Top 10 Outdated Medical Treatments

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6.Fire Cupping


At first glance, it would seem as if this method is straight out of a movie. Yes, indeed, it was shown in the famous movie “karate kid”. This treatment is among the oldest ever to be followed and dates back to around 1,000 years old, according to archaeological finds. It simply uses the basic concept of a vacuum created by heated air and the name of this treatment literally explains as to how it is done. Congestion, arthritis, chest pains, muscle cramps, sprains are some of the most common ailments that can treated by this method. In this method, special cups are used and these are of certain specific dimensions. Vacuum created by heated air, is then heated using fire and put into the cup. These are then held onto the patient’s skin, targeting the area to be treated. Naturally, because of the vacuum, the cups stick to the skin’s surface and this method is usually followed up by slow, gradual massage on the affected area. It was most commonly used in the regions of ancient China and though outdated in other parts of the China and the world, it is still in practice by certain sects in China who claim that this is among the best methods for treating body disorders. This method does not have any known side-effects. While it may prove to be an excellent stress-reliever, no documented proof for the efficiency of this technique was found. Many still don’t know how this method actually works.

7.Treatment by Blood-Letting


The ancient Greeks had contributed a lot to the world in the fields of mathematics and science. Also known as “Bleeding”, this method was quite popular even with the ancient Mesopotamians. Blood-letting was among the few outdated treatments that were followed for a very long time. It very quickly spread to various parts of the world for the only reason that it was believed to be very effective. From the Greeks, it spread to Mesopotamia, then to the Egyptians, the Mayans, the Aztecs, and other such major ancient civilizations. It was believed that wasting some “bad blood” would also take away the disease with it. Though thought to be very effective, it actually hurt those undergoing this treatment and naturally resulted in a large quantity of one’s blood being lost. In this method, a deep cut was made usually in the hands of the patients, close to the vein, where the blood flow is fast. Due to high blood pressure, blood instantly gushed out and it was thought to bring out the disease along with it. On the contrary, post treatment, the improper sealing of the cut skin caused infections and the blood loss made the person very weak. However, disregarding these disadvantages, it was followed till the early nineteenth century, only to be later replaced by the “blood transfusion” method used now-a-days, which is safer.

8.Induced Seizures


In the early 1930’s, a Hungarian pathologist by the name of Ladislas Von Meduna observed that most of his patients who suffered from epilepsy, gradually developed psychotic symptoms and were soon found to have been cured of epilepsy. This was also observed to those patients suffering from schizophrenia. From this, he devised a strange medical treatment that earned him fame and name.  About 20% of his epileptic patients showed absolutely no reaction to anticonvulsants and other such drugs that were known to cure such disorders. Sadly, after a few weeks of developing psychotic symptoms and with the epilepsy being cured, came depression. These marked changes in the mood of his patients were easily noticeable and antidepressants proved futile. So, Ladislas devised a bizarre method where a mixture of camphor oil and oil was injected right into the main blood stream of some his patients suffering from catatonic schizophrenia (a severe form of schizophrenia). The mixture immediately spread throughout the body and developed seizures. This was the process of induced seizures, where it was created using an external medical mixture. These seizures somehow reduced the effects of depressions and gradually cured the patients off their disorders. In other words, his method proved to be 50% effective. But, during that time, no one could clearly explain as to why this method worked and Ladislas had devised it, just as a mere attempt.

9.Insulin Therapy


Here is another method of treating schizophrenics and other such mental illnesses. This method was also used in the treatment of other major disorders and diseases that are unrelated to mental illnesses. The doctors believed that an increase in the dosage of insulin in the body would cure of certain diseases. This was followed in the days when the medical field was still young and many new discoveries and theories were still being made. So, most of the doctors used certain patients to try out their new-found ideas or to put their new-found theories to practical use. Soon, rumors began to spread about certain doctors testing patients and conducting illegal medical procedures to physically disabled patients without their consent. This led the medical boards to come up with stringent measures to prevent such future occurrences. In this method, the patient was literally “shocked” in order to get some desirable changes. This was done not by inducing an electrical shock, but by increasing the level of one’s insulin in the body, which naturally caused the body to go into a state of seizure. Again, the main problems observed were the patients to gradually slip into a coma. Some doctors believed that the body heals itself and that some kind of normalization is attained after a coma.

10.Electroconvulsive Treatment (ECT)


Somewhere in 1938, a certain Italian psychiatrist by the name of Ugo Cerletti observed that it was much easier to slaughter pigs when they were electrocuted. He later discovered that a mild electric shock administered to pigs temporarily stunned them, and paralyzed their limbs for a short while. Using this as an inspiration, he soon developed a way by which a mild shock given to his patients directly to the head, acted as an anesthetic, temporarily making the patients unconscious. His patients were usually those who were mentally challenged and it proved to be a great task when he tried injecting with a local anesthesia, especially because they did not co-operate too well as other patients would. This method was used in an effective manner for the treatment of several mental disorders, Bi-polar disorders, depression, Catatonia and schizophrenia. It was found that this method sometimes paralyzed the patient completely sent them to a coma. At other times, it was observed that, even when the treatment was partially successful, the patient became paralyzed in some part of the body, either waist-down or the top portion. In most of the cases however, this method proved to be effective Ugo soon earned fame.

It was followed for quite a couple of years after the invention of the device, but soon became outdated after it was asked to stop by the major medical boards.

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