It has been two weeks or so and I (like always) forget to share.. It was when a teacher from next laboratory (Medical Physics or just Medics) visited to see my friend. We ended up talking about a lot of things while waiting, including the relationship between computational material design and medical physics. Nowadays, the research on computational material design on medical field focused on the behavior of proteins (glycine. lysine, etc.) and the development on biosensor. Then the topic changed to the difference between Electrical Engineering Medics with Engineering Physics Medics, which I found very interesting. After some other chit-chat, we ended up discussing the eastern and western traditional medical treatment.

the result of “kerokan”, yep – it leaves red marking

I remember I’ve written something about it in later posts, which mentioned that one may be able to cure flu by scratching one’s back with coin “KEROKAN” – that was Indonesia’s traditional medical treatment for flu. Let’s have some other story from modern country which I forgot from where (you can always google it, but I heard this from someone based on rumor, dunno if it’s true or not).

There was once a mother who scratched her child’s back with coin and the child screamed in pain. The neighbor rushed there to see and saw the scene, the child’s back is all red because of the scratches, but the mother said it was for medical treatment.  They sued the mother for “children abuse”. The mother went to jail and the end.

My teacher said it might because of the culture difference between east and west / modern. One might buy generic pills to cure illness, like aspirin or some other things – that is normal thing to do, right? But for traditional houses around “Eastern” part of the globe, we might have better[?] solution, which involve treating one’s illness by traditional method (barbaric or not, you choose).

Thus, he explained the physics phenomena of Eastern traditional medication. We have learned in biology that below our skin, there is one type of cell called “neurons”, which work is to transfer electrical signal to / from our brain. [See Wikipedia] The electric signal doesn’t flow inside the cell, but by hopping on the surface of the Schwann Cell through Node of Ranvier. That “masuk-angin” or “flu” (or just whatever illness) means there is unusual activity in certain organs – meaning there is some information (read: electrical signal) that is missing during the transfer.

The act of “scratching certain part of your body” is a way to “give spark/ impulse” to the neurons that alarmed the brain there is unusual activity in certain part of the body. The same mechanisme as ACUPUNCTURE and point massage (but – well – kerokan is rather barbaric haha, since we ended up scratching almost tall area on our back). Ancient Chinese developed acupuncture by trial and error, and finally mapped the diagram to what you see in modern days.

acupuncture points

This research has been done by several scientists and researchers. My teacher mentioned a name that had a big book dictionary of the physics phenomena behind traditional medical treatment (mostly in Eastern culture) but I forgot who. It is a very interesting study — AND note that this is not just a folklore! Rather than applying chemical and drugs into our body that might destroy the cells, let us do the more natural way…. though I always get scared on those big needles… (I’ve experienced being scratched by coins and balms on me everytime I got flu, so for me needles are scarier)