This woman went for a massage, and a few minutes later went into a coma and died

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“In general, when you're unwell, it's not advisable to have a massage. The problem is some people don't know they have a medical condition.”

After a long day of shopping, Singaporean Serene Lim decided to go for a facial and a massage. She told her parents that she would be home for dinner. They never heard from her again.

But they did hear from a hospital at around 8PM to inform them that their daughter was currently undergoing an emergency treatment. Before they could arrive at the hospital to see their daughter, she had already died.

Serene’s mother attributed her daughter’s death to a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) procedure called tuina therapy that she took in a clinic in Orchard Road, Singapore.

READ: Can I Use a Massage Chair During Pregnancy?

The authorities reported that Serene experienced severe convulsions during the massage and soon went into a coma.

A Chinese news platform reported that a physician at the TCM clinic requested the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for assistance when Serene passed out during the treatment.

A dispatcher-assisted cardiac pulmonary resuscitation was initiated over the phone with the help of a person from the clinic. When they couldn’t revive her, she was rushed to the hospital, where she died at 8:47pm.

It is unknown if Serene suffered from any ailments at the time.


According to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Tuina, or deep tissue Chinese massage, is a hands-on-body manipulation treatment.

“Physically, it is a series of pressing, tapping, and kneading with palms, fingertips, knuckles to remove blockages along the meridians of the body and stimulate the flow of energy (qi) and blood to promote healing from within.”

Tunia is a treatment generally suitable for any ages, Dr. Khoo Yong Hak said. However, if you have an existing medical condition, it is a good idea to stay away from massages of any form.

“In general, when you're unwell, it's not advisable to have a massage,” he said. “The problem is some people don't know they have a medical condition."

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Written by

James Martinez