Medicinal Leech Therapy

Medicinal Leech Therapy

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Medicinal Leech Therapy by Andreas Michalsen, Manfred Roth, Gustav J. Dobos

Medicinal leech therapy has undergone a renaissance in recent years, both in terms of how well the effects of using leeches are understood,and in the discovery of new clinical applications that have resulted in remarkable outcomes. This timely book introduces the basic principles of using leeches in clinical practice, and clearly sets out the methodology and potentialapplications. Emphasis is given to those areas of medicine where scientific studies have already provided firm evidence of success -- treatment of arthrosis and pain is already benefiting from this highly effective therapy.Excellent instructions for the use of leeches cover the full spectrum of possible applications, while the encouraging new developments in research are also addressed. This valuable guide for physicians to this important therapy comes from the acknowledged experts in the field.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783131618917
Publisher: Thieme
Publication date: 01/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 190
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Charite Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Faculty for Integrative Medicine, Clinic Essen-Mitte, Essen, Germany

Table of Contents

Introduction   A. Michalsen   M. Roth     1
The History of Leech Therapy   E. Wittke-Michalsen     4
Leeching in Ancient European Medicine     5
Leeching in the Middle and Modern Ages     6
Leech Therapy in Recent Times     10
The Biology of Leeches   M. Roth     13
Introduction     13
The Evolutionary History of Leeches     16
Anatomy and Function     21
Oral Anatomy and Function     24
Skin, Muscles, Nerves, and Senses     28
Leech Behavior, Habitat, and Care     37
Reproduction     46
Medicinal Leech-Keeping and Breeding at Our Breeding Center     48
Summary of Leech-Keeping Practice     51
The Technique of Leech Therapy   E. Wittke-Michalsen     58
Skin Preparation Measures     60
Leech Application Procedure     60
Indications for Leech Therapy   P. Flecken   A. Michalsen     66
Venous Disease; Varicose Veins     66
Arthrosis     69
Rheumatic Diseases     76
Tendovaginitis (Lateral Epicondylitis) and Tendinitis     77
Vertebrogenic PainSyndromes     78
Further General Indications     80
Leech Therapy in Rheumatic Disease   U. Storck     84
Muscle Tension     85
Inflammatory Reactions in Connective Tissue and Connective Tissue Zones     88
Leech Therapy in Plastic Surgery   M. Blessmann   R. Schmelzle     92
Theory     92
Case Studies     97
Contraindications   P. Flecken   A. Michalsen     103
Hemophilia, Anticoagulant Medications     103
Anemia     103
Erosive Gastritis and Potential Gastrointestinal Bleeding     104
Acute Stages of Infectious Disease     104
Serious Organic Disease and Immunosuppression     104
Severe Allergic Diathesis     105
Pregnancy     105
General and Local Wound-Healing Disorders     105
Keloids     106
Lack of Patient Consent     106
Safety and Adverse Effects of Leech Therapy   A. Michalsen     107
Local Pain During Treatment     107
Local Itching     108
Hypotension and Vasovagal Attacks     109
Blood Loss     110
Impaired Wound Healing, Superinfection, and Allergies     110
Sepsis     112
Transmission of Infectious Diseases     113
Scarring     113
The Scientific Basis of Leech Therapy   A. Michalsen     115
Mechanisms of Leeching and Their Clinical Correlatives     115
Proof of Efficacy in Specific Clinical Indications     119
Special Features of Clinical Research with Leeches     129
The Biochemistry of Leech Saliva   U. Gross   M. Roth     131
Components of the Saliva of the Medicinal Leech     133
Components of the Saliva of Other Leeches     138
Recombinant Anticoagulants     139
Bacterial Flora of the Medicinal Leech (Hirudo medicinalis)   J. Graf     141
Intestinal Symbiosis of the Medicinal Leech     141
Aeromonas, Intestinal Symbiont of the Medicinal Leech     143
Microbiology of the Leech     145
Antimicrobial Properties of the Leech Intestine     146
Medicinal Leeches in Integrative Medicine   G. Dodos     152
Why Integrative Medicine?     153
Integrative Medicine in Germany     154
Example: Leech Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee     155
Respecting the Wishes of the Patient      156
How Does Leeching Fit into CAM?     156
Legal Aspects of Leech Therapy in the EU and USA   M. Aurich     158
What is the Legal Status of Leech Therapy?     159
What Qualifications Must a Leech Therapist Have?     163
Has the Patient Been Properly Informed of the Potential Risks of Treatment by the Leech Therapist?     163
Has the Patient Been Properly Informed about How to Recognize Potential Side Effects?     164
Do Animal and Environmental Protection Rules Apply?     164
What Legal Requirements Apply to the Disposal of Medicinal Leeches after Use?     164
Appendix     166
Check List: Materials for Leech Therapy     166
Check List: Leech Therapy Procedure     166
Pain Journal Used to Document the Results of Leech Therapy     168
Information for the Patient and Consent Form     170
Pretreatment Information for Leech Therapy Patients     172
Leech Therapy Procedure     173
Index     174

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