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Issue 3: Meridians and Acupoints

Welcome back to our series on the fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In this issue, we will delve into the meridian system and the theory of acupoints. These are crucial components of TCM, helping to explain the internal flow of energy in the body and how specific points can be used to regulate bodily functions.

1. The Meridian System Meridians are networks that run throughout the body, connecting organs and tissues and facilitating the flow of Qi (energy) and blood:

  • Primary Meridians: TCM posits that there are twelve primary meridians, each corresponding to one of the twelve internal organs. These meridians are the main pathways for the flow of Qi and blood.

  • Eight Extraordinary Meridians: In addition to the twelve primary meridians, there are eight extraordinary meridians, which play roles in regulating and storing Qi and blood, helping to maintain balance in the body.

  • Functions of Meridians: The meridian system not only transmits Qi and blood but also reflects and regulates the body's health. Through the meridians, one can understand various changes inside and outside the body.

2. The Importance of Acupoints Acupoints are specific points along the meridians that have regulatory and therapeutic effects:

  • Definition of Acupoints: Acupoints are sites where Qi and blood converge. Stimulating these points can regulate bodily functions and relieve pain.

  • Common Acupoints: Examples include Hegu (located on the back of the hand) and Zusanli (located on the lower leg). These points are frequently used in TCM treatments.

  • Functions of Acupoints: Each acupoint has its unique function, and stimulating different points can achieve various therapeutic effects, such as pain relief, lowering blood pressure, boosting immunity, etc.

3. The Principles of Acupuncture and Tuina Acupuncture and tuina are common treatment methods in TCM, which regulate the body by stimulating meridians and acupoints:

  • Acupuncture: This involves inserting fine needles into acupoints to stimulate the flow of Qi and blood in the meridians, thus achieving therapeutic effects. Acupuncture can relieve pain, regulate endocrine function, enhance immune function, and more.

  • Tuina: This involves manually massaging the meridians and acupoints to promote the flow of Qi and blood, improving local and overall health. Tuina is often used to relieve muscle tension, improve blood circulation, reduce stress, and more.

Conclusion By understanding the basics of meridians and acupoints, we can better comprehend how TCM maintains health by regulating the internal flow of energy. In the next issue, we will explore Chinese pharmacology, unveiling the significant role of Chinese herbs in treatment.

We look forward to your continued interest and feedback as we delve deeper into the wisdom of TCM.

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