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You don't learn about the lines of force directly in Chinese medicine, yet the entire theory is designed around them. I feel compelled to have a long aside about this. Please don't skip this next section even if you already know about Chinese meridians.
There are twelve main meridians in Chinese theory. They have names related to organs and I will also give them abbreviations – the same abbreviations we use in Fu Xi Wen. Lung (LU), Large Intestine (LI), Stomach (ST), Spleen (SP), Heart (HT), Small Intestine (SI), Bladder (BL), Kidney (KD), Pericardium (PC), Triple Warmer (TW), Gallbladder (GB), and Liver (LV). Some acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists call the Triple Warmer the San Jiao.
In addition to the main meridians, there are channels called extraordinary channels: Du Mai, Ren Mai, Dai Mai, Chong Mai, Yang Wei, Yin Wei, Yang Qiao, and Yin Qiao. I am not going to talk too much about these extraordinary vessels right now, except to say that they are responsible for tying the energetic grid together. More on them in the chapter “Extraordinary Vessels”.
Classical theory describes the meridians very specifically. On The Official Fu Xi Wen Website, you can click on each meridian above and it will take you to a website that is not affiliated with Fu Xi Wen that has great pictures that describe the locations of the meridians. I do not include my own pictures because Fu Xi Wen re-writes the meridians extensively in the chapter “Energetic Topography”.
Coupling Meridians Together
In Chinese theory, there are three basic ways that the meridians tie themselves together. The first one is called the Six Divisions (Taiyang, Yangming, Shaoyang, Taiyin, Jueyin, and Shaoyin). The second is called interior and exterior meridians. The third is called the circadian rhythm. I discuss these in the Intermediate chapter “Angles and Elements”. Let's review them.
In the Neijing, the oldest surviving Classical text, the Six Divisions are described as being concentric circles around the body. In the outer circle, the Yangming is in the front. The Shaoyang is at our sides. The Taiyang is at our backs. In the inner circle, the Taiyin is in the front. The Jueyin is at our sides. The Shaoyin is at our backs. In contrast, Fu Xi Wen states that each Six Division unit has its own concentric circle differentiated by height and volume.
The Six divisions are most often used
in theory to describe how pathogens, such as colds and flues, move
from the outside of our bodies into our internal plumbing. I am not
going to discuss this today either. See Ethan Borg's previous book
Each division ties together two meridians. Taiyang ties together the BL and the SI. Yangming: ST/LI. Shaoyang: GB/TW. Taiyin: LU/SP. Jueyin: LV/PC. Shaoyin: KD/HT.
The second way that the meridians are tied together is in interior and exterior pairs. Every meridian is described as either being Yin or Yang. The Yin meridians are: LU, SP, HT, LV, KD. And the Yang meridians are: LI, ST, SI, GB, BL. Every Yin meridian is interior to a Yang meridian, tying two together as follows:
LU and LI are interior/exterior to each other. The other pairs are: SP/ST, LV/GB, KD/BL, HT/SI, and PC/TW.
The third way in which the channels are tied together is called the circadian rhythm. Every channel has a time on the clock in which it is most active and a time when it is least active. A day is parsed out as having twelve 2 hour segments. During any individual segment, there is always one meridian that is at the height of its energy and one at its weakest and these are tied together. The time segments are divided as:
LV: 1-3 AM With SI: 1-3 PM
LU: 3-5 AM With BL: 3-5 PM
LI: 5-7 AM With KD: 5-7 PM
ST: 7-9 AM With PC: 7-9 PM
SP: 9-11 AM With TW: 9-11 PM
HT: 11-1 PM With GB: 11-1 AM
So, as you can see, the meridians are tied together on the clock as: LV/SI, LU/BL, LI/KD, ST/PC, SP/TW, and HT/GB.
Why on earth did I recount all of this theory? Because the lines of force are standing right here before our eyes hiding in plain sight.
Lines of Force And Meridian Connectors
These three theories are all disconnected in Chinese theory. In clinical practice and in schools around the country, we pick and choose from these three theoretical connectors as we see fit. But in Fu Xi Wen, these three theories connect. In fact, these connections combine together to create our energetic grid.
Fu Xi Wen, as one of its fundamental building blocks, focuses on the spatial coordinates described by Heaven, Man, and Earth. There are three of those, if you happened to notice. And there are three meridian connectors. See where I am going with this? Feeling like an “ah ha!” moment is upon us?
Before that sparkly moment, we need to do one thing. We need to disconnect the word “meridian” from the “meridian connectors” and in its place put “lines of force”. You see, the theory used all the time in acupuncture isn't about the meridians per say, it is about how the lines of force move energy. The meridians draw their energy from the lines of force – so the acupuncture theory works great, but it works even better if you realize that the Six Divisions, interior/exterior pairs, and circadian rhythms give names to the lines of force. More importantly, the meridians provide access to them.
The Six Divisions describe the Heaven lines of force. But we have to change them a bit. We have to add three more divisions to make nine lines of force. Let's illustrate it:
Heaven from top to bottom:
9th Line: SI/HT – Pure Yang
8th line: SI/BL – Taiyang
7th line: ST/LI – Yangming
6th line: GB/TW – Shaoyang
5th line: SP/LU – Taiyin
4th line: LV/PC – Jueyin
3rd line: KD/HT – Shaoyin
2nd line: KD/LU – Falling Yin
1st line: KD/BL – Pure Yin
If you know your Chinese medical theory, you are likely appalled that three levels have been added that don't exist in your knowledge of theory: Pure Yang, Falling Yin, and Pure Yin. Of course, if you read the Neijing, you will see references to the nine pulse, despite the lengthy conversation about six divisions. They clearly are not mentioned in the Shan Han Lun or in any other theoretical text that has survived the millenia. The reality is that these lines exist as described, so you need to turn off your monitor or close this book in a fit of disgust, or adapt to the testable reality.
What does it mean that a line of force is called something like KD/LU? And by the way, you can call it LU/KD, I don't care. I don't care because the reason for the name is that when you connect both the KD and the LU meridians at the same time or in short succession to each other, you create the connection that opens up that line of force. It does not matter which connector you turn on first.
Lines of force are only opened in groups of two's. If you don't connect two meridians together in a treatment then you do not open up a line of force. Instead, treating a single meridian treats the meridian or the organ attached to it. You also do not have to use acupuncture points. All you have to do is connect to any point along both meridians and the associated line of force becomes accessible.
I must thrust another important block of theory into the discussion right now. That is the issue of sides. The body has a right side and a left side. The right is considered Yin and the left is considered Yang. In Fu Xi Wen, the right side always opens up the energetic boxes that lie in between the lines of force. The left side opens up the lines of force themselves. This means most treatments are one-sided. You only need to treat both sides of the body if and only if you need to balance the lines of force at the same time as the energetic boxes.
So, we reviewed the Heaven lines of force, the next level is the Man level. The interior/exterior pairs are found on the lines of force that make up the Man level. They also have a very specific order from East to West. East is Yang and West is Yin. So, the far East is the most Yang aspect of the Man level lines of force.
Man Level Lines of Force from East to West
The final level is the Earth level. This level is comprised of the circadian rhythm connections as follows:
Earth Level Lines of Force from South to North
How Do You Access Lines of Force Via Meridians
If you've been looking closely, you've
noticed one thing. Every connector contains the same meridians
coupled in different pairs except in the instances of KD/BL and HT/SI
which are repeated in all three planes. These exceptions are an
important clue as to how to active the lines of force. You see, if
the same meridians combine to have a different effect in each plane,
To activate the Heaven lines of force, you move the sound tool in the coupled meridians in an up/down direction. To active the Man lines of force, you move the sound tools in the coupled meridians East and West. And to active the Earth lines of force, you move the sound tools in both meridians North and South.
Look to the Forums to find easy ways to remember the lines of force connectors. If you don't see any you like and you've made up a good one, please add it to the Forums to help the next person.
Why all this name calling?
If you can learn the pathways of the meridians and if you can remember the names of the lines of force, you can treat any problem remotely.
As you may recall from our chapter on lines of force, each line of force and each energetic box relates to a specific segment of the body. Let's say we have Multiple Sclerosis and have a problem with the nerves in our head. Standing upright, the Heaven levels intersect the head at two places. SI/BL crosses the brow of the head. ST/LI crosses between the lips. Lie down with the head in the East and the feet in the West. LV/GB crosses at the jaw. HT/SI crosses the head again at the brow. Lie down with your head in the South and your feet in the North and two lines cross the head. HT/SI crosses at the brow and SI/LV cross at the lips. You can treat the head locally at the T° for nerves as we have been doing thus far, or you can treat the coupled meridians remotely to the same effect. Treating the right side treats the energetic boxes where most of the brain resides. Treating the left side treats the areas of the brain through which the lines of force pass.
While it may not seem like much of an advantage at this moment – investing all the time to learn the meridians and then treating so many points – the fact of the matter is that remote treatments ultimately require less energy and are always accessible for self-treatment – allowing you to treat your back, for instance, or other areas where you cannot reach.
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