Police have launched an investigation into a Chinese healer following the death of a seven-year-old diabetic boy who died this week after being subjected to “slapping therapy”.
Aidan Fenton’s parents were participating in the controversial $1800-per-week workshop in Hurtsville, Sydney, which encourages slapping as a method of curing illness and ridding the body of poisons.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Hongchi Xiao, the man responsible for the seminars, was interviewed by police, but has since left the country.
It is believed participants in Mr Xiao’s course are encouraged to fast for three days and undertake the slapping exercises until they are bruised – a process reportedly known as the “healing crisis”.
The method can prompt dizzy spells and vomiting and it is understood Aiden was among those vomiting during the seminar.
On Monday evening, police and paramedics were called to the Hurstville Ritz Hotel where Aiden was staying with his parents, where the boy was found unconscious after 9pm.
He died shortly afterward on the way to hospital.
Police are believed to be investigating whether Aiden’s parents were advised by Mr Xiao to take their son off his insulin while receiving the therapy.
The self-purported healer travels the world promoting his “Paida-Lajin” therapy but was kicked out of Taiwan in 2011 for violating medical regulations.
His website is filled with testimonials about the slapping therapy curing anything from fever to diabetes, and features images of people with severe bruising.