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How to prepare patient for the therapy

A person, who is going to have a leech applied, should avoid using deodorants, fragrants and other scented cosmetics at least 24 – 48 h before the application. The animal will not attach and it will repel the leech if the skin is not perfectly clean. Disinfection is not necessary but in case of using a disinfectant (spirit, alcohol) it is important to wait for about 5 minutes and let the smell evaporate. Eating spicy food or drinking alcohol 24 h before having the leeches applied is not recommended either.

There are also some other reasons why the animals are reluctant to attach. Those may be for instance:

  • patient’s anxiety, nervousness;
  • therapist’s nervousness;
  • therapist’s incompetence;
  • the season (hot summer for example);
  • air pressure fluctuation;
  • full moon;
  • cool skin surface.

Sometimes it is necessary to encourage the leech to get it attached. Try to reassure the patient, warm up the skin surface, prick the skin to produuce a blood droplet (which is most attracting).

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