From bionic body parts to devices that can edit individual genes, modern medicine is full of technological miracles. Yet even with these advances, doctors still rely on old fashioned techniques. These three old-school treatments remind us that, when it comes to health, newer doesn’t always mean better.
The use of leeches may seem like something out of the middle ages, but you can still find the blood sucking worms in many modern hospitals. Why?
When a person severs their finger or thumb, getting proper blood flow back the appendage is crucial. A strategically placed leech can use its bloodsucking ability to aid circulation in the reattached body part until the patient has recovered.
Maggots survive by eating dead tissue. This made them a popular treatment for cleaning out wounds before the discovery of antibiotics.
Now, with drug resistant strains of bacteria becoming a problem in modern hospitals, maggots are making a comeback in medicine. Recent research shows that maggots can be used successfully to treat patients whose wounds are infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria
The earliest known mention of acupuncture was in the Chinese scientific treatise The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, a book that dates to about 100 BC.
Although acupuncture did not find its way into mainstream American medicine until the 1970s, today this ancient medical specialty is considered an important way to treat pain without the risks that can be associated with modern drugs or anesthesia.