The Energy Pathways ensure that all the internal organs are interconnected. The theory of how all these energy channels inter-relate and interconnect explains the Chinese view of the body as one integrated whole. To enjoy excellent health and vibrant energy levels we need all these energy pathways to be functioning optimally, in other words working in harmony.
The Chinese understand disease as a loss of balance and harmony of and between the Chi and Blood (Xue) in the body, giving rise to deficiency in the vital organs, and a lack of smooth information flow between the organs.
ENERGETIC FUNCTIONS OF THE EIGHT EXTRAORDINARY CHANNELS
The Yin and Yang Stepping Channels are complementary in that they both flow from the legs (controlling the state of the muscles of the legs) into the eyes (controlling the muscles that open and close the eyes).
Chi overflowing into the Eight Extraordinary Vessels irrigates the space between the skin and muscles where the Defensive Chi circulates. The Eight Extraordinary Vessels circulate Defensive Chi in the abdomen, chest and back and so play a role in protecting the body from external pathogens.
The Eight Extraordinary Vessels integrate the Six Extraordinary Yang Organs with the Internal Organs and the twelve Main Bilateral Channels.
Within the Five Shen system we find something like a spiritual hierarchy: Shen, the spirit of the Heart, is the Emperor, with power over the Ministers, who reside as the spirits of the other organs.
- Sea of Food affects the digestion and appetite
- Sea of Chi affects the amount and flow of Chi
- Sea of Blood affects the amount and flow of Blood
- Sea of Marrow affects mental functioning and energy levels
The Divergent Channels branch out from the lower ends of their corresponding Regular Meridians and plunge into the body to meet their associated internal organs before running up to the neck or head and emerging to reconnect with their main channel.
The Central (Ren Mai) and Governing (Du Mai) Vessels are like midnight and midday, along with the Penetrating Vessel(Chong Mai) they form the polar axis of the body and they all come from the same source. If we consider the Central and Governing Vessels as one Channel, we can then see them as an indivisible whole and that the Yin and Yang are inseparable.
The Heart Meridian of the arm originates from the heart and emerges through the ‘heart system’ (the tissues connecting the heart to the other Internal Organs). One branch goes down through the diaphragm to connect with the small intestine, another branch ascends to the throat and eyes while another enters the Lungs before emerging at the axilla to flow down the underside of the medial aspect of the arm and palm and onto the little finger lateral as its external pathway.
The Bladder Meridian runs along the back of the body from head to heel, with two parallel branches flowing along each side of the spinal column. These four branches of the Bladder Meridian exert a direct influence on the sympathetic and parasympathetic trunks of the autonomic nervous system.