

The process involves five steps:

1)    A piece of rope that has been soaked with a mixture of herbs is placed on top of the afflicted area.
2)    It is then covered with saran wrap. The wrap isn’t meant for protection. Actually its used to retain the heat inside the body.

3)    Then two wet towels are put on top.
4)    Then alcohol is spritzed on.
5)    Finally, ignite.

Oh and of course you have to put out the fire before it gets too hot. Yeah… don’t forget to do that. Looking at Huǒ liáo and other therapies where a living human is set on fire, it’s only natural to get the chills and recoil a little.

But once you look past the flames you can’t help but notice the tranquil smiles on the faces of patients. We heard from someone who actually got fire therapy and he happily offered his testimony:

“It’s warm and comfortable. The heat flows around your body and can be felt all throughout.”

So it looks simple and apparently feels great, but remember if you play with Huǒ liáo, you play with fire. The people who administer this traditional healing method require training and study to know which herbs are required for whatever problem the patient is suffering from.

So remember, if you want someone to light you on fire, make sure you do the necessary research and make sure your Huǒ liáo practicioner knows what they’re doing.

Source: Sina News, China News (Chinese)
Original article by Meg Sawai

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