|This Series On The Chinese Meridians includes:|
Introduction | Meridian Definition | Meridian System Or Network Of Body Meridians | The 12 Meridians And Meridian Chart | Main Physical And Psychological Relationships For The 12 Meridians | Radiant Energy Field
Classifying The 12 Main Chinese Meridians | Yin And Yang Energy Meridians | Arm And Leg Meridians | The Chinese Meridian Clock
Relative Qualities Of The 12 Meridians (chart) | The Eight Extraordinary Vessels | Summary Of The Eight Extraordinary Vessels (Chart) | Chinese Transversal Lo Vessels
Meridian Tracing | Donna Eden’s Meridian Tracing Videos | ‘Naughty’ Meridian Videos Resource | Awesome Acupuncture And Meridian Charts | The Chinese Meridians Controversy
Part three offers a unique summary chart of the 12 meridians, and gives more detail on the previously mentioned eight extraordinary vessels. This includes information on the Governing Vessel or Du Mai; Conception Vessel or Ren Mai; and Central Vessel or Chong Mai. These three extraordinary vessels are strongly emphasised in qigong exercises and in qigong healing. The Transversal Lo vessels are also given a brief mention.
Of the twenty main energy channels mentioned in part one of this series, the 12 meridians are the ones most commonly included in acupuncture treatments, and other forms of energy healing related to meridian therapy.
This is probably why there is more known about their qualities than those of the so-called eight extraordinary vessels.
The chart below shows as much of the previously discussed characteristics and groupings of the twelve principal energy channels, as is possible. There is too much to fit in every detail but all the meridian clock features are included.
Relative Qualities Of The 12 Meridians
Including Details From The Chinese Meridian Clock
* Direction of flow is related to standing with your arms above your head
|Meridians in Order of Peak Activation||Most Active|
|LUNG (LU)||3am – 5am|
3pm – 5pm
|LARGE INTESTINE (LI)||5am – 7am|
5pm – 7pm
|STOMACH (ST)||7am – 9am|
7pm – 9pm
|SPLEEN (SP)||9am – 11am|
9pm – 11pm
|HEART (HT)||11am – 1pm|
11pm – 1am
|SMALL INTESTINE (SI)||1pm – 3pm|
1am – 3am
|BLADDER (BL)||3pm – 5pm|
3am – 5am
|KIDNEY (KI)||5pm – 7pm|
5am – 7am
|PERICARDIUM (PC) Circulation-sex||7pm – 9pm|
7am – 9am
|TRIPLE WARMER (TW) Triple Heater / Burner, San Jiao||9pm – 11pm|
9am – 11am
|GALL BLADDER (GB)||11pm – 1am|
11am – 1pm
|LIVER (LV)||1am – 3am|
1pm – 3pm
The Eight Extraordinary Vessels
What’s In A Name?
The Eight Extraordinary Vessels are also known as the Eight Curious Vessels; the Eight Irregular Vessels, and the Eight Miraculous Meridians.
Although it’s tempting to shorten the name to the Eight Extra vessels, this is not correct. There’s a big difference between calling something extraordinary and calling it extra.
Why Are They Extraordinary?
There are a couple of reasons why these meridians are labelled curious, miraculous, and extraordinary, and it’s all to do with their nature.
They are core energy channels that run deeper in the body, either behind or below the principal 12 meridians. Since they are linked to the embryonic stage of human development, it is thought that they hold prenatal qi, or your original life force!
These energy reservoirs balance and regulate the flow of life force energy in the entire meridian system. They control the amount of Qi (chi) in the other 12 meridians; by either receiving the excess energy, or supplementing a diminished flow. They also regulate the yin yang balance. Now, that’s extraordinary!
These Extraordinary Vessels have no direct connection to the body’s organs, except for the brain and uterus, but they can still influence all the organs via their connections to the 12 meridians.
Classification Of The Extraordinary Vessels
The eight channels of this part of the Chinese meridians system are divided into pairs of primary and secondary vessels. (See the table below)
The Four Primary Vessels are:
- Ren Mai – Conception Channel (mai translates as vessel)
- Du Mai – Governing Channel
- Chong Mai – Penetrating or Central Channel
- Dai Mai – Girdle or Belt Channel
What makes these four particularly extraordinary, is that they are the only single channels in the ‘top 20’ of the meridian system. All the others are bilateral. This means that the four primary vessels fulfill a special function of dividing the body in halves (energetically).
The Du Mai, Ren Mai and Chong Mai, all divide it into left and right; and the Dai Mai creates an upper and lower division. The Chong Mai also defines the central core of the body and energetically ‘separates’ it from the periphery.
The conception (ren mai) and governing (du mai) vessels are sometimes included as an additional pair in the principal meridian group, bringing the number up to 14, but they are not a true pair. Unlike the 12 meridian pairs, they have no interconnecting vessels between them.
The Four Secondary Vessels are:
- Yin Qiao Mai – the Yin Heel Channel
- Yang Qiao Mai – the Yang Heel Channel
- Yin Wei Mai – the Yin Linking Channel
- Yang Wei Mai – the Yang Linking Channel
These four are not often referred to in qigong practice, but they are important for acupuncture treatment and other Traditional Chinese Medicine healing methods. See the table below for details about all eight extraordinary meridians.
Energy can flow in either direction but normally flows upwards in the extraordinary channels, (except for the horizontally flowing Dai Mai). In the Microcosmic Orbit Meditation, the energy in Ren Mai is encouraged to temporarily flow downward to complete the circular flow of Qi.
Transversal Lo Vessels
The details of these linking vessels are not needed for Qigong or other self-administered, energy healing practices. They are only included for educational reasons.
As The Name Suggests, These Channels Are Tranverse, Joining Vessels.
They link the element pairs of the principal meridians, for example the lung and large intestine meridians. There are two transversal lo vessels for each pair of the 12 meridians, except for the heart and small intestine, which have only one horizontal linking vessel.
There Are Over 50 Linking Vessels In The Meridian System.
As well as the transversal lo vessels, there are longitudinal lo vessels; tendinomuscular meridians; and divergent meridians…… continued in part 4