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"Blood-letting"

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VickiG Click to EMail VickiGClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 02:15 AM (CMT)
"Blood-letting"
I've been going to see an acupuncturist recommended by my headache specialist for a week and a half now, and I've had 7 sessions. With the first couple of sessions I began to get some relief, but now it's not really doing anything for me. So on Saturday, the acupuncturist decided to try something more extreme with me. He called it blood-letting. He put a machine with a suction cup at my temple to pull the blood to the surface, I guess. Then, he poked me with something sharp to make it bleed. A fair amount of blood came out. He said that the purpose of this was to relieve the pressure inside the head and that it would certainly relieve my headache. He said that the amount of blood that came out indicates that I had a lot of pressure built up inside my head, which had to be let out. Anyway, all this treatment did was make the right side of my head so sore that for the last two nights I couldn't even lie on my right side because it's so tender.

Today he was a little puzzled that it didn't work, but thought that perhaps it was because it didn't release enough pressure from my head. He wants to do it in other places on my body and head now, too. He suggested that maybe I was just too sensitive to take the treatment, so he's going to work to reduce the sensitivity before giving me the next one.

Has anyone ever heard of this before? My mother commented that it seems like something medieval, and I'm inclined to agree with her. (She kept teasing me that the Mayans did this as a religious ritual, so he was just turning me into a Mayan sacrifice.) I have to admit that I'm really uncomfortable with his trying this on me again because it caused so much trouble last time. On the other hand, he's the only person who had thought he might have an idea what to do about my migraines, so I'm really torn. The first couple acupuncture treatments he gave me did help. But today I was so nervous after that other treatment that I just couldn't tolerate anything, so he hardly poked me at all. I've already paid for a plan of unlimited treatments for 6 months, so I hate to let that go to waste. What do other people think about this?

In case others are wondering, this guy does have a medical background. He's a pharmacist with a Ph.D. in naturopathy (?). He's published a book and has written at least one article that he's trying to get published right now on his research.

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 Table of contents

RE: Blood-letting, maza-gu-su, Mar-13-01, (1)
RE: Blood-letting, Christa, Mar-13-01, (2)
RE: Blood-letting, Melonie, Mar-13-01, (3)
RE: Blood-letting, VickiG, Mar-13-01, (6)
Devil's advocate!, Bahman, Mar-13-01, (4)
RE: Devil's advocate!, Christa, Mar-13-01, (5)
RE: Devil's advocate!, allecia, Mar-13-01, (7)
Blood Letting, Catherine, Mar-13-01, (8)
RE: Blood Letting, gvanbeek, Mar-13-01, (9)
RE: Blood Letting, VickiG, Mar-13-01, (10)
RE: Blood Letting, Sprocket, Mar-13-01, (11)
RE: Blood Letting, gvanbeek, Mar-14-01, (12)
RE: Blood Letting, tmensink, Apr-01-01, (13)
RE: Blood Letting, VickiG, Apr-01-01, (14)
RE: Blood Letting, tmensink, Apr-01-01, (15)
RE: Blood Letting, Norma, Apr-02-01, (16)
RE: Blood Letting, VickiG, Apr-02-01, (17)
RE: Blood Letting, Norma, Apr-05-01, (18)
RE: Blood Letting, tmensink, Apr-05-01, (19)

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Messages in this topic

maza-gu-su Click to EMail maza-gu-suClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 02:31 AM (CMT)
1. "RE: Blood-letting"
OKay..THAT really rubs me the wrong way. I cannot get into it in the scope of this forum, Vicki, but medically, that is NOT sound theory as far as I am concerned...
I am the first to say that - no matter HOW seemingly far-out a "treatment" is - no matter HOW dubious the value might actually be - IF it helps ... WHO CARES!?!?!?! BUT.. this guy is claiming that you had extra pressure?!?
Come on! Why, then, did he have to use the suction first? Anyone with a medical background ought to be able to see through that one. PLUS, one of the most blood-rich skin surfaces is the cranium - we "smack" our heads, noses, etc - we bleed more anyway.
THAT really *bugs* me - - and I went to a homeopath for a LONG time, saw mant many "unusual" treatments. I believe that (even if it a placebo thing) the treatment is great if it is a help. BUT if that hurt and worried you... I say do not do it unless you truly WANT to!
Vicki - pleas e-mail me regarding acupuncture in general, ok?
Much love a la Maza!
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Christa Click to EMail ChristaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 06:10 AM (CMT)
2. "RE: Blood-letting"
LAST EDITED ON Mar-13-01 AT 06:22 AM (CMT)

OMG! Now I have heard it all! This practice is midievil and it is called "cupping", back in the dark ages they used to use cups or a glass, light a match or flame under it and create a vacuum under it. Then they would drain the blood pocket that would rise to the surface.

I know about this because my Mom was raised in a small village in Greece. Her father was considered the village Doctor because he was the most educated man in the village. My grandmother suffered from migraines as did my mom. They did this to them both. They would also do this if someone suffered an injury to prevent bruising. No one suffered any damage, that I know of. But my Mom says it did not help any either. They would also burn incense over them and say prayers to ward off the "evil eye" that they believe caused the mig. to begin with.

I am with Maza in that no matter how way out something sounds you should give it a shot if you believe in the practitioner. But, I would not be submitting myself to that again (if I were you), especially since it did not work and you seem so uncomfortable with it. Just tell him you want to continue with the acupuncture but not the cupping.

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Melonie Click to EMail MelonieClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 11:28 AM (CMT)
3. "RE: Blood-letting"
Goodness Vicki. I think you need to trust your instinct. You feel it's wrong for a reason. Some of these so called professionals amaze me. Just because they have a Phd after their name doesn't mean Quack doesn't follow it. I wish I could take away your pain Vicki! It saddens me that you are so desperate for relief you'll try anything. It doesn't matter how many articles this man as written, this isn't right. Just because he studied this medevil practice and learned how to do it, doesn't mean it works.
And I ditto Maza. Your head was designed with so many capillaries and what not that the smallest cut can bleed and bleed. I hope I haven't made you feel bad, it's just I think others will agree we care and support each other and don't want to see you or anyone taken advantage of.
Mel
p.s. I remembered seeing that blood-letting done in a Dracula movie.
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VickiG Click to EMail VickiGClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 01:03 PM (CMT)
6. "RE: Blood-letting"
Christa, he did the cupping thing on me, too. He said it's to increase the circulation. He has done it twice all over my stomach and twice all over my back. But this was the first time he tried to draw blood. It really didn't hurt me too much when he just used the cups, although it was a little tight on my back. But when he drew blood, that really bothered me!
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Bahman Click to EMail BahmanClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 12:00 PM (CMT)
4. "Devil's advocate!"
Somebody's got to defend that doctor, right?! So, let me be the one! Not all the way but just to say that in desperation we may try new things even if they are medival. As everyone agrees, especially those who post here, if a method is 'safe' why not try it. I suggest that you follow this motto. The explanation that the doctor gave you (about releasing pressure) is secondary. Maybe that is NOT exactly how it works. But who cares for explanations anyway. Make sure it is reasonably safe and take it from there. Good luck.
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Christa Click to EMail ChristaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 12:17 PM (CMT)
5. "RE: Devil's advocate!"
I don't think any of us were really attacking her Doctor. If you read the replies they basically say that all alternative treatments no matter how way out they may sound are worth a try.

Heck, if she said she tried that and it worked great, I would be the first in line to give it a shot. In my quest for pain relief I have tried almost everything. And I will keep trying, I have no choice.

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allecia Click to EMail alleciaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 01:25 PM (CMT)
7. "RE: Devil's advocate!"
I have gotten acupuncture off and on for many years.. I have never heard of the "blood letting" that this doctor is doing??
I have had "cupping" on my back for back pain but no blood was taken out of me.. and it felt good not bad... It just left bruises on my back in the shape of the cup..
I would consider seeing someone else if you feel it's not helping.. it definetely seems to be a very strange treatment.. it seems a little fishy to me..
allecia
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Catherine Click to EMail CatherineClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 03:05 PM (CMT)
8. "Blood Letting"
I was on a tour or an old fort from the 1800's in Ontario. During the tour of the drs. office/residence, they described this method for use with head pain. They would often remove so much blood, the person would become weak and sleep. When they awoke, the pain was sometimes gone. I'm sure it was the sleep that helped and nothing else.

It was described as medevial treatment no longer practiced. I guess they haven't met your guy.

Hope this helps.

Catherine

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gvanbeek Click to EMail gvanbeekClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 06:45 PM (CMT)
9. "RE: Blood Letting"
Whatever you decide to do regarding this treatment is up to you, but, I would strongly urge that you visit this site
http://www.quackwatch.com/
and please consider carefully any further treatment that you may decide to undergo with this person.
regards gvanbeek.
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VickiG Click to EMail VickiGClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 08:48 PM (CMT)
10. "RE: Blood Letting"
gvanbeek, that site was interesting, but I'm not sure that I fully subscribe to a lot of what it is saying. Maybe I'm wrong, since I didn't really read through that many of the pages that it had links to, but from what I could tell from its links to all the alternative medicine treatments, the person who wrote this site obviously doesn't believe in alternative medicine, and I'm not ready to give that up. I've actually had a couple of my neurologists suggest I try acupuncture, saying that it is based upon the scientific principles of pressure points, so to label all of acupuncture as "quackery" (at least that's the impression I got from my skimming through the page on acupuncture) just doesn't sit right with me. I believe that you have to be careful about who you see and that person's qualifications, but I'm not ready to write it all off as quackery.

On another note, I discussed it with my mother, and she also was very uncomfortable with his blood-letting (she was with me when he did it because I was too sick to drive myself that day), so if he suggests it again, I'm just going to hold out against it. She offered to go with me tomorrow and get my dad to go with me on Saturday, so I would have someone there with me, which might make me a little more comfortable with the needles. She encouraged me to give them another try, which I think I might do. But if I don't start seeing results very soon, I don't think I'm going to stick with this guy. I'm not the most comfortable with him or with the treatment. Even the needles is starting to get to me, and initially I didn't have a problem with them at all.

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Sprocket Click to EMail SprocketClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-01, 09:42 PM (CMT)
11. "RE: Blood Letting"
Vicky,
Of all the medical treatments I have received for migraines (both conventional and alternative), the most effective were accupuncture treatments I received from a medical doctor (a 70-year old Korean man). Although the way he practiced accupuncture was somewhat unconventional (he put small needles in my ear that were left in until my next visit), he never did anything without explaining what he was doing or why. He also never did anything that was highly unconventional, though, like cupping or bloodletting, and I trusted him very much. He never took any blood but would read the results of blood tests I had received at the requests of various other doctors.
If you are feeling uncomfortable with this accupuncturist -- and I certainly would -- maybe you should try to find another one who operates under more conventional guidelines.
My accupuncturist was able to consistently get my migraines down to 10 or less a month (down from 15 to 20). However, my insurance would not cover any visits and I was paying $130 a week.Unfortunately, we hit a rough road financially and I had to discontinue. As soon as things get better, I plan to return.
Good luck finding someone whose practices are a little less weird! -- Debbie P.
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gvanbeek Click to EMail gvanbeekClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-14-01, 04:03 AM (CMT)
12. "RE: Blood Letting"
Dear Vicki,
I'm not saying that acupuncture is quackery, done by the properly qualified acupuncturist it does work. My point was that some people are passing themselves off as qualified, and they aren't. I think that you will find that most acupuncturists do not subscribe to this "blood-letting" that you have gone through. Also they are very particular about their standards, needles are sterilised using surgical steriliser, and each patient when seen is explained the procedure of acupuncture, the points that need to be pressured for their particular case etc. etc.
Good Luck for the future,
regards gvanbeek
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tmensink Click to EMail tmensinkClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-01-01, 01:15 PM (CMT)
13. "RE: Blood Letting"
Hi Vicki, sorry to hear your still having alot of problems with the migraines,my thought is also like the others I agree anything that helps even if it sounds crazy who cares if it helps. But I also know that over the past 20 years I have gotten taken badly a few times because I was to the point I would do anything to get better, so sometimes I think our judgement is confused do to desperation. In my opinion, I think I would trust your own instincts as you are the one that has saw this man and have felt what he is doing to you. One time I went to see a lady out in a rural setting that everyone claimed she could help me, when I went for my appt. I felt very uncomfortable, and even a little scared and skeptical but I thought it was just my attitude!! Boy was I wrong, I spent a large amount on seeing her and buying special herbs and vitamins and followed her regimine faithfully only to quit after six months in a horrible depression as she said I must not have followed her directions properly or she would have been able to cure them. About 2years later I was reading an article in the newspaper about this person and found out there was people who actually died in her care because of her help, let me tell you I felt like a fool. I am just telling you an experience I had I am in noway saying this is the case with you, I am just cautioning you to be careful as we usually see these types of treatment as none harmfull so what do you have to lose. Well sometimes there can be serious outcomes to some of the things we do trying even if they are supposed to be not harmful. Please be careful, and hope you feel better soon. Bye Roxy.
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VickiG Click to EMail VickiGClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-01-01, 01:35 PM (CMT)
14. "RE: Blood Letting"
Hi Roxy! I actually quit seeing this acupuncturist a couple weeks ago. The last straw was when he did the blood letting on me again without telling me that's what he was about to do. I had kept going to him because my parents really wanted me to get the treatment with the needles, since we were running out of options for treatment. I did have one of my parents with me at all times after that first incident because I didn't feel comfortable with the acupuncturist. But then, a week later he told me that he was going to do a new treatment on me and took my inner elbows and began punching holes in them to make them bleed. He got his suction machine to make the blood come out. It disturbed me that he did this without my permission, but I was so confused that I didn't say anything that day. The next day I spoke to him and told him that I really didn't like the blood-letting thing, so I didn't want him to do it to me again. His response? "OK. I'll wait until you're ready." That was not what I had in mind and let him know. He told me not to be so closed-minded, as this treatment was what I needed to get better. At that, I decided that I just could not go back. And surprisingly enough, he reimbursed me for 50% of everything that I had paid him! I've never had anyone be willing to do that before! At least I felt a little less like he was just trying to get my money then.
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tmensink Click to EMail tmensinkClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-01-01, 06:18 PM (CMT)
15. "RE: Blood Letting"
Hi Vicki, good for you girl, don't let anybody walk all over you!! Even if he is legitimatly helping people I don't think doing something a patient doesn't want done is very ethical. Again I send you my special migraine wish so you to can gain some of your quality of life back. Keep your chin up and don't ever give up until you get the help you need. Remember it took me several years before I was getting some relief of the pain, and I thank my lucky stars every day I didn't give up. Life is to precious, and family and friends way to important to except nothing.. Bye Roxy. PLEASE KEEP ME POSTED, I REALLY CARE!!
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Norma Click to EMail NormaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-02-01, 05:42 PM (CMT)
16. "RE: Blood Letting"
Vicki--Though there's alot we don't know about migraines. there is alot we do know! They "co-exist" with a neurochemical anomaly, and we may not be able to tease out cause and effect at this time but it's a safe bet that if a treatment doesn't do something to alter the chemical environment in the brain then it's unlikely to help. The wide assortment of things that help different people probably do so by directly or indirectly changing what's going on in the brain.

Now me--I'd climb a flagpole naked and whistle Dixie if it would help. (Who knows, I might get a dopamine surge from the embarrassment that would permanently alter my brain chemistry)! But seriously, we have to have some criteria for choosing among the options, both western and alternative, or we could exhaust all our resources to no avail. So before I try something, the person "selling" it better be able to explain how it is supposed to make a difference. If you actually had pressure building up in your head, you would be in trouble in a way that bloodletting would not be likely to help. I have been, and sometimes still feel desperate, but don't let the turkeys hoo-doo you out of your money. (or your respect for alternative medicine, which does have answers for some things).

Norma

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VickiG Click to EMail VickiGClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-02-01, 07:36 PM (CMT)
17. "RE: Blood Letting"
This time with the inner elbows, the acupuncturist explained that it was to increase the circulation. He said that by taking blood out, it would send a message to my brain to make more blood and circulate it, which would help me overall.

After he did this (with the explanation after he did it, of course, since he didn't tell me that he was about to do this), I called my aunt, who is a nursing professor, and asked her whether she had ever heard of blood-letting to increase the circulation. I heard an indignant, "NO." Then I asked her if she could think of any plausible way that it might, and she said that it would cause the body to make more blood, but not affect the circulation. The body would only make more blood to get to equilibrium, so it really wouldn't do any good for just circulation, although it is sometimes used for people who have had cells destroyed by chemotherapy and need to jump-start the process.

When I told this to the acupuncturist the next day, he told me that Western medicine just doesn't understand what he is doing and that he is not operating off understandings of body organs, but of the meridian, the system that acupuncture uses. He is quite familiar with Western medicine, being a licensed pharmacist, but he didn't seem to have a whole lot of respect for the fact that she didn't believe his explanation.

Anyway, I am glad to be rid of this guy. I went to him because my headache specialist recommended him, saying that all the neurologists go to see him themselves, so he must be good. I wonder if the other neurologists realize that he does blood-letting on the side. I get the impression that he only does this to certain patients. But at least I don't have to deal with him anymore. Did I tell you that he refunded me 50% of everything I had paid him? That turned into a pretty good deal.

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Norma Click to EMail NormaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-05-01, 08:36 AM (CMT)
18. "RE: Blood Letting"
Glad you got some of your money back. I've never heard of a medical person giving refunds! Sort of makes me feel a little less judgemental of the guy.

Norma

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tmensink Click to EMail tmensinkClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Apr-05-01, 12:59 PM (CMT)
19. "RE: Blood Letting"
Hi, I am also glad you got some of your money back,it is kind of bad that we have to be cautious of everything we try as I am with Nora that is I had to do something totally off the wall and it was going to help I would be all for it. However over the years I have spent $$$$ trying to find something that will help, and in all fairness I did find some things that helped me cope a little better, but for the most part I am just a little poorer than before trying them. So I guess what I am saying is we have to keep trying as we all don't get help from the same things, but we do need to do it with caution and when something doesn't make sense to me I won't invest in it, because there is ligitmet people out there who are interested in helping us there is others that realize there is alot of migrainers who would gladly pay anything for relief and that makes us a target for those interested only in our money. Good luck , I hope you find some help soon, Bye Roxy.
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