There are few aspects of medical history that attract as much attention as that of Bleeding and Cupping. The concept is an ancient one and yet still practiced in some parts of the world. During a visit to Shanghai, I developed a stiff neck. My hosts offered to treat it with cupping. Unfortunately it did not relieve my symptoms. There are vast numbers of artifacts still available from the widespread used of this procedure to treat virtually every ailment and numerous references in the bibliography describe it. Most school children are acquainted with the story that George Washington’s terminal illness was probably worsened by the use of bleeding by his personal physicians. I have separated out Leeches from the general category because of the great role they played in this concept. According to the oxford dictionary the term leech appeared around the year 900. The word leechcraft applies to the art of healing or medical science. As early as 1374 the term leecher was used to refer to a physician. The saga continues even today where leeches have been reintroduced into medical use for certain surgical procedures to control post operative swelling.
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