Centuries ago, Traditional Chinese Medicine developed the concept of meridians as body channels through which energy (or “chi”) flows in the body. Healing traditions from many countries have spoken of unseen but powerful energy channels in the body, where healers used ancient wisdom of these channels to balance life-energy and treat ailments.
Meridians are an intricate network of organized energy channels that flow throughout the body. In India, where the concept of meridians originated thousands of years ago, the ancient masters mapped out over seventy-two thousand energy pathways that form an expansive network through the body. In addition, Traditional Chinese Medicine promoted the concept of Yin and Yang, two fundamental forces of nature that need to be balanced for best health.
In the traditional Chinese view, diseases are believed to be due to a blockage in the energy flow within the channel system, where the “chi” in the meridians is out of balance, with some channels being stagnated or blocked and thus symptoms arising there. Traditionally, methods of unblocking and balancing these energy pathways have targeted specific points of the body using acupuncture needles, yoga, or massage techniques. In the 21st century, many practitioners no longer like to use metal acupuncture needles to treat acupuncture points, which can leave micro scars at the site of the acupuncture point, thus injuring the point and weakening it. Instead of needles, they prefer to treat the acupuncture points with a laser, moxa, or external botanical applications.
While these concepts have existed for centuries, a recent breakthrough at Seoul National University may have discovered tangible evidence to prove the existence of meridians. By injecting a special staining dye into acupuncture points, researchers were able to identify thin lines that ran on the same path as the known meridian pathways, perhaps scientific proof of their existence. Injecting the dye at non-acupuncture point sites did not have the same effect, providing further evidence.
Lifestyle balance is paramount to continued meridian health. Consuming a healthy diet rich with a wide array of fruits and vegetables, drinking adequate amounts of water, and developing a healthy fitness routine are all steps that can be taken to balance meridians from the inside out. Calming practices such as meditation and yoga are also beneficial in providing balance to the mind, spirit, and body.