Leech Therapy: how does it work?
Leech therapy has been known as a local elimination procedure for around 2,000 years. During blood sucking, the leeches secrete various substances that have an anti-inflammatory, blood circulation and analgesic effect.
Leeches suck blood by drilling a small wound into the skin and settling. They release many different substances with their saliva, including Hirudin, Eglin or Calin.
Hirudin has an anticoagulant effect and improves the flow properties of the blood and lymph and thus contributes to better detoxification of the whole body. It also has an antispasmodic and decongestant effect.
Eglin inhibits inflammatory processes and is pain-relieving, Calin causes the wound to be cleaned for up to 24 hours by subsequent bleeding, which is equivalent to a gentle bloodletting. This effect is deliberate, as it eliminates local metabolic waste, acids, inflammation substances etc. for hours and thus relieves the tissue.
In leech therapy, the active ingredients in the saliva of the leech are primarily used, but bite irritation and postoperative bleeding are also therapeutic aspects. Leech therapy is used for local pain - especially on joints and large muscle groups, tension, varicose veins, arthrosis, tinnitus, hearing loss, fibromyalgia and other complaints.
Did you know that leeches are an approved drug under the German Medicines Act?
The following is an overview of areas of application in which leeches are successfully used.
plastic and reconstructive surgery
epicondytis humeri radialis
boils and carbuncles
The leech was known for its healing properties long before the Middle Ages. In medicine, leech therapy is now experiencing a renaissance.
The German word for leech, Egel, comes from the Greek word echis, which means little snake. In the Germanic tribes, their word for leech more or less corresponded to the word "healer" and for centuries was a loyal helper to doctors. The best known is the medicinal leech (Hirindo medicinalis), which is bred today for therapeutic purposes.
In the mouth of the leeches are the 3 radially arranged jaws with approx. 80 lime teeth. The leeches are placed on clean, non-creamy skin areas. Its bite is star-shaped (the patient then feels a minor pain). The so-called saliva (leech saliva) is immediately released through the opening between the teeth. This saliva contains the following previously identified active ingredients:
- Hirudin: this main active ingredient inhibits blood clotting.
- Calin: a substance in the saliva that is also responsible for blood clotting causes the wound to bleed again, which has a cleaning function and can be compared to a gentle bloodletting.
- Egline: anti-inflammatory, hyaluronidase; antibiotic.
- Collagenase: inhibits platelet aggregation.
Furthermore, there are other, unidentified substances in the saliva that make up the unique cocktail of active ingredients.
The average suction time of the leech is about 30-60 min., Max. up to 2 hours. Each leech drinks approximately 8-10 cc of blood. The leeches then let go and slide off. Now the bleeding takes place (about the same amount of blood again). The small wounds become substances such as Histamine washed out, which guarantee a quick healing process. At the same time, congestion is released, muscle and skin tensions are reduced, pain and pressure sensation at the affected areas is reduced. Metabolic processes are also stimulated, which results in detoxification and purification of the organism and thus stimulation of the self-healing powers. Bleeding, which can last up to 24 hours after treatment, should not be prevented. In exceptional cases, a light suction bandage is applied.
The gentle bloodletting is used for diseases of the musculoskeletal system and all inflammatory processes. Painful arthrosis provides pain relief and an anti-inflammatory effect. The treatment of poorly healing wounds can be supported.
The great advantage of leech treatment is that internal organs such as the liver, kidney and heart are not unnecessarily stressed as in e.g. medication over conventional pain relievers. Therefore, the therapy can also be used very well in older people.
Leech therapy should not be used for blood clotting disorders, anemia, simultaneous use of anticoagulant medication, existing immunosuppression and parallel therapy with medication containing mercury.
The proven healing effects of hirudo therapy
A millennia-old natural and well-proven healing treatment.
The secret of the success of putting leeches on is in the saliva secretion of the animals. It contains numerous substances with great effects.
Leeches belong to the family of blood-sucking ringworms, the anelids, and are close to earthworms. The best known of over 300 species is the medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis. It used to be widespread in our waters, but is rarely found today due to poor water quality. Leeches are definitely bred for medical purposes.
When starved, i.e. when put on the client, leeches weigh between one and three grams and are usually eight centimeters long. When fully soaked and full, the animals usually reach twice or three times their actual size.
The effect and setting of leeches
The leech sucks by pulling the center of the suction plate back on the head, creating a vacuum. The bite itself is barely noticeable. The animal uses its small biting tools to mill a three-pointed star into the skin. The leech gives its saliva secretion into this wound. So far, scientists have identified 15 active substances in leech stores that can lead to an improvement in well-being.
The effect of leeches is not only caused by blood loss. The leeches suck blood, but this is not a large amount. The effect of leeches goes beyond local blood withdrawal with its relieving and decongesting effects. The difference between applying leeches and other methods is that the leech releases secretions into the victim's body during sucking. This secretion is mainly responsible for the many different effects of leeches. The leech has a wide range of uses and can therefore help improve your general condition in many areas.
Leeches are used to increase overall wellbeing. In most cases, leeches in the sacrum are placed on the back. This is the central starting point for the application of leeches. Leeches are used in many areas and thus provide comprehensive support for human health. There is no method that works for everyone, but it always comes down to trying.
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