Indigenous Treatments: Coining

Coining is an ancient Southeast Asian folk remedy used to treat common minor illnesses. It is still frequently practiced today, and cross-cultural understanding is enhanced by knowledge of the procedure. A special ointment is placed on the skin. The edge of a coin or other object is then rubbed on the skin in downward parallel lines until redness, welts, or a small amount of bleeding occurs (see Figure 1). Family members, friends, or traditional healers may perform this procedure as the first line of therapy for cough, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fever, and other symptoms. The part of the body that is coined depends on the symptom that is being treated–for example, the back and chest may be coined to treat respiratory symptoms, and the ...

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