With leech therapy (also called hirudotherapy), a patient must surely jump over his shadow, because he thinks of disgust when he thinks of "leech". But it is worthwhile to skip this first inhibition threshold, because leech therapy has been a form of therapy that has been used successfully for many hundreds of years.
How does leech therapy work?
The leeches are placed on the skin at carefully selected locations. In order to be able to suck up blood, you put a "bite" here - this feels like a nettle touch. While you are sucking a small amount of blood, you are releasing a substance from your body, a kind of saliva. This is important for the leech, among other things, because it prevents the blood from clotting and thereby "comes to his fair wages". But it is also the effect of the secreted substance that helps the patient.
More specifically: the substance contains, among other things, hirudin and calin, both of which have an anticoagulant effect. Bdelline and Egline have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It also contains hyaluronidase, an active ingredient that promotes the absorption of healing substances.
In which cases are leech therapy used - what do leeches help?
The range of uses of leech therapy is very wide, some cases are amazing. For example, leeches are even used in plastic surgery. However, the use of is more common and obvious to many
Inflammation (e.g. inflammation of the nose / sinuses, inflammation of the mammary glands, gallbladder, testicles, tendons / tendon sheath ("tennis elbow")
Shingles (herpes zoster)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Phlebitis and trombophlebiitis
What else needs to be considered with leech therapy?
Leeches are (odor) sensitive animals. Therefore, you should not use perfumes, deodorants, ointments etc. before the treatment. Since the treatment site bleeds again, you should choose the time of treatment so that this is possible without any problems - and you can, for example, raise your foot after treatment after the treatment.
Read recommendation on leech therapy
If you are interested in very detailed information on leech therapy, I would be happy to recommend the book "Hirudotherapy - A Handbook of Leech Therapy" by Dominique Kaehler Schweizer and Magdalene Westendorff