1 Introduction

A. Michalsen, M. Roth

The return of the traditional treatment practice of leeching, or leech therapy, to modern medicine gave occasion to this book. Today, as was the case in the past, the use of leeches in medicine is drawing tremendous public attention. Positive and negative prejudices about leeches prevail, however these small pro tagonists can face them with great confidence. The fact that leeches have been used for more than 2000 years in the world’s most important traditional medicine systems (including traditional European, Ayurvedic, and Chinese medicine) is in itself undeniable proof of the repeated success of leech therapy.

Nevertheless, it is essential to update and scientifically evaluate leech therapy in accordance with the current state of knowledge. According to I. W. Müller:

“Leeching is one of the oldest treatment methods around. It has survived for more than 2000 years since the beginnings of scientific medicine. Leeches were used by the billions, but this extraordinary mass experiment was poorly documented.” [1]

By combining traditional wisdom with modern biological and clinical study data, we can now give precise instructions for optimal leech therapy in hospitals and private practices.

As the title Medicinal Leech Therapy implies, the main objective of this book is to convey the most important elements of the successful practice of medicinal leeching. Apart from mastering the actual technique of leech application, these include a thorough and critical assessment of the indications for leech therapy, as well as a precise knowledge of contraindications and standard procedures for minimizing the risk of treatment complications. An in-depth knowledge of the biology of medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis

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Oct 3, 2016 | Posted by in MANUAL THERAPIST | Comments Off on Introduction

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