Blood Stasis

Blood Stasis Therapy

What is blood stasis?
Blood stasis, also known as blood stagnation and blood stasis syndrome, is a condition described in Chinese medicine as a slowing or pooling of blood within the body due to a disruption of the heart qi.

Chinese medicine recognizes blood stasis in a much broader sense of increased pressure, causing constricted blood flow in the tissue surrounding tendons, ligaments, muscles, fascia, nerves, bones, joints, organs, the spinal cord and the brain. Compartment syndrome and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are examples of this presentation in Western medicine.

When injury or inflammation occurs, swollen tissue presses against deep veins obstructing blood flow back to the heart. Tissue pressure becomes more significant than venous pressure causing blood to stagnate. The heart and lungs continually supply and circulate fresh, oxygen-rich blood via vessels called arteries. Veins are vessels responsible for returning blood from the body to the heart and lungs to be reoxygenated.

However, through aging, injury or tissue inflammation, the valves in the venous system begin to collapse and fail, resulting in deoxygenated or “dead” blood stagnating and pooling in the vein. Dark spider veins on legs and ankles are a visible example of this kind of blood stasis.

Deep, superficial and perforating veins are the three venous circulatory systems in the body. Superficial veins are visible in the arms and legs and are typically described as bluish in color. Deep veins lie beneath muscle and fascia, allowing them to function under greater pressure while handling higher volumes of blood.

Roughly 90% of blood returns to the heart via the deep venous system, while the superficial system returns approximately 10%. Perforating veins connect the two systems by passing through the fascia and joining with superficial capillaries.

Blood statis therapy is a method of perforating veins to provide an alternative pathway for blood to return to the heart. If blood flows through the deep veins is blocked, blood can travel through the perforating veins to the superficial veins and then back to the heart.

Bleeding at appropriate points draws blood off superficial veins, reducing pressure on the artery, muscle, nerve or organ via the perforating veins. This eliminates congestion, relieves pain and expedites healing.

What does Blood Stasis Therapy (BST) treat?
  • Headaches (Frontal, vertex, occipital, migraine)
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Eye conditions (Optic neuritis, temporal arteritis, stye, ptosis, conjunctivitis,
    keratitis, spasms around the eye)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Ear conditions (Otitis media)
  • Nose conditions (Chronic sinusitis, rosacea, nosebleed)
  • Mouth conditions (Soreness and swelling of the mouth, lips tongue and throat;
    toothache, jaw pain/TMJ and difficulty opening the mouth)
  • Neck conditions (Benign thyroid tumors, goiter, neck pain and stiffness)
  • Throat conditions (Tonsilitis, pharyngitis, esophageal pain)
  • Lymph node removal (post-surgical pain/discomfort due to axillary lymph node
    removal)
  • Shoulder, arm wrist, hand and finger pain and numbness
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Blockage of axillary sweat glands
  • Sweaty palms (hyperhidrosis)
  • Pain and swelling of legs
  • Pain and numbness radiating down the legs/sciatica
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Foot pain and numbness
  • Heel pain/plantar fasciitis
  • Hip pain
  • Chest conditions (Chest pain, asthma/difficulty breathing, bronchitis, cardiac
    conditions, angina pectoris, palpitations)
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Post-surgical pain/pinched nerve
  • Pain from gallstones
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastric and digestive conditions and pain
  • Kidney conditions/nephritis
  • Back pain (Upper, lower, coccyx)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Gynecological conditions (Amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, endometriosis,
    infertility, mastitis, uterine fibroids)
  • Mastectomy pain (post-mastectomy syndrome)
  • Circulatory system conditions (Stroke, high blood pressure, varicose veins)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Skin conditions (Acne, poison ivy/poison oak)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression, stress, anxiety, insomnia, cognition issues
  • Post COVID and cold brain fog
  • Chronic non-healing ulcers and injuries, and non-union of bones
  • Concussion
  • Gout
  • Fever
  • Shingles
  • Bedwetting in children
  • Herpes and sores of the lips and genitals
How is bleeding performed?

Bleeding is typically painless and involves using lancets or hypodermic needle tips to prick different body areas. Elbows, legs, backs of knees, and tops of ears are common sites for this therapy. Dark or even black blood flows from the puncture until the color changes to bright red, indicating the stagnation is cleared. Bloodletting is effective in treating a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Brain Fog
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Bloodletting is also effective in treating other issues affecting the body, such as:

  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Throat
  • Nerves
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  •  Spine
  •  Brain
What is Wet Cupping?

Another form of bloodletting, wet cupping, is a traditional method used worldwide for centuries. 

Wet cupping is generally done on the back. Lancets are used to puncture several holes in an area, and then a sterile disposable suction cup is placed over the holes to draw out stagnated blood. Wet cupping treats conditions in the neck, back, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, knees and feet.

To learn more about bloodletting, please see “The Complete Guide to Chinese Medicine Bloodletting” by Dean Mouscher, from which the above content is drawn.

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