Many of you have heard me (or your acupuncturist) mention that we have twelve different energetic channels or meridians in the body and they are each connected to the twelve primary organs.
When you have a problem in your body, you can access the appropriate organ channel through a multitude of points all working to find the root cause of your issue. An acupuncturist would use needles, an acupressurist would use their hands and fingers and a Medical Qigong practitioner might use Qi and intention to move the blockage or fill a deficiency. The goal is always to help the body and the individual to come to homeostasis, thereby bringing in a stronger sense of vitality.
What many of you don’t know is that there are even a stronger, more vibrant reservoir of energy beneath these channels. They are called by many names, but the most common is the Eight Extraordinary Vessels. These vessels represent the merging of the mother and father at conception linking the base essence of life both during gestation and after birth. They interconnect all of the twelve organ channels and circulate your Jing (essence) throughout your body for your entire life.
These eight vessels are divided into two groups of four vessels each. The first group is considered the main foundational ones that supported your growth in-utero. They are known as the Thrusting, Governing, Conception and Belt Vessels.
The other group have a more secondary supportive role for the main group and help complete the formation of fetus (both physically and energetically). They have both a left and right side channels are called the Yin and Yang Linking and the Yin and Yang Heel Vessels.
These amazing channels cross over the body through many points along the different organ channels and can be accessed via 8 master points and 8 corresponding couple points, which are pressure together (master first, then couple point) to stimulate the Qi flowing through the vessels. Here is a little about each vessel along with the points used to access them.
Thrusting Vessel (Chong Mai) - Spleen 4 (Couple pt. Pericardium 6)
This vessel runs up from the perineum to the crown of the head. It main function is to regulate Qi and Blood of all the Twelve Primary Channels throughout the body. It is consider to form with the first cell division after the sperm fertilizes the egg. The separation of the cell into two parts is the Thrusting Vessel supporting the embryo to form into the fetus. In women, the TV controls all aspects of menstruation so is it is an important starting point when dealing with any issues.
Conception Vessel (Ren Mai) - Lung 7 (couple pt. Kidney 6)
This vessels runs from the just before the anus up the front of the midline of the body to the lower jaw and it along with the Governing Vessel (below) are the only ones with their own acupuncture points. Its main functions are to nourish all the Yin channels (Lu,Kd,Lv,Ht,Sp and Pc), it controls the respiratory, digestive and urogenital functions.
Governing Vessel (Du Mai) - Small Intestine 3 (couple pt. Urinary Bladder 62)
This vessels runs from just behind the anus up the spine over the crown of the head to the upper jaw. Its main functions are to nourish all the Yang channels (Li,Ub,Gb,Si,St and Tb), it energizes Kidney Yang energy while strengthening the spine and back and it nourishes the brain. It is also a strong vessel in the treatment of depression.
Belt Vessel (Du Mai) - Gallbladder 41 (couple pt. Triple Burner 5)
This vessel runs around the waist from the spine (between the kidneys) around each side to the just below the navel (2nd chakra area). Its main functions are to circulate Liver and Gallbladder Qi, regulates the lower abdomen, is used in the treatment of hip pain and circulation issues of the leg muscles (like weakness, numbness, atrophy or motor impairment).
Left and Right Yin Linking (Yin Wei Mai) - Pericardium 6 (couple pt. Spleen 4)
These vessels run up the front the inside of the legs to the front of the torso through the nipples (Stomach 17 point) and join at the throat notch finishing bottom of the jaw at chin. A secondary line flows from the nipples down the inside of the arms to the palms. Its main functions are to energize the Heart, regulates internal parts of the body and treats headaches located in the back of the head and neck.
Left and Right Yang Linking (Yang Wei Mai) - Triple Burner 5 (couple pt. Gallbladder 41)
These vessels run just in front of the ankle up the outside of the legs to the shoulder joint and then around the circumference of the head flowing much of the gallbladder channel. A second line flows down from the shoulder joint to the back of the hand. Its main functions are to move Yang energy, to control the Wei Qi (protective energy all around the body), it regulates the external parts of the body and it used in the treatment of ear issues, sciatica and intermittent fever (going from chills to fever and back).
Left and Right Yin Heel - (Yin Qaio Mai) Kidney 6 (couple pt. Lung 7)
These vessels run flows up much of the Kidney channel in the foot and ankle before flow up the inside of the legs continuing up the front of the body between the nipples, through the neck area and finishing at the inner canthus of the eye. Its main functions are to regulate the left and right side of the body, nourish the eyes, control motion of lower limbs and influences the reproductive system. It is good for treating sleep disturbances, pain in the lower abdomen, cramps, leg spasms.
Left and Right Yang Heel (Yang Qaio Mai) - Urinary Bladder 62 (couple pt. Sm. Intestine 3)
These vessels run flows up much of the Urinary Bladder channel of the ankle and lower leg continuing up the side of the hip along the side of the body to the shoulder joint to the corner of the mouth to just below the eyes and around the side of the head to occiput at the back of the head. Its main functions are to control the Yang on both sides of the body along with the motion of the foot and ankle. It is used in the treatment of lower back pain conditions, fatigue, insomnia, weakness in legs.
In using all of these channels (as needed based on conditions and issues), you can access the deepest energies of the body and disrupt chaotic energy flows so that any diseases that are present can be disrupted as well. Once this is accomplished, a Qigong doctor can begin to facilitate a more healthy re-patterning of the patient’s body. If you would like to experience these points first hand, please contact me for an appointment.