I’m a mild psoriasis sufferer. A few years ago, some friends at a traditional Chinese medicine clinic offered me a remedy: a bag of crushed dragonflies, to be decocted into a tea. When I say tea, I mean a substance consisting of liquefied crushed dragonflies.
Yeah, yeah: Dickie Dawkins, scientific method and all that hoo-ha. The thing is, if somebody offers you a bag of crushed dragonflies and you turn them down they don’t think you are a rigorous adherent of the empirical method. They think you’re a mardarse.
Anyway, enough said about that. This strikes me as a somewhat better option:
…at Dianchi Chuntian, a wonderfully relaxing (and affordable) hot springs spa in Kunming, Yunnan Province, it's swarms of hungry fish that seek out your skin — the dead stuff, we were assured — and ingest it. It's meant to be healthy, for you and the fish.
Wikipedia tells us that these "doctor fish," or garra rufa, are popular in Turkish spas, and can be especially beneficial for people with psoriasis. (In Chinese the fish are called mei ti yu, 美体鱼, or "beautifying fish.")
It “tickles” apparently, as well it might. Trouble is, I’ve got to head 11,000 miles or so to Yunnan to have fish devour my dead skin. So I’m stuck with the sunlamp - I'm not trying those fucking dragonflies twice. Look, I appreciate that corporate science spends far too much time on neurosis and frippery, and in so doing tends to encourage the state of mental self-indulgence whose less naturalistic manifestations Dickie Dawkins likes to expose in his ponderous way.
But give me a break: As things stand, me and my scabby elbows can choose between drinking crushed dragonfly soup, looking like Tommy Sheridan or travelling thousands of miles to get hoovered by mutant carp. Come on Science. Stop throwing hissy fits at random shamans and fucking get on with it.