Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Bloodletting, sometimes known as “bleeding,” is one of the most ancient and widely used healing techniques in the world. This technique was used by the Mesopotamians, Greeks, Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans, and many other cultures in the ancient world. It involved the withdrawal of generally a large amount of blood in order to prevent or cure a certain disease or illness. It was widely used up until about the 19th century, which gives it a time span of about 2,000 years. Though many claimed that bloodletting worked as it got rid of “contaminated blood” and restored balance to the four humors, it often harmed those who underwent the procedure. The theory of this type of healing was based upon menstruation, as many saw this event as an act of a woman losing her “bad humors.” Today, the practice is rarely used except for a few special ailments and has been replaced by blood transfusions.