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    Ailing Indonesians Lay on Train Tracks for Free Treatment

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    Indonesians who can't afford conventional medical care have discovered what they claim is a cost-effective alternative. Rather than visiting the doctor's office for treatment, they're banking on the therapeutic effect of lying down on train tracks.

    The practice of lying across train tracks is not normally associated with good health, but for an increasing number of Indonesians, it's become an effective alternative to conventional medical therapy for easing aches and pains.

    It's all about the electricity.

    They say the mild current that passes through their bodies when they lie across the track, makes pain go away and eases the symptoms of a range of conditions from rheumatism to diabetes.

    One particular track in western Jakarta has become popular with people who are either either too poor to afford conventional medical treatments or for whom those treatments have been ineffective.

    [Husin, Local User]:
    "I had an accident and caused a fracture in my bone, I could not do any activities before. But now I can wake up by myself and walk. Thanks to the therapy I did for 2.5 months recently."

    [Inah, Satisfied User]:
    "I had uric acid in my hand which was hard to move, but thank god now it's getting better."

    According to government statistics more than 30 million Indonesians are officially poor.

    The country's national health service is often accused of being too expensive for its poor.

    As a result alternative therapies abound throughout the country.

    No studies have been conducted on the medical benefits of electricity from the railway tracks.

    But a local medical practitioner is concerned.

    [Dr. Dwi Yani, Chief, Local Health Center]:
    "Electricity is used for special cases and severe cases but it's not used for all diseases. But here they use the therapy for all kinds of diseases and this situation will impact on ...