|A bee sting is used to treat a patient at a traditional Chinese medicine clinic in Beijing. (Source: ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY)|
BEIJING, Sept. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- It may be among China's most controversial therapies, but Liu Yu insists she is able to walk again thanks to the power of bee stings.
The 26-year-old, who has multiple sclerosis, has been receiving bee acupuncture in Beijing for more than two years.
"My treatment is painful," she said. "But I'm sticking to it because my disease is much worse than any bee sting."
Liu is treated at a traditional Chinese medicine clinic run by 73-year-old Wang Menglin in the capital's northeastern Shunyi district.
Wang said his team has used bee acupuncture to treat more than 3,000 people with MS — a condition that damages nerve cells in the brain and spine — for the past 20 years. He said the treatment has helped many patients retain or regain their mobility.
During a typical treatment, Liu, who has a line of scars down her spine from the bee stings, lies face down while Wang or one of his colleagues select honeybees from a wooden box with tweezers and place them at certain points on her back. The bees are removed after they have stung.
The process is quick but painful. However, Liu said she can feel the benefits.
Diagnosed in early 2010, she said her body became completely numb after an initial five-day course of hormone therapy, the only modern medicine she has taken to address her MS.