Photos by Ehsan Kamaly, Mehr News Agency
These photos show the alternative medicine practices of cupping and Leeching in Bojnourd, Iran. Alternative medicine is practiced widely in Iran. In fact, Tehran University of Medical Sciences has a Faculty of Traditional Medicine. Also, there are organizations and websites active in this field including Traditional Iranian Medical Society and the Traditional Iranian Medical Reference Website
A doctor as the Traditional Medicine Center in Bojnourd
Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of alternative medicine, also practiced in Iran, in which a local suction is created on the skin; practitioners believe this mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand or electrical pumps).
Medicinal use of leeches: The use of leeches in medicine for bloodletting dates as far back as 2,500 years ago, when they were used for bloodletting in ancient India. Leech therapy is explained in ancient Ayurvedic texts. Many ancient civilizations practiced bloodletting, including Indian and Greek civilizations. In ancient Greek history, bloodletting was practiced according to the humoral theory, which proposed that, when the four humors, blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile in the human body were in balance, good health was guaranteed. An imbalance in the proportions of these humors was believed to be the cause of ill health. Records of this theory were found in the Greek philosopher Hippocrates' collection in the fifth century BC. Bloodletting using leeches was one method used by physicians to balance the humors and to rid the body of the plethora.
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