With regard to Thai Massage, you may have heard about the phrase “Opening the Wind Gates.” In Thailand, you will also hear teachers or therapists talk about “Blood Stops” or “Stopping the Blood,” which is the same. In fact, Blood Stops refer to an arterial compression technique, a technique also used in Indian Yoga, by the way.
Of course, the blood or blood circulation isn’t really “stopped.” What happens is, by using sustained pressure on certain key acupressure points i.e. “wind gates” of the body, in fact, at specific locations of certain arteries, we temporarily restrict (slow down and delimit) the normal flow of blood to the extremities (legs, feet, arms and hands).
Because of the sudden rush and power-boost of fresh blood through the arteries, capillaries and veins after releasing the Blood Stop, the gates are relaxed, “opened” and widened, energy flow is increased, residues of cells are flushed and toxins cleared out of the circulatory system, and nutrients and oxygen better reach the deeper layers of cell tissues and extremities.
Blood Stops are done at locations on the arteries in the groins (femoral arteries) and in the armpits (axillary arteries), which are also more or less points on the second inside lines corresponding with Sen Kalathari. Compression can be done also on arteries further near the extremities, such as near the wrists or on the top of the feet near the ankles, and around the navel (umbilicus) where the Sen Lines have their starting points.
There are certain rules of how long to “stop the blood,” depending on the type and size of the person and either being a woman or man. Moreover, there are strong contraindications to be taken into account, such as for clients with circulatory or cardiac disorders, hypertension, varicose veins, heart disease, and pregnant women, to name a few situations where the Blood Stop should certainly not be performed.