Yang You-sin, a Taiwanese worker who became ill after years of manual labour, regained his health by learning “99 Power Qigong,” also known as “iron crotch,” in which male students train their genitals to lift iron disks weighing hundreds of kilograms.

Yang has been doing heavy manual labour since he was young. Ten years ago, his limbs started to swell and become sore after working and he was not able to find any medicine that could relieve his pain. He started to look into qigong after he heard that it can improve practitioners’ health. Yang says what improved his health was “iron crotch” qigong, which he studied after meeting the practice’s founder, Tu Jin-sheng.

Yang showed his friends the results of his daily practice. First, he uses a red cloth to tie several iron disks to his genitals to warm up. When he feels prepared, he steps onto two pedestals and crouches down to tie iron weights weighing 230kg to his penis. He then stands up slowly, lifting the iron disks off the ground for 30 seconds. His friends have been, for lack of a better word, fascinated by his performance.

The student has become well-known at his master’s training center and has been invited to perform in masterclasses in Indonesia. Qigong is usually practiced to improve health, mediation, breathing and movement. The practice is closely tied to theories of self-cultivation in Chinese philosophy and comes in various forms and styles.

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