Saturday, February 10, 2018

Across China: Bee Sting Therapy Gets China Buzzing

SHENZHEN, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Most people run in the opposite direction at the sight of bees, but a few patients in China are volunteering to be stung.

It is a cold morning and She Ruitao is wearing a hat with a veil and two pairs of gloves. He is going to catch live bees on an isolated hill in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

He has raised these bees himself. With a pair of forceps he takes them from their hive and puts them into a glass bottle. Half an hour later, he and 100-plus bees are in his consulting room at Shenzhen Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Hospital.

Catching bees is his first job every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since last March, he has been offering bee sting therapy to outpatients at the hospital three times a week.

Part natural medicine, part acupuncture, the therapy requires doctors to inject bee venom into points on the patient's body through a live sting.

"Not all patients can be treated with the therapy," he explained.

It is considered a valid treatment for various ailments, in particular, arthritis and rheumatism. Patients need to have X-rays and blood tests before he offers treatment.

Zhan has suffered from arthritis for years. She holds a bee in forceps and uses it to "sting" Zhan on points on his leg. "My swelling has gone down and my pain has lessened," Zhan said.

She does not rely on this type of treatment alone. "Bee sting therapy must be combined with other TCM and Western therapies," he said. Combining TCM and Western medicine has been the norm in China since the 1950s...

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