According to the theories of natural health and Eastern medicine, meridians are the pathways by which your qi, or life energy, travels throughout the body. These pathways form an intricate network that connects body parts and organs. Practices like acupuncture are thought to manipulate the meridian system for a therapeutic effect.
How Do Meridians Work?
There are twenty meridians, twelve of which coincide with the twelve major organs of the body. The remaining eight are called extraordinary vessels and are considered to be storage vessels for varying types of qi. Many of these meridians intersect and affect one another in different ways.
Throughout the meridian network there exist over 400 acupoints, each of which can affect or be affected by the meridians. Applying pressure to these points for a therapeutic effect is the focus of practices such as acupuncture. For example, inserting tiny needles along the Yangming (Stomach) Channel in the calf is reported to improve uncomfortable stomach conditions.
What Are They Made of?
Many Eastern philosophers don’t have a direct answer for this question, but it is possible that the meridians might be made up of a recently-discovered phase of water called Double Helix Water, or stable water clusters. There are several facts that support this theory:
- Stable water clusters tend to organize themselves into long chains, each having a polarized charge. This could explain why meridians and acupoints can be influenced by magnetic forces.
- These long chains are also excellent conductors of electricity, and electrical energies have been observed within the meridian infrastructure.
- This singularly pure form of water would be an excellent medium for cellular currents within the human body, which is made up of over 70% water.
- Meridian channels can sometimes be seen using an infrared camera, which forms an image using infrared radiation. When a meridian is glowing hot due to a health problem, its temperature will often cool down in direct response to the consumption of stable water clusters. This suggests that meridians could have a structure that is similar to and affected by stable water clusters.
Can They be Seen by the Naked Eye?
Meridians are not visible to the naked eye and have never been seen by surgeons as blood vessels or nerve fibers have been. However, there are several ways that therapists, doctors, and scientists have found to detect the locations of meridians.
One very visible method is through the use of infrared technology. An article from Acupuncture Today published photos showing temperature changes along meridian pathways.
Figure 1, on the left, depicts an infrared image of a liver cancer patient. The white hot spots in her left leg follow the path of the Jueyin (Liver) Channel. Figure 2, on the right, shows the Yangming (Stomach) Channel glowing a warm orange color in the legs of a woman with digestive problems.
Propagation of Sensation
The term propagation of sensation along meridians (PSM) is used by the Eastern medicine community to describe a sensation that a patient feels when an acupoint is stimulated. The sensation is felt along the path of the meridian that is being manipulated.
PSM is important because it supports the theory that meridians are connected to certain pathways, body parts, and organs. Those patients that feel the most PSM are the ones that show the most improvement in the organs or conditions that are related to the meridian being stimulated.
By using special types of x-ray imaging, scientists have been able to detect unusual ionic concentrations along meridian channels. For example, calcium ions tend to concentrate along the Yangming (Stomach) and Shaoyang (Gallbladder) channels.
How Are they Used by Eastern Medicine?
Practices like acupuncture and acupressure use the meridian system to manipulate or balance your qi. Stimulating the electromagnetic and energy currents that travel throughout your body via meridian pathways can have a therapeutic effect on all kinds of ailments, such as:
- Chronic pain and arthritis
- Digestive disorders
- Respiratory disorders
- Tension, stress, or emotional imbalances
- Neurological and musculoskeletal disorders, such as tendinitis or fibromyalgia
- Urinary or menstrual problems
- Reproductive difficulties
Methods for Improving Qi
There are several methods you can turn to in an effort to improve your qi. We suggest trying some the following practices until you find the right balance:
- Acupuncture or acupressure
- Tai chi, yoga, or other physical training exercises
- Deep meditation or guided meditation
- Eastern herbalism or food therapy
- Consuming or applying stable water clusters
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