Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a unique understanding of the human body and its functions. According to TCM theory, the human body is a complex system where the organs, tissues, and cells are connected by channels known as meridians or pathways. There are a total of 20 meridians in the human body, including 12 regular meridians and eight extraordinary meridians. Each meridian has a specific function, and they all work together to maintain the body’s balance and harmony.
The regular 12 meridians are relatively shallow and are energy flow channels that gradually form on the surface of the body after the organs have formed in infants. In contrast, the eight extraordinary meridians are energy channels that exist in infants before the formation of organs. Thus, the twelve regular meridians are primarily used to treat functional diseases, while the eight extraordinary meridians are more effective in treating organic diseases such as internal organ injuries, congenital diseases, or major functional disorders.
For instance, in 2021, I witnessed a remarkable case at a Chinese acupuncture clinic. Mr. Zhang used the Shenmai(BL-62) meridian to treat a child with infantile paralysis and an outward eight-shaped gait. After five minutes of needle manipulation, the child’s gait had significantly improved, and the child’s parents were amazed by the results. This is just one example of how the eight extraordinary meridians can be leveraged to address complex medical conditions.
Furthermore, from my experience, treating angina with acupuncture can be relieved temporarily by bleeding on the tip of middle finger and needle stimulation of the Laogong(PC-8) point. However, for long-term treatment and prevention, the Gongsun(SP-4) and Neiguan(PC-6) points, which are also the meeting points of the eight extraordinary meridians, are essential.
Additionally, the Shenmai(BL-62) and Zhaohai(K-6) are commonly used to treat epilepsy, while the Houxi(SI-3) and Lieque(LU-7) points are used to treat male reproductive disorders, and the Lieque(LU-7) and Gongsun(SP-4) points are used to treat female reproductive disorders. These experiences indicate that when treating significant organic diseases, we should use the eight extraordinary meridians more and fully leverage the power of innate energy.
Through careful consideration, I have concluded that meridians are closely related to nerves, and this is the reason they can treat deep-seated illnesses. In the early stages of infant development, the tissue fluid contains nerve blood vessels which later develop into fetal hearts and eventually differentiate into other organs. The nervous system connects all the organs in the body, allowing it to balance the internal functions of each organ. Although further research is needed to fully substantiate this claim, I am confident that this is the correct explanation.
In summary, TCM practitioners believe that using the meridians as a guide for diagnosis and treatment is an effective way to address various health issues. By focusing on the eight extraordinary meridians, TCM practitioners can effectively treat complex diseases and conditions that are otherwise difficult to manage with conventional medicine. Although there is still much to learn about the meridians, their use in TCM has been shown to be an effective way to treat a wide range of health issues, both in China and around the world.