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'Letting' It Out

Blood Letting: A Historical Practice and Its Medical Significance

Blood letting, the intentional removal of blood from the body, has a long history in medical practices across different cultures and time periods. Although it may seem like a peculiar and outdated practice today, blood letting played a significant role in the development of medical knowledge and treatment strategies and still has irreplaceable benefits that can be applied in conjunction with modern medicine.

Historical Origins:

The practice of blood letting dates back thousands of years and can be traced to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. These early cultures believed that the human body contained four essential bodily fluids or "humors" - blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. Imbalances in these humors were believed to cause various diseases and ailments. Blood letting was seen as a way to restore the balance by removing excess or "bad" blood.

Methods of Blood Letting:

Blood letting techniques varied across different cultures and time periods. In ancient Egypt, a tool called a "scarificator" was used to make small incisions on the skin, allowing the blood to flow out. The Greeks and Romans used a similar technique but with a different tool called a "lancet." In the Middle Ages, a popular method called "cupping" involved placing heated cups on the skin to create a vacuum and draw out blood. Additionally, leeches were commonly used for bloodletting due to their ability to suck blood. World-wide there are many ancient practices still being used, including leech therapy. At Moderni Spine, "wet-cupping" also known as Hijama is performed. Cups are applied to draw blood to the surface, and then very small superficial cuts or scratches are made in the skin and then the cup is reapplied. The blood is then drawn into the cup while the client relaxes.

Medical Significance:

While bloodletting may seem brutal and ineffective by today's medical standards, it actually has some beneficial effects. Bloodletting is believed to release "bad" blood and toxins from the body, promoting healing and restoring balance.

As medical knowledge advanced and pharmaceuticals gained more popularity, bloodletting gradually decreased in its application. However, bloodletting in certain forms (such as Hijama therapy) can still be significantly useful in helping battle chronic conditions such as pain, fatigue, stress, and blood pressure issues.


Bloodletting, despite its controversial history, played a significant role in the development of medical knowledge and treatment strategies. It reflects the ancient understanding of bodily humors and the belief in restoring balance through the removal of blood. For those who appeal more to the holistic restoring of the body, or adding holistic measures to already established modern medicine, Hijama therapy can be significant new routine addition.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult a qualified healthcare professional for any medical concerns or treatments.


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