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J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Dec;19(12):921-4. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0752. Epub 2013 Jul 5.

Mongolian traditional-style blood-letting therapy.

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  • 1Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine , Daejeon, South Korea .


Blood-letting therapy is one of the most important treatments in traditional Mongolian medicine (TMM). To observe the practice of Mongolian traditional-style blood-letting therapy (MTSBLT), two TMM clinics in Mongolia were visited in 2012 and two practitioners and a patient were interviewed. The interviews provided information on several characteristic features of MTSBLT, including its three stages: preparation, blood-letting, and recuperation. In the preparation stage, an herbal decoction, such as Braivu sumtan, is given for 3-5 days, during which time massage, cupping, and moxibustion can be applied. In the blood-letting stage, specific points, which differ from acupuncture points, are selected according to the patient's symptoms, and the targeted vein is incised just once. At this time, about 10 mL of blood is drained. In the recuperation stage, the patient needs to be cautious about diet and refrain from excessive physical exercise to prevent adverse effects. The patient interviewed had a favorable attitude toward blood-letting, believing that MTSLBT was an effective treatment for his symptoms.

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