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Lying on Train Tracks More Effective Than Government Healthcare, Say Indonesians

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"I'll keep doing this until I'm completely cured," Indonesian diabetes patient Sri Mulyati told the Associated Press as she lay down across the tracks in Rawa Buaya, "twitching visibly as an oncoming passenger train sen[t] an extra rush of current racing through her body."

"She leaps from tracks as it approaches and then, after the last carriage rattles slowly by, climbs back into position," the article, titled "Desperate, Sick Indonesians Use Railroad 'Therapy'" continues.



Marius Widjajarta, chairman of the Indonesian Health Consumers Empowerment Foundation, says "chronic funding shortages and chaotic decentralization efforts since the 1998 ouster of longtime dictator Suharto have left many disillusioned with the state-sponsored health system." Beyond the disillusionment, many Indonesians cannot afford the medications necessary to control their maladies. And some, like Sri Mulyati, insist stretching out across a railbed is a more effective cure than anything a doctor could prescribe.

According to the AP, track therapy became popular among Indonesians after "a rumor about an ethnic Chinese man who was partially paralyzed by a stroke going to the tracks to kill himself, but instead finding himself cured" started making the rounds.







The Jakarta Globe reports that the head of Rawa Buaya station in Cengkareng (which "seems to have been chosen not for any unique properties in the tracks there but merely for the fact that trains pass by relatively infrequently") and his staff have been "tirelessly explaining to the therapy's adherents that lying across electrified rails in an area heavily trafficked by locomotives and their cars was dangerous."

“Every day we have two to three officers on standby near the railways and explain the risks the locals face,” he says. “We have also told them repeatedly that what they do is against the law. We keep doing persuasive efforts to make the people understand. We are very concerned that they may not see or hear a train coming because they are relaxed and chatting away on the railways."



In addition to diabetes, Indonesians tell The Telegraph that rail therapy is also effective in fighting gout, rheumatism, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity.

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