4-month-old girl in Xi'an, Shaanxi province died of multi-organ failure, after being massaged with traditional methods to treat a cold.

The girl was diagnosed with a respiratory infection when she was taken to a clinic in Xi'an City on November 30. The clinic appoints "tuina" therapy, a traditional Chinese massage, to relieve your baby's cold symptoms, including coughing.


Doctors use tuina treatments, an ancient massage for children in China Photo: SCMP

After about 20 minutes of massage, his heart stopped beating and he stopped breathing. When taken to the hospital, the victim was diagnosed with death from multiple organ failure. Authorities are investigating the cause of the death of this newborn baby.

The incident is sparking a call for the government to tighten the management of "tuina", an ancient Chinese massage method dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The practitioners say the therapy can cure patients with diarrhea, fever, and even nearsightedness, used in both hospitals and health clubs.

Sun Wuquan, director of tuina therapy at Yueyang Hospital in Shanghai, said that "tuina" has been gaining popularity in recent years. According to him, the practitioners must be those who have been trained for 8 years in traditional medicine and at the same time need to be equipped with deep knowledge about pediatrics.

However, the "tuina" therapy training center Mei Bei Ying in Wuhan, Hubei Province also provides this training for only 5 days and is free of charge. According to Lin, an employee at the center, about 10,000 people have been trained here and introduced jobs since it was founded 10 years ago.

The 4-month-old baby clinic in Xi'an has up to 60 practitioners with many qualifications granted by Chinese authorities, but only two are doctors.