|Ever wonder how acupuncture works? Or perhaps you doubted that it works altogether?
That is completely understandable as acupuncture has only recently started to be recognised by the Western medical establishment as it became impossible to ignore it’s role in healing people with various disorders.According to its practitioners, this healing art uses the body meridians as a guide. Meridians are paths through which qi, the life energy, flows. This concept has its roots in Chinese medicine. Even though researchers denied its existence for centuries, new studies prove that meridians do exist.
What Are Meridians in Chinese Medicine?
Also known as the energy network of the body, meridians transport qi to every organ and tissue. They exist in corresponding pairs and access all body parts. These channels form a giant web that allows energy to flow freely. Any blockage or disruption can impact your body’s ability to function properly.
The meridian system is an integral part of the healing traditions from India, China, Tibet, and Japan. Its existence is strongly related to the vibrational and bio-electrical energy flowing throughout the body.
According to the oriental medicine experts without it, life would be impossible. The meridians influence your ability to breathe, move, think, and feel. Even though they have no proven anatomical structure, they do exist and play a key role in overall health and well-being.
What Does Science Say?
For decades researchers have struggled to come up with a complete anatomical description of this system.
That’s why regions of low skin resistance and high temperature, primo-vessels, and tendinomuscular (where muscles attach to tendons) structures have been suggested to represent meridians. A number of studies indicate that some meridians are transparent or weakly luminescent. In some people, these energy channels are visible via infrared imaging.
Computerised methods have identified low impedance (electrical impedance is the measure of the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage is applied) along the meridian system. However, none of these theories can accurately describe the real nature of meridians and how they work.
Recent studies conducted at Seoul National University have finally proven its existence. According to these scientists, the physical component of the meridian system is the newly proposed primo-vascular system (theorised to be a circulatory system similar to the blood vascular system). This network of energy channels may play a role in the information relayed by DNA. The researchers who conducted this study injected a special dye into the major acupuncture points. The dye colored the meridians, revealing thin lines throughout the body.
This experiment has shown that the meridians resemble a duct system through which liquid flows. It appears that stem cells contain the same liquid that goes through the meridian system.
The study has also confirmed what Chinese medicine practitioners knew for centuries – that there are 12 two single mid meridians and 12 primary paired meridians.
These findings explain the healing power of acupuncture and provide new information that can be used for preventing and treating diseases. Essentially it sheds some light on how acupuncture works.
Why Is the Meridian System Important?
The body meridians guide therapists towards applying acupuncture. Even though these channels are invisible to the human eye, acupuncture practitioners believe they impact your health on every level. According to them, the meridian system influences your metabolism, removes energy blockages, brings energy and balance, and determines cellular structure.
Each of the 12 meridians is named according to its corresponding organ, such as the heart meridian, the liver meridian, the bladder meridian, and the lung meridian. If its energy is blocked or obstructed, its corresponding system suffers.
Acupressure, acupuncture, and other alternative therapies help clear blockages, leading to improved health. Certain herbs and foods affect the body meridians too, which is why nutrition plays a major role in Chinese medicine.
Now that researchers have a better picture of the meridian system, we can expect new findings that will further deepen our knowledge about acupuncture and it’s healing properties.