Is Fire Healing Possible?


Healing using fire was used in alternative Chinese medicine hundreds of years ago; the theory of healing with fire revolves around the preservation of the balance between hot and cold elements in the body. This treatment has spread across the world and is no longer restricted to China, as we can find many famous clinics in New Zealand and other countries.

Fire healers claim that healing with fire is the fourth revolution in human history and that it surpasses eastern and western medicine. They claim it heals conditions such as chronic joint and muscle pain, indigestion, fatigue, stress, obesity, wrinkles, infertility, and recently cancer, eliminating the need for dangerous surgeries. Many believe that healing with fire is effective because it is a form of warming body tissues; it is based on the quote of the famous Hippocrates: "iron heals the diseases medicines cannot treat, and fire heals the diseases iron cannot treat; diseases that fire cannot heal are incurable".

Some live evidence indicates truth in this quote, such as the body's own reaction to the ailment by generating fever as a means of resistance and speedy recovery. That is in addition to several traditional methods that rely on heating the body, such as water baths, steam baths, interring in the sand, all of which rely on raising the temperature of wide areas of the human body to help the immune system overcome the disease. Before antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications existed, some mid-twentieth-century physicians resorted to injecting patients suffering life-threatening diseases with a microbial infection to generate a strong reaction from the body through a fever that is capable of overcoming the chronic disease.

Healing with fire received very little attention from scientific journals, as some long-term studies have explained the theory of fire healing, also known as cupping, as the generation of pressure on parts of the patient's body by burning oxygen inside a small vessel; the studies have indicated that the claims about the efficacy of fire healing are not accurate. No cases of complete actual healing have been recorded, so the subject requires further investigation before generalization. That is in addition to the fact that some new practitioners have lost control during the treatment, causing burns on patients' faces and bodies, due to the lack of standards and safety measures.

As such, we find many who are lining evidence to prove the efficacy of fire healing, while others negate it and attempt to draw attention away from it. What is certain is that fire healing still lacks a lot of scientific evidence and approved clinical trials.


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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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