Welcome to my blog and Part I of my Five Part Series on Acupressure and Qigong! Today we'll review some of the most important basics like he Energy Body, the Meridian System, and Energy Points. Let’s get started.
The Energy Body
Now before your eyes cross at the concept of an “energy body”, it’s important that we lay just a little bit of groundwork. You see, while I talked a lot about “energy” and “chi” in our introduction to this series, we never quite defined what energy really is.
This is partially because science itself is still working very hard to understand precisely what “energy” is! But what science has been able to show us is that the physical human form is essentially shrouded in an electromagnetic field - often referred to as an “aura” or “energy body”.
The human body itself is, in a very real way, made up of different frequencies of this energy and even emanates this energy! So try and imagine that when we’re discussing this, ok? From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, your body doesn’t end at the boundary of your skin:
You are quite literally made of energy, and the ancient Chinese found very precise ways of mapping this invisible “body”. Let’s learn about them.
The Meridian System
The meridian system is a network of energy pathways that crisscross the human body in a very specific and predictable pattern. Many thousands of years ago, ancient Chinese doctors were able to not only intuit but also very accurately map these energetic pathways and how they related to the more material functions of the human body and experience.
Since then, the meridian system has been used to help regulate and balance functions ranging from strictly physical (like digestive and heart functions) to psychological (like anxiety and stress) to emotional (like anger, fear, or disappointment). This is possible in part because of “energy points”.
Along the meridian channels crisscrossing your body from tip of toe to top of head can be found hundreds of energy points or “acupuncture points”. These are often sometimes called “acupressure points”. Think of these points as miniature clusters of energy, very sensitive to bioelectrical impulses, and existing right on the surface of your skin.
Stimulating these points - be it by the use of pressure (acupressure), needles (acupuncture), or even heat or electricity - results in a release of endorphins, a neurochemical that relieves pain within the body. So how can these invisible “magic” points be used to regulate and balance physical, psychological, and emotional health? Well…
It’s all about the flow. Think about the energy channels of the meridian system as rivers of energy passing through your body. Imagine the energy points as little surges or swirls of energy. Like a healthy river, a healthy body will demonstrate balanced, unblocked flow.
Poor health results from energetic blockage within the network. So, imagine poor health as a little dam in the river, blocking the natural flow of energy. Removing that blockage restores good health to the system.
This is precisely what acupuncture, acupressure, and even qigong were designed to do: release energetic blockages and maintain a state of good health and energetic balance within the human system.
The Genius of Preventative Medicine
And this brings us to the primary difference between Eastern and Western medicines: Eastern medicines like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine have as their focus the prevention of imbalance or disease. They seek to maintain a state of balance within the body so that disease has nowhere to take root.
Western medicine, on the other hand, has as its focus the treatment of disease once it becomes present within the body. In other words, Eastern medicine is primarily preventative in nature while Western medicine is primarily reactive.
So the genius of preventative medicine is that it strikes at the very core of good health. Here’s another reason why this matters…
Yin & Yang: Explained
This one will take some time to understand so we’ll only scratch the surface of it here. Yin and Yang can be understood as opposing-but-interrelated energies. (Think of dual realities like light-and-dark, fire-and-water, expanding-and-contracting.)
Within Chinese medicine, these interconnected energies are used to create a center of balance within the body and mind - the idea being that when the human system is neither too yin or too yang, it is in a state of good health.
You’ll hear these terms applied often within Traditional Chinese Medicine, especially as they relate to food and dietary choices.
Now. We’ve covered a lot of ground today! And there’s more to come. But if you’re enjoying what you’ve learned so far and want to get a feel for how all of this plays out in real life, then we should probably meet in person. To book an appointment, simply click the button below and choose a date.