Friday, September 16, 2011

Oddity Friday: My Great Great Grandma was a Bloodletter

This is a true story about my Finnish Great great grandmother who was a bloodletter.
I had just went to visit my Grandma Rivas and she told me the story of her Grandma Sanna Saha who was a bloodletter. Here is the article in which my Grandma had given me about my great great grandma Sanna who was from Finland.


Diagnosis: "Bad" Blood

One popular treatment for depression, weariness or any other undiagnosed malaise was blood-letting (kuppaus). It was an old and universal practice, brought here from the old country. Similar to the use of leeches to suck "bad" blood from a patients veins, it was practiced by medicine men of many civilizations, and persist even today in some parts of the world. Kuppaaminen was usally done in the sauna, where the kuppaaja wold use a sharp knife or razor to make tiny cuts in the patient"s back. A sterile, hollow cow's horn was pressed over each cut, with the resulting vacuum sucking out "bad" blood. There were local experts and visiting practitioners who came into the township periodically an many persons subjected themselves to the ordeal even in good health, as a preventive measure (much as we jog or take extra vitamins today). Kuppari Kaisa Kyrola was a well known local practitioner, and there were others, including Sanna Saha.

Blood-letting Tools

Cow Horns for cupping

Blood bowl

My great great grandma Sanna

Go check out your family history you might find out something interesting .... I did!

Next Friday
will be something kinda gross :)

Until then .... think outside the box!


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