Culture International Lifestyle Translation

Malaysian MRI consent forms ask if patients have done… black magic??

(Artikel asal ditulis dalam BM oleh rakan kami di SOSCILI. Sila klik sini untuk baca!)

 

Imagine this – you’re about to undergo a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedure and you’re given a consent form to fill in. In the form, you noticed a section to declare if you have metal implants and you saw this…

WHAT ON EARTH?!?!?! Img from @NerdKid_94 Twitter

OMG, why are medical practitioners so kepoh to know if you have charm needles aka susuk in you?!?!?! Well, for one…

 

Susuk is made from metal and it’s dangerous for MRI

If this is your first time hearing about susuk, allow us to introduce it to you. Susuk is basically the act of inserting foreign objects gold or precious metals like silver and even diamond – into specific parts of the body by a shaman (or what we usually call a Bomoh). 

Most of the time, susuk is worn for a very specific purpose – to be stronger, invincible, desirable or even just to be pretty. Think of it like a traditional form of plastic surgery or getting implants, but with magic spells.

This is how susuk is inserted into the body. Unedited image from SIRI LAWAK CHANNEL YouTube

Wearing susuk has been a tradition in the Malay community for the longest time. How long, you ask? Well, the Malay people have been practicing susuk waaaaaaayyyyyyy back, prior to the arrival of Islam in Malaya.

However, just as with plastic surgeries, susuk is only worn by atas people because it was hella expensive. And they wore it to outshine the rakyat jelata.

Uhh… not this kinda shine. Gif from Gifer

But here’s the thing, different types of susuk inserted to different parts of the bodies will bring totally different outcomes. Men back in those days, for instance, would wear it to be invincible while practicing silat or to gain strength to work at farms.

Women, on the other hand, would insert susuk in their lips, chin, cheek or breasts to look prettier. Hookers would normally wear them too but to increase stamina in bed. 😉

Susuk normally comes in two forms – powder and needles (hence, the name charm needles). However, these needles are really, reallllyyyyy tiny. They measure at 0.5-1mm in diameter and are about 1-1.5cm long. 

L-R: Charm needles and powdered susuk (no, that’s not a glitter). Images from suaramerdeka.com and OhBulan!

Hol’ up. Aren’t these just mystical tales told by grandparents???

Well, not really. Turns out, science kinda proved the existence of susuk. For one, people who wear susuk, especially in the form of charm needles, would have to clarify at hospitals if they’re gonna undergo an MRI procedure.

Twitter user (who’s also a medical practitioner) Helmi told us that govt hospitals are superkepoh to find out if you’re wearing it because since charm needles are mostly made from metal, they can cause safety hazards when you undergo MRI.

“Ain’t nobody got time to witness some Final Destination sh*te in the MRI room.” – Helmi, in his tweet.

But that’s not the only time susuk has made an appearance in the medical world.

 

NAH, BACA:
We fact check 4 things Malaysians got wrong about Budget 2019

Many doctors globally have seen susuk via… x-rays!

If you’re a skeptic and refuse to believe all these hocus-pocus, you can probably consider this – local and global medical practitioners (yes, doctors and dentists) have been seeing the susuk since the 90s(!). But how?

Although susuk generally can’t be seen with your naked eyes, it is commonly detected through x-rays. However, dentists from India in their study do highlight how susuk are often mistaken for other metals like acupuncture needles or restorative pins used by dentists. 

So, how does susuk appear on an x-ray?

Case #1: Dentist saw susuk in a woman’s teeth

Img from NCBI

In 2014, dentists in India saw two needles, measuring at 10mm long and 2mm wide, in her tooth. Oddly enough, she hasn’t been to the dentist prior to this visit, so it’s pretty impossible for the needles to be medical-related metals.

The woman only revealed (after being questioned multiple times) that she implanted the needles 10 years ago. But the reason behind her action remains unknown. *cue X-Files theme song*

 

Case #2: A Malaysian-American who implanted susuk in the US

In 2010, a Malaysian-American consulted a doctor to find a solution for his never-ending headache that he has been having since years back. The doctor performed an x-ray on him and saw…

SO. MANY. NEEDLES!!! Img from ATS Journals

As it turns out, the Malaysian-American admitted to having implanted susuk on his scalp, chest and stomach to reduce his pain. But here comes the plot twist – he implanted them in… Arizona.

 

Case #3: Woman wore susuk in her chin, cheeks and body

Case courtesy of Dr Ian Bickle, Radiopaedia.org. From the case rID: 19832

A foreign woman who was about to start her job in the United Kingdom had to undergo a series of health checkups, one of them being the x-ray. The doctor who performed it discovered many tiny needles in her chin, cheek, head, and body.

Guess we don’t have to remind you of the possible purpose of this type of susuk la, ok?

Seeing how susuk can now be seen through scientific methods…

 

OMG, are we gonna see more mystical things?

Easy answer, probably.

Actually, susuk isn’t the first mystical thing that can be seen thanks to science. Back in 2018, local researchers believe they were able to detect genies through aura photography. We wrote about it and you can read more about it here.

Or click this image to find out more.

But mystical or not, it seems like researchers locally and globally have proved the existence of susuk although susuk is commonly practiced in Southeast Asian countries. 

However, it’s noteworthy that Malays are not the only ones using susuk nowadays. As it turns out, Chinese, Indians, Caucasians and Koreans have reportedly used it as well.

Having said that, if y’all have to undergo an MRI procedure anytime soon (or later), don’t be afraid to declare if you have susuk or charm needles in you. These tiny pieces of metal in an MRI machine may kill you. No, seriously.

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