Sometimes people ask the question, “What does it mean if the patient releases a little blood during a sinew treatment?” Often, if there is wind (pain) in the musculature and you’re performing a sinew treatment, blood will move since it must move to move wind. This is how cupping works to relieve pain; the red or purple marks it creates on the skin show that blood has moved to the surface to allow wind to exit. During sinew channel treatments, the technique used creates a tremendous amount of movement in both qi and blood.

This morning, for no apparent reason, Andrew woke with a stiff ankle. We were about to drive to New Hampshire for his niece’s wedding and so I offered a sinew treatment. To my great surprise, he agreed. I rushed for needles before he could change his mind. I asked him what was the most difficult movement—the definitive question in diagnosis. Location of pain is of secondary importance. The answer was dorsiflexion (bending the foot upward). I started down the stomach sinew channel and released the tight spots. One spot released a small amount of blood. The sinews have no points, but I stood back a little to see whether the spot that bled was an actual point on a channel and it was of course, the stomach luo point, a point you would actually choose to bleed if you were performing a Luo channel treatment. And then the most remarkable thing happened. It formed itself into a heart shape! I showed Andrew and he said, “See! You just touch my skin and the love oozes out!”

Ann Cecil-Sterman
June 16, 2023.

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