Channels or Meridians in
Acupuncture - The
invisible Pathways of Qi
Chinese use the term "jing luo" which means,
channels, conduit, meridian etc. According to acupuncture, these are the invisible channels through which qi
circulates throughout the body. The acupuncture points (or holes as the Chinese term xue
is more aptly translated means) are the locations where the qi of the channels rises close
to the surface of the body. There are 12 main
meridians, six of which are yin and six are yang and numerous minor ones, which form a
network of energy channels throughout the body.
In acupuncture, each meridian is related to, and named after, an organ or
function, the main ones are: the lung, kidney, gallbladder, stomach, spleen, heart, small
intestine, large intestine, gall bladder, urinary bladder, san jiao (three heater) and
pericardium (heart protector/ or circulation sex meridian).
There are also 8 extraordinary channels in
acupuncture that are considered
to be reservoirs supplying qi and blood to the twelve regular channels. These are believed
to have a strong connection to the kidney. The meridians are shown in the figures.
the meridians and acupoints (acupuncture points) in the body.
Dotted along these meridians are more than 400 acupuncture
points, classified by WHO. (There may be as many as 2000 points in use for different
treatments.) These are listed by name, number and the meridian to which they belong.
When Chi flows freely through the meridians, the body is
balanced and healthy, but if the energy becomes blocked, stagnated or weakened, it can
result in physical, mental or emotional ill health. An imbalance in a person's body can
result from inappropriate emotional responses such as: excess anger, over-excitement,
self-pity, deep grief and fear. Environmental factors such as cold, damp/humidity, wind,
dryness, and heat can also cause imbalance so as factors such as wrong diet, too much sex,
overwork and too much exercise.
To restore the balance, the acupuncturist stimulates the
acupuncture points that will counteract that imbalance. So, if you have stagnant Chi, he
will choose specific points to stimulate it. If the Chi is too cold, he will choose points
to warm it. If it is too weak, he will strengthen it. If it is blocked, he will unblock
it, and so on. In this way, acupuncture can effectively rebalance the energy system and
restore health or prevent the development of disease. The points that the practitioner
chooses to stimulate may not necessarily be at the site of the symptoms.
Next Topic: How Does Acupuncture Work?