Writhing around in their glass jar, about 10 leeches appear to be excited for their next meal. These blood-sucking, spineless worms may not look appealing, but medicinal leeches have been uses for thousands of years but are now making a surprising comeback.
Lauren Sivan and Bob DeCastro got a chance to see how leeches are helping to heal a laundry list of health problems and can even make you look younger and more beautiful.
"We are going to use these four babies here," says Holistic Practitioner Irina Brodsky who says she's been working with leeches for more than 20 years. "They have enzymes which is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, also enzymes that break down the lipids in the walls in the arteries so it's lowering cholesterol, especially for the cardiovascular system, It's wonderful"
We watch Brodsky attach leeches to the face of her patient, Dana McCaw, who told us it doesn't hurt because the leeches release a medicinal morphine that relaxes her. But it took her a while to get comfortable with the idea.
"I was terrified, I was squirming and I was begging her not to leave cause I was terrified they would crawl all over my body," says McCaw but when she saw results from just her first session, she got over her fears and has leeches "crawling all over her" about once a month now.
Brodsky says leeches can be used for everything from improving circulation and healing diabetes to aiding the lymphatic system, the autoimmune system and even early stages of cancer. But many of her clients use leech therapy for the alleged beauty benefits.
"They open up capillaries as the go down in the skin they are opening and opening and it gives your skin a glow like a face lift," says Brodsky.
A leech therapy session runs about $200 but first Brodsky says she gives all her patients a blood test to see what ails them, then a physical exam before applying leeches. Once she uses them on your body, you have the option to KEEP the leeches, otherwise she has to destroy them after each patient.
For more information, head to Brodsky's website: