Acupuncture is an age old practice of healing people through energy which is arguably the template for all human physical (and mental) well-being. Our bodies are filled with tangible organs, blood and the minute vessels that keep us up and running daily; but unseen is the incredible energy or “chi” that we emanate and use to keep our bodies balanced and healthy. It’s this very energy that the practice of acupuncture strives to align and reconcile through points on the body that contain this lifeblood. Acupuncture can be a tool used by professionals to diagnose and furthermore treat debilitating diseases. Check out this course all about the process of acupuncture in the treatment of Bells Palsy. The acupuncture chart is a visual of the human body and where all of our energy pathways are. Let’s dissect it.
12 Primary Meridians
Each meridian has a designated body part of organ associated with it that direct energy throughout the body. These are the major avenues of energy travel.
2 Major Extraordinary Vessels
The two extraordinary vessels that have their own acupuncture points are the Conception and the Governor. These two points act as a balancing agent for all of the energy that flows from the 12 primary meridians.
6 Other Extraordinary Vessels
While these smaller extraordinary vessels do not have their own acupuncture point, they are associated with the Conception and the Governor points. They are the Penetrating Vessel, Girdling Vessel, Yin Linking Vessel, Yang Linking Vessel, Yin Motility Vessel and the Yang Motility Vessel.
15 Major Connecting Vessels
Consider these the road you take to get from one major highway to another running parallel to it. These vessels are acupuncture points that connect to the Yin/Yang opposite main channel. Twelve of these are associate with the 12 primary meridians, two are associated with the major extraordinary meridians and one is considered the great connecting vessel of the spleen.
Other Lesser Connecting Vessels
These guys are still important, but they don’t have their own acupuncture points. They connect vessels to help distribute energy from the above pathways to the body tissue. These are broke down into three categories: blood connecting vessels, superficial connecting vessels and minute connecting vessels.
Just like the name entails, these pathways are actually divergences off of the main pathways we’ve talked about so far. They create a spider web network of channels to reach deeper into the body than the lesser connecting vessels that are closer to the skin.
Yin and Yang
Briefly, yin and yang were mentioned above in the smaller extraordinary vessels description. It’s important to take a second and understand the significance of yin/yang and acupuncture. Yin and yang are both types of energy, but Yin shows more subtle traits, “chi”, and yang shows more overt trains, “Qi”. The balance between these two opposing energies is what keeps are body and mind aligned. If you are someone who prefers rest over stimulation, perhaps you need to wake-up your Chi, or Ying association, to aid in generating energy. Likewise, the opposite is true. The meridians are divided up evenly amongst Yin and Yang. The Yin meridians are: heart, lung, liver, kidney, spleen and pericardium. The yang meridians are: large intestine, small intestine, stomach, triple energizer, urinary bladder and gallbladder. Ying and yang are intertwined in the same way that all of our organs are throughout the body.
Meridian Acupuncture Points
The meridians are broken down above into the yin and yang categories. They are, heart, lung, liver, kidney, spleen, pericardium, large intestine, small intestine, stomach, triple energizer, urinary bladder and gallbladder. They each correspond to a set of acupuncture points, and each acupuncture point can help remedy a certain ailment. Learn more about Eastern Medicine in this online course. It will help you understand more about the body’s intrinsic energy by way of meridians and chakras.
The heart meridian will help relieve pain associated with the heart, upper arms, shoulders in addition to nixing palpitations, racing hearts and aching. It can also improve memory, help with insomnia, mania and epilepsy.
The lung meridian will alleviate symptoms of respiratory distress. It can get rid of nosebleeds, incessant coughing, and swelling or pain of the throat.
The liver is a huge meridian, it covers a large portion of the body, bigger than you would assume. It can help remedy abdominal pain, hernias, diarrhea and even chest pain and vomiting. It’s also known to be associated with seminal emission, urinary problems, menstrual disorders and seminal emission.
The kidney, like the liver meridian, covers a large portion of the body – on the opposite side. Accessing the kidney meridian points can help alleviate everything from menstrual disorders impotence including: vomiting, pain of the throat, constipation, coughing up blood, inhibited urination and pain in the lower leg and foot.
The spleen is responsible for a lot and has a variety of different uses. It’s responsible for alleviating abdominal pain, diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, pain of the chest, coughing, paralysis of the lower limbs and other stomach pains.
The pericardium is a part of your heart, and it’s in charge of relieving cardiac pain and associated chest tightness or fullness, palpitations, stomach pains, epilepsy and even comas.
Despite the large intestine being in our abdomen, the large intestine meridian controls the left side of our upper body. Accessing the LI (large intestine) points will help with upper arm pain, paralysis of the upper limbs, throat pain, shoulder pain, nose-bleeding, headaches and swelling of the gums, toothaches and voice loss.
Like the large intestine, the small intestine runs a part of the body contrary to its actual location. These points can help with dim vision, stiff neck, arm and elbow pain, dizziness, tinnitus, deafness and finger stiffness or pain. It’s also good for headaches, visual difficulties, and pain or swelling of the throat. It actually can help with annoying eyelid spasms, too!
The second biggest of all 12 primary meridian vessels, the stomach contributes to a lot of our everyday ailments. Having an acupuncturist work on any of these 45 points can help get rid of a lot of pesky or even debilitating ailments. The stomach primary meridian covers almost everything we’ve covered in the other meridians thus far. From swollen eyes to paralysis of the lower limbs, the stomach points earn respect for how far reaching they are.
The triple energizer isn’t an organ in our body, but it is one of the 12 primary meridians that is responsible for aiding with deafness, hemilateral headaches, toothaches, hypertonicity, paralysis of the shoulder and upper arms, tinnitus, scrofula, stiff neck and wry mouth or eyes.
As you can imagine, this primary meridian has a lot to do with the bladder and the urinary tract. However, it’s also the largest of the meridian pathways in the body. It covers literally everything that we have covered thus far in addition to back pain, blood ejection, fever and heel pain. This is a good go-to if you aren’t sure which energy pathway could be blocked or not working properly. If you’re experiencing a lot of lumbar spine discomfort or pain, you may want to check out this online course that can help teach you how to use acupressure (and other alternative treatments) to get rid of the pain.
The third largest meridian pathway in the body, the gallbladder path is everything that we have discussed thus far. It primarily deals with headaches, paralysis, back pain, abdominal pain and eye disease.
These are just breakdowns of the 12 primary meridians, for specific access points, names and functions for every acupuncture point on the human body you can visit All About Acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of many alternative medicines that are popping up on the Western radar. These kind of traditional healing practices hail from Eastern medicine and Asian alternative therapies. Usui Reiki therapy is another ancient remedy that is practiced worldwide and may be useful information for those looking for non-traditional healing. Read more about Usui Reiki in this crash course on Reiki medicine.