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This article about the Lotus Mountain Retreat appeared in the '98 Beijing Review.

Paradise for Convalescent Tourism--Mt. Lotus

Mt. Lotus tourist zone is located in the ancient city of Erzhou on the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, about 68 km from Wuhan, capital city of Hubei Province. The zone is in the middle of the golden tourist itinerary of Lushan Mountain--relics of the ancient Three Kingdoms--and the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River.

The tourist zone offers beautiful natural sights. Nine hills take the shape of a huge lotus on the surface of the water, hence its name.

Inside the zone, a cluster of traditional architecture color the beautiful natural sights. The 80-meter-high Yuanming Pagoda, built on top of Fushou (Happiness and Longevity) Mountain in the zone's center, is a 13-storey octagonal pagoda with flying eaves. One of the highest pagodas in China, from the top one can see the Yangtze River far away, and get a bird's-eye view of the area down below.

Mt. Lotus is a special tourist spot combining sight-seeing and convalescent tourism. Experts have found that Mt. Lotus enjoys a special magnetic field. Yuanji hall (a three-storey pavilion) and other unique buildings possess special biological and medicinal effects, beneficial to the human body. Tourists coming to Mt. Lotus like to sit inside the hall for hours to synchronize the body and mind with the help of the special magnetic field. In one small experiment, scientists cut an apple and other fruits into three parts and put one slice inside the hall, one in another building of the same height and one in a refrigerator. Three days later, they took them out and found that the part outside the hall had become decayed, the part kept in the refrigerator was still fresh but had lost some of its flavor, and only the part inside the Yuanji Hall remained completely fresh and kept its flavor. Experts, therefore, conducted further experiments and research on the Yuanji Hall's bio! logical, physiological and geological effects, which proved it could reduce infiltration and brittleness of the red blood cells and make them more stable. The crop seeds also proved to increase production after being laid inside the hall for several days.

The Yuanji Hospital inside the Mt. Lotus tourist zone is a special hospital for Yuanji medicine based on Western and traditional Chinese medicines. The hospital now has 300 beds. Yuanji Hospital pays great attention to the relationship between nature and the human body and gives synchronized treatment to the patient's body and mind with Yuanji therapy, which balances yin and yang, and harmonizes the vital qi and blood. Coupled with Western medicine, Yuanji therapy produced obvious effects in treating diseases. For several years, clinical practice has shown that the notable therapy had produced sound effects in treating strange diseases and those difficult to cure, such as diabetes, uremia, lupus erythematosus and cerebral palsy. Patients in hospital come from 31 provinces and cities in China and from Japan, the United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and other countries.