What Is Hemotherapy?

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  • Written By: Megan Shoop
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 09 June 2017
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Generally speaking, hemotherapy is a term used to describe the use of blood in the treatment of a certain condition. This involves the transfusion of blood to a patient. Most recently, the term is often used to refer to autohemotherapy, which is when a patient is injected with their own blood as treatment.

In some cases, the blood is first treated with medication or some kind of holistic treatment before being reintroduced to the body. The blood transfusion may take place immediately after the blood is drawn, or some time later. Hemotherapy and autohemotherapy is fairly popular in Europe and has only recently begun to be used in the United States. Advocates say it helps strengthen the immune system, can help wounds heal faster, and may be able to soothe symptoms from skin and joint conditions.

During a typical session, a doctor may wrap a tourniquet around a patient’s arm to encourage a vein to stand out against the skin. The doctor then usually draws a single vial of blood and bandages the needle wound. The blood is then injected back into the patient, usually on a muscular part of the body, like a thigh or buttock. Re-injection is rather like receiving a vaccine, so the blood doesn’t need to be injected back into a vein. Rather, it goes into the muscle and is distributed throughout the body.

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Proponents of hemotherapy say that it helps patients recover more quickly from illness and disease by strengthening the immune system. The idea is that when the patient’s blood is reintroduced to the body, the immune system will rise and attack the blood because it carries traces of the disease. This sudden onset of strength is supposed to help push the last of any infection out of the body entirely. Hemotherapy is often used to treat viral infections, like the common cold or influenza.

Some doctors like to use hemotherapy for skin conditions as well. Eczema, psoriasis, and healing burns can also be candidates for hemotherapy. In these cases, not only does the body double its efforts to fight the disease but the injection also pulls more blood into the affected area. This promotes healing by helping the cells renew themselves more quickly.

In the above cases, doctors also sometimes treat the drawn blood with medicine or oxygen. When it is re-injected, the blood then carries the medicine directly to the affected area. Many patients who receive hemotherapy see very fast results because the medicine doesn’t have to travel through the entire bloodstream. Blood treated with oxygen often nourishes cells and helps them to function more strongly, giving them a better chance of fighting off the condition.

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anon996225
Post 6

Hemotherapy refers to the transfusion of fluids like blood and plasma. It does not have to happen immediately. An example is blood transfusion. This is a process that may be performed by medical professionals and is widely accepted as useful way to replace lost important bodily fluids after trauma.

Autohemotherapy is injecting blood or a blood mixture into muscle and soft tissue. It has no widely accepted clinical use or support and very little modern research exists into the benefits or side effects of the practice.

fBoyle
Post 3

Has anyone had hemotherapy done? Did it work?

I saw a show on this and the doctor on the show was claiming that this therapy can cure just about anything. I understand that's bit of an exaggeration, but I'm wondering if it will help my back hernia heal faster.

If you've tried this therapy or know more about it, can you please share your experience?

serenesurface
Post 2

@SarahGen-- No, that's hemodialysis and that's a medical procedure whereas hemotherapy is more like a health fad.

Hemodialysis is when a patient with renal failure is hooked up to a hemodialysis machine. The blood of the patient goes into the machine where it is purified from wastes and then sent back into the patient. The machine goes through all of the person's blood. This is necessary for people with kidney failure because kidneys are responsible for removing wastes from the blood.

Hemotherapy only takes a vial of blood and then injects that into a random part of the person's body without doing nothing to it.

I don't understand the benefits of this therapy. I think it's dangerous because it increases the risk of spreading infectious disease via needles.

SarahGen
Post 1

Is this the same procedure that people with kidney failure have to get?

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