Acupuncture / Acupressure
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Tai Chi & Acupuncture
Energy meridians, or jing luo, link all the organs and the entire physical body to the mind and emotional systems. This explains how T’ai Chi and QiGong’s mind/body exercises integrate all aspects of the self into a powerful self-healing system.
What are these energy meridians that T’ai Chi helps to unblock? By now you know that Qi flows through and powers every cell in your body, the way electricity powers your house. Without Qi, the cell would be dead, for Qi is the life force. The meridians are how Qi gets to the cells. You can’t see these meridians; you can only detect the energy that moves through them, just as you cannot see an ocean current in the water, but you can detect its motion.
There are ancient maps of these meridians, made thousands of years ago by Traditional Chinese doctors. These acupuncture meridian maps show 14 main energy meridians that carry Qi throughout the body internally and externally. The names follow, listed first by the modern acupuncture abbreviation, then by the English name, and a few followed by the Chinese name in italics.
CV = Conception Vessel or Ren Mai
CX = Pericardium Channel
GB = Gallbladder Channel
GV = Governing Vessel or Du Mai
HE = Heart Channel
KI = Kidney Channel
LI = Large Intestine Channel
LU = Lung Channel
LV = Liver Channel
SI = Small Intestine Channel
SP = Spleen-Pancreas Channel
ST = Stomach Channel
TW = Triple Warmer or San Jiao Channel
UB = Urinary Bladder Channel
Here is an example of an acupuncture meridian map.
This map also comes in a three-dimensional model.
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Acupuncture and T’ai Chi
There are three aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine: acupuncture, herbal medicine, and T’ai Chi/ QiGong.
All three share a common premise that Qi pours through the body, and our health is diminished when the
energy flow gets blocked.
So whether an acupuncturist is treating you with needles, an herbalist is prescribing herbs, or you are practicing
T’ai Chi, you are trying to balance the imbalances, or unblock the energy that flows throughout your body.
Millions of Americans are now using alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbs. If you practice T’ai Chi
daily, your relaxed state will help herbs or acupuncture work even more effectively.
The energy meridians, which flow throughout the interior of the body, have 361 points that surface at the skin,
and these are the most common treatment points acupuncturists use. But the whole body and even the mind
can be treated with acupuncture because these meridians that surface at the skin also flow inside the body,
through the brain and other organs.
Modern acupuncturists often call the
T’ai Chi and QiGong affect the same energy flow that acupuncture does, although acupuncture can be better
for acute problems, whereas T’ai Chi is a daily tune-up. Therefore, acupuncturists often recommend T’ai Chi
to their patients, and T’ai Chi teachers recommend acupuncture to students with chronic or acute conditions,
as a supplement to the students’ standard medical treatments. T’ai Chi and acupuncture are very
complementary, and each makes the other more effective.
(d)Say, “OOOOHHHHHMMMMMM”OHMMeter, That Is
It is mind-boggling when you consider that many modern acupuncturists find acupuncture points with electronic
equipment, not unlike an Ohmmeter. What’s amazing is that acupuncture maps were made long before
electronics was developed, some believe over 2,000 years ago.
How did they know where those points were back then? They might have felt them. As you practice T’ai Chi
and QiGong, you will eventually begin to feel the Qi flowing from your hands or in your body.
Know Your Chinese
Zang Fu literally translated means “solid-hollow.” Organs within the body considered to be hollow, like the stomach or large intestines, are Fu organs, while the solid organs, such as liver and lungs, are Zang organs.
Get an Acupuncture Tune-Up
Acupuncture sees the body holistically, meaning that each small part of the body contains connections to
the whole body. Therefore, an acupuncturist can treat any problem in the whole body through, for example,
the ears. Likewise, any part of the body, or even the mind, can be treated through the hands or the feet.
One of the powerful health benefits T’ai Chi provides is a daily acupuncture tune-up. Because T’ai Chi is
so slow and the weight shifts so deliberate, with the body very relaxed, the feet are massaged by the earth
during a T’ai Chi exercise. The bottoms of the feet have acupuncture points that affect the entire body, and
the mind, too. Acupressure is acupuncture without the needles. So the foot massage is a 20-minute T’ai Chi
session that stimulates all the acupuncture points on the foot through acupressure, thereby treating the whole
body. No other exercise provides this type of slow, relaxed motion, making T’ai Chi unique in providing you an
acupuncture tune-up each time you do your daily exercise. If you haven’t yet, view the non-instructional
Exhibition of the T’ai Chi Long Form, and the Exhibition of the Mulan Style Basic Short Form, on this book’s
insert DVD to visually understand the flow and effortless slowness of the forms which result in stimulating the
acupressure points on the feet, and throughout the entire body by allowing the relaxed tissue to massage itself.
No other exercise provides this.