Bleeding is an effective ear modality when applied to certain ear points. The therapeutic effects of bleeding are fourfold:
1. Reduces excess Heat and Fire
2. Brings down Yang
3. Stimulates Qi and Blood flow
4. Moves Stagnant Qi and Blood
Ear points may be bled when these strategies are required. Specifically, the Hypertension points in the ear may be bled if the patient's type of high blood pressure is an excess type, such as Liver Yang Rising with Heat. High blood pressure due to Kidney Yin Deficiency would not benefit from this type of modality and, in fact, could weaken the patient. Ear points, which exhibit signs of Blood Stagnation, such as petechiae or red spots, may be bled. For instance, a red spot on the Upper Lung point may appear when the patient has a sore throat. It could be bled to relieve the sore throat. Certain points, such as Shenmen and Occiput, are more likely to bleed than others.
This method is contraindicated for patients with a history of bleeding disorders. Keep in mind that the ears of patients with high blood pressure may bleed more easily than those with normal blood pressure.
Position the patient in a reclining position to bleed. Gloves are worn by the practitioner for protection from contact with the patient’s blood. Massage the ear to promote capillary congestion, which will assist in bleeding by increasing blood flow to the ear. Select a regular 28-gauge, half-inch acupuncture needle, just like the needle used for ear acupuncture. Medical lancets, which are sometimes used to bleed body acupuncture points, are too big, will induce too much bleeding, and increase the chance of infection of the ear. Puncture quickly and to the same depth as the recommended needling (0.01 in.). Absorb the droplets of blood elicited by placing a cotton ball over the point and pressing lightly. This small amount of blood-tinged cotton may be disposed of in the garbage basket. Do not bleed more than three points at a time; bleeding one point is the norm and is often sufficient.
Note 3 — “Chinese clinical studies, particularly in the areas of treating infantile tetany, infantile epilepsy, and headache have shown that bleeding therapy is an effective modality. It can be applied to the capillaries on the dorsum of the ear to reduce the pathogenic evil from all the Yang meridians, and promote the function of resuscitation, sedation, analgesia, and relaxation.”
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