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It's Official: Health Insurance will Fund Maggot Therapy

Thursday, November 27, 2008 by: Al G Smith
Tags: health insurance, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Maggot therapy for helping wounds to heal is increasingly finding a role in modern medical procedures thanks in part to mankind's all-too-clever profit-centered approach to health care, which has created monstrous new bacterial villains such as MRSA. The growing recognition of the efficacy of using a natural approach to wound therapy and healing, plus the recent acknowledgement of an increasingly important role for medicinal maggots by the medical powers-that-be have also ensured that nature's little cleaners are streadily wriggling their way to a therapeutic comeback.

Some may feel rather squeamish about the idea of having maggots crawling around in and on their unhealed wounds but it is commonly acknowledged that maggot therapy is a naturally effective way to achieve clean, healthily healing wounds. The idea that maggots are part of a rotting process such as may be conjured-up by images of maggot-ridden corpses or fly-blown dead meat has perhaps tainted most peoples' feelings about maggots. Many are the folks who quail at the idea of having a few maggots crawling on the palm of their hand, let alone wriggling around elsewhere on their body.

However the activity of maggots is largely misunderstood. There is a notion that they are actually 'eating' dead meat when they infest rotting roadkill or other dead or dying animal. But in maggot debridement therapy, the young maggots that are used, do not eat the dead or purulent flesh in a tainted wound. They actually excrete digestive juices which then liquefy the rotten material which can be easily mopped, soaked or run-off from the wound leaving only fresh clean bacteria free, better-healing surfaces. Maggots do not eat living flesh (you'll be glad to hear!) and you'll also be pleased to note that the young maggots used in wound therapy are unable to reproduce.

Maggot therapy is currently increasingly playing its part, where patients are acquiescent, in helping those who are suffering an infection by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus better known as MRSA. Where MRSA is hard or impossible to treat with typical drug-based regimes leading to extensive wound corruption and deterioration, maggot therapy can begin to 'clean up' the wound without drugs and pave the way towards potential healing.

So effective has wound therapy using maggots proven, along with other successful medicinal maggot applications, that most hospitals are now formulating maggot therapy and wound policies to allow for wider use of this natural method for achieving successful healing.

A sign, in the US at least, that maggot therapy has gained an established position as an increasingly acceptable form of treatment is the fact that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services along with the American Medical Association have clearly confirmed their policies on reimbursement guidelines to the wound care community for medicinal maggots and maggot therapy. This means that such natural and effective therapy will be covered by many peoples health insurance should the option become an appropriate one in any regime of treatment they might receive.

This is an important step for maggot wound therapy because its seems that many health insurance companies have until now refused to fund the use of medicinal maggots. Indeed, maggot therapy wound studies have shown that, where medicinal maggots have been used, up to half of the limbs scheduled for summary amputation, were able to be saved. This not only preserved the patient's quality of life, but such a course of treatment typically costs less than a hundred dollars. This should also inspire the bean-counters at major health insurers, who frequently have to agree to pay-out many thousands of dollars for drug-based therapies.

Maggot therapy these days generally utilizes the young larvae of the green-bottle fly. Naturally the source of maggots is carefully administered and only 'clean healthy' little wrigglers are used. However, using maggots to debride wounds that is to remove and clean the wound of debris, such as dead or putrefying flesh has a long and time-honoured history. Maggots were used to clean the war wounds of soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars and World War I. Indeed maggot therapy was common up until the 1930's which saw the natural method replaced with those cleverly contrived 'man-made' solutions antibiotics.

Ironically it is largely the over-use of antibiotics that has contributed to the development of multiply-resistant strains of new bacteria that has occasioned renewed interest in, and application of maggot wound therapy. Once again nature's own method for attending to health-issues for complex living organisms seems to be proving its worth and its relevance even in today's supposedly scientifically advanced era. More than likely Man will continue to try to outdo nature, only to find in the medium to long term that he has to eat humble pie and acknowledge that Mother (Nature) still knows best.

The re-evaluation and 'rehabilitation' of maggot therapy, like many other salutary lessons, prompts the question: Will the Earth's 'cleverest creature' ever accept that it is not some kind of aberrant species that can only continue to exist on this planet, through the development and application of profit-inspired man-made, drug-based interventions, but simply part of a miraculous, holistic, natural system with which it should be trying to learn to live in healthy harmony?

About the author

Al G Smith MSc BSc - Has been working and teaching in the food related sector for over 30 years and is currently a website publisher (http://www.gonaturalandorganic.com) and Independent Representative for the World's first extensive range of Certified Organic skin care and cosmetics (http://www.saferalternative.com).

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