Whipping therapy – remedy for depression and suicide prevention

This controversial depression treatment approach called whipping therapy may indeed have some valid effect explanation; however, it is hard to expect that it will ever be used in our society due to the borderline ethical issues. Even the research arrangement for the statement validation would be problematic.

Let’s review the approach description from the Russian developers, published in once the most famous Soviet newspaper Pravda (Truth):  

Russian scientists from the city of Novosibirsk, Siberia, made a sensational report at the international conference devoted to new methods of treatment and rehabilitation in narcology. The report was called “Methods of painful impact to treat addictive behavior.”

Siberian scientists believe that addiction to alcohol and narcotics, as well as depression, suicidal thoughts and psychosomatic diseases occur when an individual loses his or her interest in life. The absence of the will to live is caused with decreasing production of endorphins - the substance, which is known as the hormone of happiness. If a depressed individual receives a physical punishment, whipping that is, it will stir up endorphin receptors, activate the “production of happiness” and eventually remove depressive feelings.

Russian scientists recommend the following course of the whipping therapy: 30 sessions of 60 whips on the buttocks in every procedure. A group of drug addicts volunteered to test the new method of treatment: the results can be described as good and excellent.

Doctor of Biological Sciences, Sergei Speransky, is a very well known figure in Novosibirsk. The doctor became one of the authors of the shocking whipping therapy. The professor used the self-flagellation method to cure his own depression; he also recovered from two heart attacks with the help of physical tortures too.

”The whipping therapy becomes much more efficient when a patient receives the punishment from a person of the opposite sex. The effect is astounding: the patient starts seeing only bright colors in the surrounding world, the heartache disappears, although it will take a certain time for the buttocks to heal, of course,” Sergei Speransky told the Izvestia newspaper.

The whipping therapy has not become a new discovery in the history of medicine. Tibetan monks widely used it for medical purposes too. Soviet specialists used a special method of torturing therapy at mental hospitals. They made injections of brimstone and peach oil mixture to inspire mentally unbalanced patience with a will to live. A patient would suffer from horrible pain in the body after such an injection, but he or she would change their attitude to life for the better afterwards.

”People might probably think of me as a masochist,” Dr. Speransky said. “But I can assure you that I am not a classic masochist at all,” he added.

The revolutionary method may take the Russian healthcare to a whole new level. The method is cheap and highly efficient, as its authors assure. Why not using something more efficient, a rack, for example?

This is the only original article on the whipping, which I was able to find in the English sources. Everything else looks more like humorous commentaries and reference to Masochism and sexual minorities’ weirdness. So, I checked the source in Russian Internet to see if that is not April Joke, and the related therapeutic approach has been indeed tested and approved.

No, there are many Russian posts on the topic, and that does not seem to be a joke. Sergei Speransky claims that has not invented the whipping therapy method. About 40 years ago, in the home library of his older sister, Dr. Speransky found a German medical book, describing the prosperous medical institution in pre-First World War Germany, where many diseases, and not just neuro-psychological, were successfully cured by whipping.

The idea has been idle for long, before Dr. Speransky got affected by severe depression himself, triggered by personal stressful life events. He applied self-whipping approach, and miracle cure came, when he got substantial improvement in his health conditions, what all other scientific traditional approaches failed to achieve.

Dr. Speransky has not even expected the recovery will be so drastic and so fast, so he started to look for volunteers wishing to try this therapeutic approach as well. The next person, who has agreed to participate in the trial, was 50-years-old T., having difficulties to recover from stroke – half of his body was paralyzed, and he was unable to speak. The whipping procedure has been performed on a weekly base under supervision of the several specialists. After the 8th treatment, the patient returned to work. Его было тогда пятьдесят лет. Now it's almost a healthy man: he is walking with slight limp, but his speech and memory has been fully restored. The only reminder on this devastating medical condition is unstable blood pressure. Вот только давление не вполне нормализовалось

So, how Dr. Speransky explains the method effectiveness? The mechanism is simple: the marks of flogging trigger activation of the body internal immune forces. And there is not much difference for the white blood cells where to apply the healing effect: on bruises on your ass, or on scars on the heart. They do both tasks simultaneously. In addition to the physical disorders, whipping therapy is efficient for treatments of the following: alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and other psychosomatic diseases. Это все уход от жизни, утрата вкуса к ней.

In a way, depression means going away from the real life to the internal world of sadness, and losing taste of the real life, caused by reduction in "happiness hormones" А если такого человека как следует выпороть, у него активируются эндорфиновые рецепторы, происходит выброс эндорфинов и возвращается вкус к production – endorphins. The whipping activates endorphin receptors; endorphins are released to the blood stream, and the person finds a new interest in real life. If you never experienced pain, you cannot learn on how to live without it!

Some guidelines for the whipping therapy:

  • The patient should be mentally ready for the procedure and should understand its mechanism and background. Do not try to use it for people, who are not prepared for it, and who might still consider it humiliating.
  • The effect is usually amplified in the event that the procedure does a person of the opposite sex. Мужчина — женщине, и наоборот.The recommendation might be routed in the traditional cultural sexism, which is still flourishing in the Russian society.
  • The recommended course is 30 procedures, 60 strokes each time with one 15 minutes rest in the middle of the process.
  • Strikes should be applied to the buttocks, taking in consideration a personal physical build, with constant monitoring of the affect and patent conditions.
  • The method is not applicable for children and teenagers’ treatment, as they may not be psychologically ready for this approach, and may perceive it as preventive punishment.
To my surprise, whipping therapy (called “porko-therapy”) is gaining popularity among Russian therapists. Some of them have already officially included it in the treatment plans, and report amazingly good results of the applied treatment courses.

The closest you can find to the whipping therapy in the Western society is so-called spanking therapy. But, do not mix these two. Spanking therapy is usually related to the sexual games, and does not claim in most cases to have a clinical therapeutic effect on the patients. There are, however, the first attempts, to apply the therapy for the wellbeing improvement. For example, holistic center in Washington, DC, Spanking for Wellness, is helping its patients to achieve wellness through positive spanking experiences. Their philosophy of positive spanking encompasses spanking experiences which are geared toward personal growth, wholeness and healing, emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological well being, and that which fosters deep connection and mutual respect in family environment. We claim to have good success record in using spanking for stress reduction/relaxation and releasing blocked emotions as well as changing negative behavior patterns that the client wishes to transform.

You are skeptical? Me too. But, is there a big difference between whipping or spanking therapy and highly intrusive Korean massage? Really, not much… But nobody will even think laughing on the statement that Korean massage is good for your physical and emotional state.
И не только нервно-психических.

Sources and Additional Information:


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