How Leech Therapy (Hirudotherapy) helped my back pain and healed Psoriasis in no time and not only…
Medicinal Leeches – the little doctors that I was once terrified to look at. I won’t be posting a photo of leeches here because I am still not a fan of their beauty, but if you google, you will see they are deep black-colored worms, and they suck the dirty blood out of you.
I will better tell you how and why I did this therapy and how leech therapy gave me almost four years of peace and remission, until, I flared up again recently, but that’s another story.
I was psoriasis free for four long years, (except a small patch on my elbow) I eat anything I wanted without fearing of a flare-up, (still avoided milk, eggplants, bell peppers, chilies but could eat anything else with no sign of flare) I was ok again. I did, however, went on and off diets for my nail psoriasis, which did not improve, but that was it.
Talking about leeches is somewhat out of my comfort zone. I only decided to share the information because they did help me indeed and despite my fear and judgment of how creepy they are, I decided to do the therapy once a year or two because the benefits of Leech Therapy goes beyond psoriasis.
WHY DID I DO LEECH THERAPY FOR PSORIASIS?
NO, I didn’t do the treatment for Psoriasis, I did it for terrible back pain. I had 2 Epidural injections, the first one in 2009, and the second one in 2011. After a couple of years, I started having lower back pain exactly where Epidurals were injected.
The pain grew over time and I reach the point I couldn’t sit more than a few minutes because of the pain with a burning sensation. I also had a stiff neck often and right shoulder pain. It was so bad that I was ready to try anything at that point. Then I heard about Leeches.
My mom has type 2 diabetes. Early that year, her whole right arm went purple, and she couldn’t lift it. So she went for Leech Therapy, it was more than ten sessions with resting periods, and by the 5th session, she already could lift her arm, and when it ended, she was dancing with joy. According to Healthline: “Research has shown that leech therapy can play a role. The Hirudin substance in leech saliva thins the blood and keeps it from clotting. Since people with diabetes tend to have thicker blood, Hirudin can help relieve the pressure on the heart and cardiovascular system by thinning the blood.” I find that information very accurate.
So after my mom’s experience and reading books that confirmed their efficiency in healing, I agreed to ease my pain with Leeches.
HOW WAS THE LEECH THERAPY PROCESS LIKE?
PREPARATION FOR THE PROCEDURE
I was told to have a fulfilling breakfast with honey tea, so I had a good breakfast around 9 am. Around 11 am Therapist started putting Leeches. They usually put them in a small glass cups and place them on to the pain areas and hold the cup turned upside down until they latch. But for me, they did it differently. They put them on my back and let them find their way. Apparently, It is believed that Leeches find the dirty blood themselves. They did.
HOW MANY LEECHES CAN BE USED IN ONE PROCEDURE?
If you go to a Speciality clinic, you will find out that, depending on the size of leeches, they use up to 1 – 10 leeches in a session and not more. It is dangerous to put more. But I ended up with 20 small sized leeches in one session on my whole back. Don’t ask me how I would be able to explain the sanity of the decision in pain. Also, I was short of time because I only had 15 days vacation, and couldn’t do so many day treatments with a longer-lasting healing period.
So they threw 10 on to Epidural pain area, another 10 between my shoulder blades. What was impressive is that all of them latch almost instantly and all lined up just around pain areas without any effort, especially epidural pain area was congested with 6 of them, all the rest were around spine line and right shoulder blade and neck.
HOW MUCH BLOOD A LEECH CAN TAKE?
I was told that a small leech can take 3ml to 5 ml, and a big leech can take 5 ml to even 15 ml. I asked specifically for small leeches, also for faster healing time and to prevent scarring. I was worried about what if they drink too much and I faint or feel weak, but I didn’t. I was totally ok because they were small ones.
DOES IT PAIN?
I did not feel pain. I was told that it does pain when they latch on and for about 5 minutes until their teeth fully adjusted, and after that, patients feel sleepy, and too many people sleep during the procedure because it takes about an hour in total.
I didn’t feel pain because I had numbing spray before the procedure and then had to wash it off with just warm water before they put them on. Apparently, they are sensitive to smell, so skin has to be clean and odor-free. So I didn’t feel pain, but I could feel them, ugh. I also fell asleep and woke up when they were unlatching.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER LEECH THERAPY?
They stopped the blood, and I had too many bandages all over my back. After two days, I got help to remove the bandages very carefully. I was told to spray alcohol over the bandages, let it soak then remove gently to avoid bleeding. Wounds were closed, and I had tiny Mercedez Benz shaped tiny teeth marks with redness around like big red pimples. I had to apply prescribed creams to reduce the risk of infection and to speed up healing. It took one week to heal and so I could go out to the public.
The biggest challenge was the itching part, as it was healing. The first week I had a crazy itch, so I used fresh aloe vera gel mixed with almond oil, applied extremely gently each time I had the itching it did help somehow.
HOW FAST DID IT WORK?
It worked almost instantly for my pain. I got up after the procedure and felt so light. It felt as if my neck and shoulder were locked all this time, and now it was unlocked, and I could move freely. As the days passed, pains started fading slowly, but surely, I couldn’t be happier.
After a month or so, I realized I was sitting in the office for the first half of the day straight, and then I noticed that Psoriasis I had on my back was almost gone. Before Leech Therapy, I had Plaque psoriasis patches on my back, arms, thighs, scalp, ear, a spot on my face and forehead, and inverse psoriasis armpits, and even intimate areas.
It took one month to take full effect for pain and three months to clear my Psoriasis on my back fully. I knew Psoriasis cleared because of leeches because my legs and arms still had some left, but my back fully cleared and healed. My nails stopped getting worst, but they didn’t improve either. I was told because nails are a result of deeper damage to the gut, it takes more than one session to heal them.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?
Yes! Despite my fear of worms, I will do it again. A couple of quick sessions gave me my life back. I felt healthier and happier and stress-free. I actually did it three times already. First time I did in August 2016, when my back cleared up and wasn’t flaring at all, no matter what, I decided to go back and do it again. In March 2017, I went back for the second time, and this time I asked to put on. My joints and liver area and thyroid area.
It was after the second session I had full body cleared up, and there was one tiny spot left on my elbow that didn’t go anywhere no matter what. I called it a toxin meter because when I eat bad stuff, that spot would react. The third one I did in 2019 August hoping multiple sessions will help my nails, but my nails are still the same till date. So I am looking forward to going back again. In fact, if it wasn’t for Covid-19, I would be in Turkey for a full-body session, but unfortunately can’t travel.
BENEFITS OF LEECH THERAPY
I experienced massive benefits from Leech Therapy. After back to back pregnancies, I also developed an allergy from AC. I was suffering because I was living in Dubai, where AC is not optional, you can’t avoid it, so I always had Aerius tablets in my purse and couldn’t imagine being without them. My allergy is gone, among other problems! My overall health improved. If I have to list the benefits I experienced, those would be:
- Psoriasis Remission
- Full back pain is gone
- Neck stiffness is gone
- Allergy is gone never bothered till now
- I became more Active and less Fatigue
- Astigmatism Improved (I had to change my screen protection glasses)
- Joint pain – gone (I thought I had arthritis because my fingers were swollen, that’s gone.)
I started researching to double-check if they were indeed the reason for my remission. I found so many publications and studies confirming, yes, Leech Therapy is very effective for Psoriasis, Eczema, Vitiligo, Hair Loss, and so many other skin conditions. Read more about Leech Therapy uses in Dermatology here
Also, Leech therapy is effective for all types of Arthritis too. You can read the full Study here
This article on US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) titled: “A clinical trial for evaluation of leech application in the management of Vicarcikā (Eczema)” Concluded: “Leech application gives significant relief for the symptoms of eczema. The life quality of the patient also improved significantly after leech therapy. No adverse reactions were reported during the entire course of study.”
Let’s look at the article published on NCBI. If you read the article, you can see that Medicinal Leeches have been used for therapeutic purposes since the beginning of civilization.
“Ancient Egyptian, Indian, Greek, and Arab physicians used leeches for a wide range of diseases starting from the conventional use for bleeding to systemic ailments:
- Skin diseases
- Nervous system abnormalities
- Urinary and reproductive system problems
- Dental problem
Recently, extensive researches on leech saliva unveiled the presence of a variety of bioactive peptides and proteins involving:
- Antithrombin (hirudin, bufrudin)
- Antiplatelet (calin, saratin),
- Factor Xa inhibitors (lefaxin),
- Antibacterial (theromacin, theromyzin) and others.
Consequently, leech has made a comeback as a new remedy for many chronic and life-threatening abnormalities, such as:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Metastasis, and infectious diseases.
To conclude, leeching was a popular therapeutic practice throughout the ages for a wide range of diseases, and it was applied as an unscientific home remedy by traditional therapists.
Nowadays, leech came back to contemporary medicine with fewer applications, which were proven and supported by a huge number of scientific studies and case reports. Leech therapy in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery is expected to be of paramount importance due to the ease of leech application and reduced side-effects. Hence, more efforts should be undertaken to optimize this utilization. More investigations are also required to assess leech efficacy and safety in the treatment of DM and cancer.”
Another study on PubMed titled: The Effectiveness of Leech Therapy in Chronic Low Back Pain ended its conclusion statement with the following: “Leech therapy appears to be an effective treatment for chronic low back pain.”
As you can see, Leech Therapy has been around for centuries and made it to today’s Modern Medicine because of its effectiveness.
DOWNSIDE OF LEECH THERAPY
To me, the only downside is the healing period. It’s itchy, and I was at home for about four days, because I was conscious of the wounds’ appearance. It takes one week for wounds to heal and about two weeks for redness to go away. I was walking around with red pimples on my neck. But wasn’t alarming to others, I guess, as I was told it looked just like acne.
Also, there might be complications like infection, allergic reactions, and prolonged bleeding that we have to be aware of. I found this publication on the US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) that stated: “Leech therapy can be a complementary therapeutic method if the possible complications are managed properly.” Personally, I didn’t have any complications.
WHERE CAN YOU DO LEECH THERAPY
I found that the best place for Leech Therapy is in Turkey. It’s affordable, accessible, and there are friendly and elite clinics that provide high-quality service at a relatively low cost. You can also find Leech Therapy clinics in Russia, China, India, the UK, the USA, Germany, and so many other countries.
I couldn’t however, find any clinic here in my new location – Mauritius. Or else I would do another session right away because I flared up recently. I flared up after I did The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush. Why? Because I was having unpleasant pain around the liver and gallbladder area. But that’s another story which I will tell you in the next post.
Thank you for reading.
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