Monday, April 30, 2012

Meridian Lines: Pathways to Prevention

The meridian lines in the body are the main pathways through which chi, or life force energy, moves and flows. In fact, all of nature, including humanity, is dependent upon this vital force.
When chi is flowing smoothly, all of life's processes operate rhythmically and harmoniously. Therefore, in Oriental medicine, sustaining this pure chi energy is more important than anything else in order to keep the body strong and healthy. Our body has three major systems: the circulatory, nervous and meridian systems. Through the circulatory system, every part of the body is supplied with essential nutrients. The nervous system, which is closely related to the circulatory system, plays an important role in controlling each organ, muscle and tendon in the body. Because the circulatory and nervous systems can be seen, it is much easier to predict and find problems in them than in the meridian system, which is invisible to the naked eye.
The meridian system protects our internal organs just as the skin protects our body from harmful virus invasions that cause diseases. There are twelve meridians in the body which protect the organs and provide life force energy to them. And, in addition to these twelve meridians, which connect the surface of our body to our internal organs, are eight special meridians called "life lines.” Among these life lines are two major meridian lines: the governal and functional meridians.
Chi circulates through these lines in a full circle. It flows in the governal line from the "hwayoom" located between the anus and reproductive organs - up the back to the "injoong" - located in the head, just above the soft palate at the roof of the mouth. In the functional line, it flows from the injoong down the front of the body to the hwayoom, completing the circle. Doctors of Oriental medicine believe that the strength of our immune system to fight disease is completely dependent upon how powerfully and quickly chi moves in the meridian system in the body. It follows, then, that people whose chi energy moves in the body without obstructions are less likely to have health problems.
To better grasp this concept, think of the traffic lanes on a highway. It usually takes longer to get to one's destination on a one-lane road than on a four-lane road as, due to the decreased space, there is more of a chance of extreme traffic congestion. This makes for a not so pleasant driving experience. One of the main culprits in weakening the meridian system is emotional trauma. The meridian system can be easily damaged by excessive emotional swings as well as an unhealthy diet and viruses. When strong emotions - more potent than those touched off by shallow, superficial everyday problems - emerge, the meridian system is the first to be affected, and in a very negative way. And if the underlying cause of the trauma is not found and emotions continue to flare, the negative effects spill over into the two other systems, causing serious health problems.
People who have damaged the meridian lines controlling the function of the heart due to emotional imbalance are likely to feel intense pain in the center of the chest or at the elbows. In worst cases, overlooked first stage symptoms of emotional disorder can result in serious, sometimes incurable diseases. It goes without saying, therefore, that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." And keeping the meridian system free from emotional disturbances as well as strengthening it makes it possible to lead a healthy and happy life.
OMDs, before making any diagnosis or prescribing treatment, touch and press down on several acupuncture points in order to check the condition of the heart and emotional state as well as to see where problems are located. In traditional acupuncture treatment, touching is one of the five major examination methods, which also include looking, listening, smelling and asking. During an acupuncture treatment, points linked to major organs are stimulated through the insertion of long thin needles into the skin. This acts to unblock meridians and increase the flow of chi through them and, thus, promote better health.

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