An alternative healer who advocates a technique known as “slapping therapy” was charged Thursday over the death of a woman at one of his workshops in England seven years ago.
Hongchi Xiao was charged with manslaughter by gross negligence in the October 2016 death of Danielle Carr-Gomm, Wiltshire Police said.
British police first sought to arrest Xiao in 2019. He was detained after being extradited from Australia.
Xiao promotes paida lajin therapy, in which patients are slapped or slap themselves repeatedly, ostensibly to release toxins from the body. Patients often end up with bruises or bleeding. The technique has its roots in Chinese medicine, but critics say it has no scientific basis.
Xiao, who is originally from China and runs the California-based Pailala Institute, has led paida lajin workshops around the world.
Carr-Gomm, 71, died at Cleeve House country hotel in western England while attending a workshop run by Xiao.
Carr-Gomm’s son Matthew said after her death that she had sought “alternative methods of treating and dealing with her diabetes” because she struggled to inject insulin due to a fear of needles.
“I know she was desperate to try and cure herself of this disease,” he said. “She always maintained a healthy lifestyle and was adamant that nothing would stop her from living a full life.”
Police said Xiao, 60, is due to appear in court in Salisbury, southwest England, on Friday.