Horny Hippocratic hustlers, or sincere physicians? Quacks, cons, or curers? Frigging frauds, or wise healers unleashing the restorative energy of women's genitalia?
Two "alternative doctors" have been getting their hands wet servicing female patients: A July 8th houstonpress.com exposť reports that shiatsu specialist Shin Higashiura -- a.k.a. Dr. Shin -- has been profitably offering "inside treatments" featuring his fingers stimulating acupressure points, points he's claimed are located intimately within the vagina.
Dr. Shin (who was recently closed down by the Texas Health Department) informed certain clients -- usually lonely, single women -- that their hormone levels were "out of balance." His prescription was to awaken "internally located" meridians with his ungloved but professional fingers. Clinical probing and poking, he promised, would guarantee increased circulation, fewer wrinkles, weight loss, and more attention from men.
When his sexy sales pitch succeeded, the women reclined naked on their stomachs as Dr. Shin thrusted his curative digits past their pudenda. Occasionally his penis was also employed, as a therapeutic tool that penetrated to "deeper pressure points."
Although Dr. Shin's orifice-intruding sessions sound like something only the most air-headed yin-yang yoni would open up to, his business was actually booming. Deep-pocketed clients frequented his elegant Toshin U.S.A. office, plus famous athletes and the actress Sally Fields (no rumors yet of the Flying Nun getting fingered). Why did Texans stampede there? The Houston Press claims "satisfied customers ... swear by Dr. Shin's professionalism and his ability to heal."
Angry and suspicious female patients eventually lodged complaints with legal authorities after they received, refused, or fled from a Shin stick-up. Other patients continued to gush about the vaginal sessions. "The inside treatment," said one contented client, "saved my life." New Ageisms like "rebirth," and "a very spiritual thing" were also utilized in praising Dr. Shin's pokey procedures.
Another vaginal-curing controversy has leaked out of San Francisco. Artico -- a traditional Mexican medicine man who learned rural cures in Oaxaca -- recently accepted into his care a comatose Iranian woman who had a putrid, cancerous tumor on her face. Morphine-sedated and near-death, Favela (not her real name) was brought to him by her relatives, who were "willing to try anything."
Artico immediately opened up all the windows -- to let in Air, one of the Six Elements. Next, he colonically irrigated the unconscious woman to release "a week of shit and intestinal fermentation, gas, and mucus" (his description). This was followed by a steambath, to maintain the dilution of toxins.
Finally, a cold mixture of fenugreek seed, volcanic ash, and oatmeal was applied to Favela's flesh, in a treatment entitled "the Vital Bath." The potion was scrubbed into her skin with an abrasive Mexican plant, using a clockwise motion that traveled meticulously from her genitalia to her heart.
As Artico scrubbed her clitoris, Favela emerged from her coma. "She looked at me thankfully," he says. "She was breathing deeply; she came back from the dead." Soon, she was telephoning Teheran, to converse with her husband and children.
The vaginal source of her miraculous cure was murky, or unknown to Favela -- until Artico detailed the procedure to her, via an interpreter. Forlornly, he conveys her reaction: "When I told her I had physically scrubbed her clitoris, she turned on her side, embarrassed, and she never looked at me again. She refused to eat and drink after that, or continue the treatments, and then she died -- about two weeks later."
Favela's sister explained that the patient was "a very conservative woman who had never shown her naked body to anyone but her husband." Death was apparently less terrifying to her than resumed genital exposure.
Are Dr. Shin's and Artico's cures medically verifiable? Research won't be conducted soon in our Puritan nation, but profound and perverse practitioners will always probe the healing properties of the vagina, as long as clients are available with open minds and spread legs.
Hank Hyena is a columnist for SFGate.com and SF Metropolitan, and a frequent contributor to Salon.