Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine

Class of 2011

East-Asian medicine is a clinical approach to health care that has been refined and honed over thousands of years. For most of that time the focus of its transmission has been the clinic, where knowledge grows organically out of experience as master practitioners pass on what they know to apprentices. We believe that a modern acupuncture program still must be grounded in the clinic.  Read a Message from the Directors




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Clinical Application of the Ten Formula Families with Dr. Huang - Coming to Seattle, March 21 - 22

Clinical Application of the Ten Formula Families with Dr. Huang   SIOM is pleased to welcome back Dr. Huang Huang, author of Ten Key Formula Families in Chinese Medicine,  who will be lect [ ... ] READ MORE

Alumna Practices in Nepal

Jacqueline Bailey, class of 2014, has been practicing in Nepal with the Acupuncture Relief Project.  See the following link to read her blog about her experience and access the organization: Acup [ ... ] READ MORE

SIOM's 20th Anniversary

SIOM Marks its 20th Year Anniversary This September will mark 20 years since the first group of students started their SIOM training. The idea for the school started about a year before when two frie [ ... ] READ MORE


Flooding and Spotting

Flooding and spotting are the result of frenetic movement of menstrual blood so that bleeding occurs outside of the normal menstrual cycle. With flooding, the onset of the condition is typically fast and sudden, with a lot of blood pouring out. With spotting, the onset of the condition is more gradual, the flow of blood is light, but there is a non-stop dripping of blood. Very often, flooding and spotting are cause and effect of each other. Flooding going on for a long time can lead to spotting. Spotting going on for a long time can lead to flooding.

Disease Cause and Dynamic

The primary cause of this condition is damage to the ren and chong vessels and the liver and spleen losing their ability to regulate. With too much sex, the qi & blood of the zang-fu become vacuous and the chong and ren vessels are damaged so that the blood cannot be secured and contained in the vessels. The result is bleeding outside of the normal menstrual cycle. When the emotions are not soothed, the liver loses its ability to regulate and propel so that the qi and blood congest and stagnate. This binding depression generates heat so that the blood cannot be contained and it moves around frenetically. When eating is not regular, compounded by long term worrying, the spleen become vacuous and is not able to control the blood. When the condition is not severe, the blood will drip without stopping. When the condition is severe, a much greater amount of blood will pour out.

Pattern Differentiation

Flooding and spotting is differentiated into the following patterns; cold, hot, vacuous, replete(it seems better to use vacuous/replete or deficient/excess, rather than one of each), based upon the amount of blood, the degree of it's viscosity, it's color and odor, as well as the nature of the pulse, the tongue coat and shape of the tongue body.

1. Replete heat : Recent onset of flooding, there is a large amount of purplish-red blood, the odor is bad enough that it's difficult to smell it, the blood is thick and has clots, there is abdominal pain that resists pressure, constipation, a dry mouth creating thirst, the pulse is wiry, rapid and has strength, and the tongue is red with a yellow coat.
2. Yin vacuity : The blood color is fresh red, there is dizziness and tinnitus, heart palpitations and insomnia, tidal fever, the pulse is thin and rapid with no strength, and the tongue is red with no coat.
3. Qi vacuity : With long time spotting, the blood color is pale or dullish-dark, there is slight cold and pain in the abdomen which responds to heat and pressure, the face color is pale white, the person is chilly and dislikes cold, is weary and likes to lie down, eats very little, the pulse is sunken, thin, slow and weak, and the tongue coat is white and moist.
4. Collapse : With long term spotting without stopping, or with excessive blood loss from flooding, the person appears as if about to faint, the face color is pale white, there is oily sweat, shortness of breath, reversal flow in the 4 limbs and the pulse is very slight, almost non-existent.

Treatment Methods

Primarily select Ren and Spleen points. If the pattern is tending toward heat, use a draining technique without moxa. For vacuous, cold patterns use a supplementing method with moxa.

Point Selection
• Ren 4, Sp 6, Sp 1
• With replete heat add Sp 10, K 5
• With Yin vacuity add PC 6, K 3
• With Qi Vacuity add UB 20, St 36
• With collapse add Du 20, Ren 6

Point Explanation

These points are primarily used to regulate and supplement the qi in the chong and ren vessels, as well as to assist clear heat, transform stasis and stop bleeding.
• Ren 4 , the meeting point of the Liver, Spleen, Kidney, Chong and Ren channels, is used to regulate and supplement the qi in the Chong and Ren channels in order to strengthen secure, contain and restrain the frenetic movement of menstrual blood.
• Sp 6, the intersection point of the Liver, Spleen and Kidney channels, is used to supplement the spleen's function of consolidating the blood, and is an important point for treating gynecological diseases.
• Sp 1 , the jing well point of the Spleen channel, has good results in treating uterine bleeding

If the pattern is tending towards heat, also needle Sp 10 & K 5 to drain heat from the blood so as to stop the frenetic movement of the blood. If qi vacuity, needle with moxa St 36 & UB 20 in order to cultivate and nourish central qi and increase the qi's ability to contain the blood. If yin vacuity, add PC 6 & K 3 to regulate and nourish heart and kidney so as to stop the vacuous heat. Moxa Du 20 & Ren 6 in order to support the yuan qi, bring down the yang and stem desertion.


Source : Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Chinese Medical College Textbook. Editor: Nan Jing Medical College. Shanghai Science and Technology Publishing House. Page 317

By Will Campbell