Claim: A viral WhatsApp video claims doing a few minutes heart massage and breathing exercises would increase blood circulation in two weeks.
Verdict: This is disinformation. Experts say this massage will, at best, only provide psychological relief and does not affect blood circulation in any way.
Dubawa received a WhatsApp message which included a video on June 22, 2021, claiming that doing the massage routine in the attached video is capable of curing heart blockages. The message attached to the video claimed the procedure “had saved thousands from heart blockages” and that those who had tried it confirmed it cured them from “back pain” in “just seven days”. This message and video have been shared on numerous WhatsApp groups and private chats after that date.
Screen shot of the WhatsApp message
Dubawa watched the video produced by Austin Goh, who led the over three minutes exercise, explaining to viewers how to do the heart massage and breathing procedures that would increase blood circulation. He also added voice overs from time to time, noting what each procedure would help viewers achieve, and promising them relief if they practised the procedure for two weeks.
Screenshot of the conclusion of the video
Who is Austin Goh?
Austin Goh, a Chinese born in Malaysia, is a self-proclaimed natural therapist who says he helps “people with chronic health problems get rid of their pain”. He was a martial artist who had an injury and defied medical advice to amputate. He claimed he rehabilitated his shattered knee by himself and has been helping people overcome health issues like chronic sinusitis since January, 1984. He teaches Wing Chun Kung Fu at Austin Goh Martial Arts Academy in London and has degrees in Physical Education and English Language from England. Austin Goh has a Youtube channel with 798 thousand subscribers and 388 uploaded videos.
Screenshot of Austin Goh’s Youtube Page
Screenshot of the video description on Youtube
Many viewers or subscribers believed it and asked questions on how they could maximise the benefits of the massage for blood circulation.
Screenshot of a viewer asking questions about the exercise
Another viewer commends the procedure and extolled its benefits
Screenshot of a subscriber commending the exercise
We also have skeptics who doubt the procedure and shared their thoughts on Mr. Goh’s page.
Screenshot of a doubtful or confused viewer’s comments
Dubwa shared the video with two Consultant Cardiologists in Nigeria who both say there is no medical or scientific evidence to back Goh’s theory.
Dr. Hassan Olayinka Olaiwola, a Consultant Cardiologist with Grandville Medical and Laser in Lagos State, Nigeria, says the procedure is pure fallacy and that rubbing or massaging the chest around the heart area does not affect or influence blood circulation. Dr. Olaiwola commented that “at best”, the exercise “would give the person doing it some psychological relief”.
Dr. Sanni Saheed of Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, told Dubawa that he “watched the video to the end” and it is “pure disinformation”, arguing that “none of the actions in the video improves the cardiac function or blood flow”.
Dr. Sanni said he knows people are eager to take care of their health and he therefore recommended walking for about 30 minutes daily, jogging, using the treadmill as scientifically backed exercises to help the heart. He says the exercises also “improve cardiopulmonary functions” which are the interrelationship between the workings of the heart and lung organs.
The internet is full of many self-professed natural health therapists who put the lives of their audiences at risk for psychological and financial gains. The claim by Austin Goh is false. Experts say this massage will, at best, only provide psychological relief and does not affect blood circulation in any way.