Tai Chi, Qigong and Acupuncture
- General information
- Energy meridians, or jing luo, link all the organs and the entire physical body to the mind and emotional systems. This explains how Tai 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 and Qigong help 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.
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
- Acupuncture and Tai Chi
There are three aspects of Traditional Chinese
Medicine: acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Tai 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 Tai Chi and
Qigong, 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 Tai Chi and Qigong 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 Qi meridians bioenergetic circuits
- T'ai Chi and QiGong affect the same energy flow that acupuncture does, although acupuncture can be better for acute problems, whereas Tai Chi is a daily tune-up. Therefore, acupuncturists often recommend T'ai Chi to their patients, and Tai Chi teachers recommend acupuncture to students with chronic or acute conditions, as a supplement to the students' standard medical treatments. Tai 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.
- 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 Tai Chi provides is a daily acupuncture tune-up. Because Tai Chi is so slow and the weight shifts so deliberate, with the body very relaxed, the feet are massaged by the earth during a Tai 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 Tai Chi unique in providing you and acupuncture tune-up each time you do your daily exercise. If you haven't yet, view the non-instructional Exhibitions and FREE OnLine Lessons of the Tai Chi in the FREE OnLine Lessons section, 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.
- Recent studies suggest that acupuncture helps relieve some symptoms of cancer and some side effects of treatment, but it was used by only 1.2% of participants in our study