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Growing pains and growing pills
By Zhang Zhenlian (Shanghai Star)
Updated: 2004-03-23 10:10

The people who accept having their shin bones cut apart in order to make themselves grow taller (being persuaded by some "doctors" that the separated shin bones will heal by adding length between the cut points, thus making one grow taller) and afterwards suffer from unspeakable pain or handicap may feel uncomfortable if they see what today's TV commercials are showing us: that we can actually grow out of the pain of "I am too short" by much easier means than those they had gone through.

First is the constant recommendation of "highly nutritious food". Although it can hardly be called food because you can never tell what food substances these powders, fluids or pills really come from. They have long lost the original taste, shape or aroma of any kind of food. But that is where their value comes from - if they were no difference from ordinary food, their value would be doubtful. So you are told to take these powders, fluids or pills, to stimulate your conarium, your adrenal gland or whatever hormonal glands need stimulating to make you grow taller.

But another company is telling you that taking such stuff is troublesome and ineffective. So please use the body stretcher instead. The "body stretcher" works like this: you just have to sleep on it, tying to your waist to the device. Then the stretcher will pull you from both ends to make you "longer". Keep doing this "exercise" and you will become longer or taller.

But another company is telling you that using those mechanical stretchers is no less troublesome and tiring and no less ineffective. So please use the shoes and insoles.

Shoes and insoles can certainly be ranked among the most magic means to help one grow taller. No powder, no exercise, no stretch, just wear the shoes or insoles and you will shoot from 165 to 175 cm. The principle at work is purported to be providing stimuli and heat to the relevant acupuncture points (many of these are located at the bottom of your feet) according to the great Traditional Chinese Medicine theory.

But using the shoes and insoles is still not easy enough, as still another company will tell you. So please use lotions and cream. Just apply them to your skin (particularly around your waist, round your neck and at the bottom of your feet) and you can probably grow another 5 cm in a short period. The reason is that the magic cream, after being absorbed, will delay the aging of the bones and thus spare you another year for growth. This reason does not sound that strange at all compared to another explanation: that the scent of the lotion or cream makes you happy, helping you to grow taller.

One thing common to these TV commercials is that, there is always a beautiful girl to compare with the powder taker, the machine user or the shoe wearer. At first, the man is shorter than this beautiful girl which is terribly painful for them both. But after taking the powder, using the stretcher or wearing the shoes or insoles, he suddenly grows taller than the beautiful girl and, of course, he is no longer worried about his height (to link height to traditional masculine pride is certainly not as creative as all the new theories which propose to explain how easy it is to grow taller).

Finally before shutting up, please kindly allow me to make an advertisement of a still easier way of growing tall fast: if you pick up the Shanghai Star and read my column as often as possible, you will also achieve an astonishing 5cm growth in just one month.

The principle is: just pay and you'll be taller. That's the easiest way.

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