The ‘Healing Power’ of Beijing’s White Marble Bridge

Crowds have been seen shamelessly lying on the Danbi Bridge. (Image:  Vmenkov  via   wikimedia  /  CC BY 3.0)
Crowds have been seen shamelessly lying on the Danbi Bridge. (Image: Vmenkov via wikimedia / CC BY 3.0)

Lying on the street may be considered unsightly, but crowds have been seen shamelessly lying on the Danbi Bridge, a passageway made of white marble (the Chinese called it “white jade”) leading to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. According to legend, the white marble on the Danbi Bridge is believed to have therapeutic healing power that is even better than acupuncture.

The Danbi Bridge, 1181 feet in length, is raised slightly above the ground. Recent photos posted on the Internet showed many people lying flat on their backs against the bridge or with a mat.

Some claim: “This is white jade; many say it is better than acupuncture. Pressing against the stone can improve physical health.”

The park staff responded: “People in Beijing lying on the Danbi Bridge during summer evenings has been going on for some years.” As for its therapeutic power, “the stone is just ordinary white marble. The rumor about its therapeutic function is simply groundless. The residual heat from the sun on the stone may soothe the arches and pains of people’s bodies and make them feel better as a result.”

As this unsightly phenomenon has been around for years, park management is turning a blind eye to it.  Park staff explained: “This sight takes place around evening time and there are very few foreign visitors, mostly locals. Park management will remind locals to behave properly, but will not take any action against them.”

Translated by Cecilia, edited by Angela

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