Rajan Zaveri | Rahat Open Surgery
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Rahat Open Surgery

PHOTOS
Blood Letting
New Delhi: India: 2013
Mohammad Iqbal has taken over from his father and now treats the constant stream of patients who come from all over India.
Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
The darker the blood the longer the bleed. Water is poured over the cuts to keep the blood flowing.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
Each customer is given a timetable book to keep track of his or her visitations. Treatments cost between 50 to 200 rupees depending on the ailment and amount of
sessions needed.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
Mohammad Gyas has had patients from as far as the US and Japan. He collects and decorates his office with pictures, business cards and newspaper clippings
of all those who have visited.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
Anywhere between 5 to 10 cuts are made on each foot to allow for enough bleeding.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
Over the Last 10 years Ibn Umar has been treated at Rahat for various problems including diabities, "The treatments and recommended diet have helped me to live
a longer and healthier life'.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
The legs and arms are bound tight above the areas to be cut. Razeen, 28, helps to treat at least 30 patients a day.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
Mohammad Iqbal is well practiced at his craft. He moves quickly over each patients hands and feet and in just a few seconds makes the cuts needed for the treatment.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
Single blades are used for the treatment. Each blade is only used once and each new patient is given a tetnis shot as a precaution.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
Mohammad Gyas has kept every single blade used on a patient since 1980. He says it proves just how many people are affected by his theropies
"this many years, this many people, this many blades. How could you doubt my treatment working?"

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
Abdul-Ghani has almost completed 6 weeks of treaments for pains in lower back and legs. " I have never felt as healthy and strong as I do now and my pains have
almost dissappeared'.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
Laksha, 42, is a first time patient to Rahat Open surgury. She decided to undergo treatment for her atheritus and joint pain after a friend claimed to be completely
cured using the bleeding method.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
To keep the blood flowing, patients bend the knee of the leg that is bound at a constant rate. There is no age limit to the treatment with children as young as 7
particpating in treatment.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
A strict diet is enforced in combination with the bleeding treatment. According to Mohammad Gyas, both must be followed to be healed of ailments.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
A dressing of mixed spices is applied to the cuts after each treatment. It is used to help clean and seal the wound.

Blood Letting

New Delhi: India: 2013
The Open Surgery also sells a variety of homeopathic medicines that help with problems such as tooth rot.

STORY

Rahat Open Surgery

 

Written by John Upton

 

A middle-aged arthritis sufferer leaped spritely onto a brick platform in the gardens of Jama Masjid, a mosque in Old Delhi. He sprang back down again, grinning. He was showing off what he said were the results of the traditional cure for which he was patiently waiting in line. Venesectionist Mohammad Gyas watched as the son he trained sliced open the tourniquet-bound hands and feet of the sick with single-use razor blades.

 

The ‘bad blood’ spilled into gutters that ran along the side of the platform, washed from the patient’s limbs with jugs of water. The ancient bloodletting practice, combined with strict dietary regimes, is said to cure everything from heart pain and arthritis to cancer and diabetes. The darker the blood, the longer you have to bleed, Gyas said. A typical treatment regime runs for six weeks.

 

Gyas’s son was working with half a dozen assistants. They wrapped the tourniquets, washed water over the blade wounds to flush out blood and treated the cuts with a mixture of spices. A doctor was on hand, giving tetanus injections.

 

The venesectionist learned the trade from his grandfather and passed on his skills to his son. He has been practicing or overseeing treatments at the same place every day, even the day that one of his other sons wed, since 1980. During that time he has saved every single razor blade, which he proudly displays in 20 plastic drums.

 

“This many years, this many people, this many blades,” he said, pointing proudly to his hoard of blades.  “How could you doubt my treatment working?”

 

Gyas suffers from Parkinon’s disease, which has prevented him from doing any of the work himself since 2008. Neither he nor his son sported any nicks or cuts on their own limbs.

 

That doesn’t matter to the duo’s patients, who travel from far-flung parts of India, even voyaging from other countries, including Japan and the United States, to be cured. Many of them swear by the treatments, possibly aided by the bloodletting, or maybe by following the no-booze, no-smoking, legume-rich diet, or perhaps by a combination of the two.

 

“Look at me now,” Gyas’s longtime arthritis patient exclaimed in broken English, bouncing gratefully like a graceless ballerina. “I can move everything. There’s no pain.” 

 
 

 

 
 

Additional Video and Photos by Andy Ash & Louis Dowse

 

VIDEO