It is said that: "When the blood and qi are both abundant and the yin qi is plentiful, the blood will be slippery so that needling will cause it to shoot out." On the other hand, "When much bleeding takes place with needling, but the color does not change and there are palpitations and depression, it is because needling the luo channel causes the channel to empty." The change in color that is anticipated occurs when the bad blood, which is described as thick and black, has been eliminated and normal red blood appears.
The number four pertains to the four seasons. When a person, after having been struck by one of the winds of the eight directions and four seasons, develops a chronic illness where the evil has invaded and penetrated the channels and connecting vessels [luo], then this condition is treated by the sharp needle....It has a cylindrical body and a pointed end of three blades and is one cun and six fen in length. It is used to drain heat and let out blood to dissipate and drain chronic diseases. Accordingly, it is said that, if the disease is securely housed within the five viscera, the sharp needle should be selected and draining technique applied to the well [jing] and brook [shu] points according to the seasons.
A friend of mine was telling me that she took an extracurricular class at her university to learn how to relieve indigestion with acupuncture. Your hand, she learned, represents your body and your brain is at the tip of your fingers and, for some reason, the brain is responsible for indigestion. So what she will do is prick the tips of her fingers when she has indigestion and the blood will come out black. When the color changes to red, the indigestion is cured. I have some other western friends that were once skeptical of acupuncture but now totally swear by it. My neighbor, for example, and I know that this is ridiculous, says that when he first got here, half of his face spontaneously became paralyzed. And that he tried all kinds of treatments, but acupuncture was the only thing that worked. In the meantime though, the fuckers made him continue teaching with only half of a working face. His students must have been terrified. Another guy I know told me some similar story about how his back was killing him after this incredibly long flight. And again, the only thing that worked was acupuncture. He said that when he went in for the treatment, there was a mirror in front of him. So he just laid there feeling really weird, staring at his own body that had hundreds of 12 inch needles sticking out of it. He said they even put needles in his forehead. I have health insurance now so I'm kind of thinking about going in to a doctor's office soon and saying that I don't poo enough, or something, to get an old Korean man to stick some things in me.