Bloodletting was used particularly for pain relief and treatment of emergency cases, such as loss of consciousness, high fever, and swellings. Peripheral points of the fingers and toes are mostly used for blood-letting therapy. In most cases, Peripheral blood-letting is generally accompanied by acupuncture treatment, such KI-3, LV-3, and LV 2 as foot/ankle points and PC-6, LI-4, and LU-7 as the hand/wrist points, which may add significantly to the therapeutic outcome.
It is somewhat difficult to explain bloodletting benefits of therapy in modern terms, and, therefore, requires some investigation and research before any substantial claims of effectiveness can be made. Results are prompt and dramatic results from the therapy, suggesting that its efficacy should be easy to confirm using short-term trials. I feel effect is most likely to be due to stimulation of nerve fibres of blood vessels which are interconnected throughout the body through circulatory system. It is for this reason bleeding at finger tips and toe tips which are most innervated areas of body when stimulated effect is seen at distant organs because they are connected by nerve fibres of blood vessels. However Benefits of Bloodlettingare established.
The bloodletting technique uses a three-edged needle, lancet, or pricking needle and its dispenser to prick certain points to bleed for better blood circulation. There are four different bloodletting procedures: pinching and pricking, clumpy pricking, break pricking, and collateral pricking.
Use the routine clean needle technique, and then use the left thumb, index finger, and middle finger to hold the operated area. The practitioner then applies heavy pressure to cause slight redness and swelling. Use one hand to hold the three-edged needle and prick quickly about 0.05 to 0.1 inch deep for bloodletting. Withdraw the needle immediately and squeeze out a few drops of blood. Press the puncture hole with a sterilized, dry cotton ball to stop the bleeding. This technique of bloodletting treatment is mostly used at the end of the extremities, such as the hands, feet, and ears in the micro-acupuncture system.
In the micro-system, the bloodletting technique is most commonly used for hand acupuncture, foot acupuncture, and ear acupuncture. The clumpy pricking technique is usually used in the back Shu system.
Summary of Peripheral Points for bloodletting as described by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D.
|Name of Point||Blood Vessels involved||Which Conditions Used|
|Chizi (LU-5)||Cephalic vein||sunstroke, acute vomiting and diarrhea|
|Quze (PC-3)||Cephalic vein||sunstroke, suffocating feeling in the chest, fidgets|
|Weizhong (BL-40)||Great and small saphenous veins of the popliteal fossa||sunstroke, acute vomiting and diarrhea, systremma|
|Yintang||branches of the medial frontal artery and vein||headache, dizziness, red and swollen eyes, rhinitis|
|Taiyang||Venous plexus inside temporal fascia||headache, red and swollen eyes|
|Baihui (GV-20)||Anastomotic network of the left and right superficial temporal artery and vein and occipital artery and vein||fever, tonsillitis, red and swollen eyes, hypertension|
|jinjin and yuye||Lingual vein||apoplexy, stiff tongue, and stuttering|
|dazhui (GV-14),||various heat syndromes and fevers, and epilepsy|
Acupuncture plus bloodletting therapy for insomnia in blood stasis constitution a clinical study
“Conclusion Acupuncture plus bloodletting therapy can produce a more significant efficacy than oral administration of estazolam in treating insomnia in people with blood stasis constitution.”
“Conclusion Acupuncture anaesthesia at Hegu (LI 4) and Quchi (LI 11) is an effective means of alleviating the pain of pricking-bloodletting cupping and reducing the duration of pain in the treatment area. Pricking-bloodletting cupping at Dazhui (GV 14) improves the skin lesions of patients with moderate acne vulgaris, but acupuncture anaesthesia does not appear to have an additional therapeutic effect.”
“These findings suggest that bloodletting acupuncture to the engorged vein around the ipisilateral Bl-40 (Wei-Chung) has a substantial contribution for treatment of acute lumbar sprain.”
“CONCLUSION: The pricking blood therapy combined with acupuncture is an effective therapy for herpes zoster.”