While catgut embedding helps people to lose weight, careful consideration should be given to determine who is suitable for the treatment, National Union Association of Chinese Medical Doctors director-general Chen Wang-chuan (陳旺全) said yesterday.
Invited by the Consumers’ Foundation to share his knowledge of catgut embedding after a woman in Greater Taichung almost died after receiving the treatment, Chen said the method was usually more effective in people whose weight problems stem from an accumulation of subcutaneous fat, rather than visceral obesity, which would indicate other physical problems.
A woman in Greater Taichung had about 1,500 strings of catgut embedded in her body over a period of 15 months, leading recently to her nearly losing her life from the suppuration of about 10 wounds and cellulite complications.
Photo: Yang Chiu-ying, Taipei Times
The incident should never have happened, or should not have been life-threatening, as any responsible and licensed Chinese medicine doctors would have paid attention to disinfecting their equipment and whether their medicines had expired, Chen said.
They would have also taken note of any diseases their patients had, or if wounds exhibited red sores, he added.
Embedding catgut strings in pressure points is an ages-old technique, with a history as old as that of acupuncture, Chen said, adding that the procedure originally was intended to cure people with weak constitutions, not for people to lose weight.
In times gone by doctors did not have the thin needles used today, nor did they have hollow tubes with which to insert the catgut threads into a patient’s body, Chen said.
He added that the threads historically were usually placed in a patient’s body through microsurgery, after which they were sewn shut.
Though not the intended purpose, it was discovered that the procedure helped people lose weight, Chen said.
He said that the modern process of making catgut string differs greatly from the process used in the old days as practitioners are now able to fabricate the string through protein magnetization.
Once inserted, the proteins in the string provide the human body with energy, causing it to burn subcutaneous fat while absorbing the string, Chen said, and this caused weight loss.
However, it is an effect that would be more noticeable in and applicable to patients who suffer from an accumulation of subcutaneous fat, as they have either endocrine disorders or problems with their metabolism, Chen said.
Chen stressed that while the method might also be useful for patients suffering from visceral obesity, it is most probable that those patients already have some sort of disease.
Those with visceral obesity wishing to try catgut embedding should have their diseases — if they have any — cured before attempting the procedure, he said.
Chen said that people with subcutaneous fat can lose weight by exercising, going on a diet or adhering to a normal lifestyle, but some people like to take shortcuts and that is why they undergo radical procedures like catgut embedding.
CAMBODIAN CON: The two men filmed videos with made-up content with a focus on purported human trafficking, beatings and sexual assaults by scammers Cambodian authorities yesterday sentenced two Taiwanese to two years in prison and a NT$30,000 fine each for staging a kidnapping in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville which they live streamed online. Chen Neng-chuan (陳能釧), 31, and Lu Tsu-hsien (魯祖顯), 34, were convicted of inciting and causing social disorder a day after Cambodian police officials convened a news conference about their arrest. Chen, who goes by the online name “Goodnight Chicken” (晚安小雞), and Lu, known by the handle “Anow” (阿鬧), must each pay 4 million riels (US$982), according to a court filing. The court said the duo arrived in the Cambodian capital, Phnom
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
‘CORRECT CALL’: The navy said the captain was right to send crew out to fix an issue with a buoy, and that the buckles connecting two of them to the safety line came loose Equipment and environmental reasons, not human error, were to blame for the loss of three submariners on Dec. 21 last year, the navy said yesterday. The navy would not punish any of the Hai Hu’s (海虎) crew after an investigation determined that the captain was correct in sending crew to retrieve a safety buoy, it said in a news release. Three crew members — a master chief petty officer surnamed Lin (林) and two petty officers surnamed Yen (顏) and Chang (張) — are still unaccounted for after being swept from the submarine’s deck by a wave while trying to retrieve the
Individual tourists who arrive in Taiwan from tomorrow are eligible to receive limited-edition lucky bags to mark the Lantern Festival, Tourism Administration officials said yesterday. The Lantern Festival-themed lucky bags each contain a Year of the Dragon red envelope, a mini lantern, a NT$300 coupon for an amusement park ticket and a NT$500 Taiwan PASS coupon, the officials said. To get a lucky bag, visitors must present a passport or residence certificate and proof of their date of entry at a tourism center at either terminal at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) or Kaohsiung International Airport, they said. The