Illustration for article titled In Indonesia, lying on train tracks is a folk remedy

In Indonesia, ill people are searching for a New Age cure that transcends crystals and healing magnets — they're cozying up to train tracks, soaking in its curative aura. Thankfully, this therapy doesn't require the practitioner to get hit by a train. Rather, one lies on the railroad tracks and absorbs the rails' healing electric shocks.


The Jakarta Post recently interviewed some believers who found a little rail cured what ailed them:

[A woman named] Kusmiati, who said she suffered from asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes, is one of many locals who routinely undergo a unique alternative "therapy" in which one lies splayed out on the railway tracks near Rawa Buaya train station in Cengkareng, West Jakarta.

The "therapy" involves placing one's hands and feet on the steel rail tracks. By touching both sides of the tracks at once in this manner, one receives a low-voltage electric shock, which locals believe is a potent cure for many diseases.

The locals said the method became popular around a year ago when a taxi driver allegedly recovered after suffering a stroke, by frequently lying on the tracks.

Today, the therapy is attracting more and more people, from locals to people who travel from far away to experience the reportedly soothing effects of the therapy [...] Their growing fondness for the treatment soon saw them adopt the "therapy" into their daily routines. Every afternoon from around 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. there are typically 10-15 people lying on the tracks.

Al-Jazeera also interviewed some practitioners buzzing around the Rawa Buaya train station. Dear readers, please don't pretend to be kidnapped by Snidely Whiplash to cure your swimmer's ear.


On a similar note, you should probably refrain from holding your farmers' market on railways, as these vegetable stands in Thailand so aptly demonstrate.

Spotted on The Presurfer. Top photo via.

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