Within the paradigm of Chinese medicine, qigong, and intrinsic energy, there are certain concepts that are very different from how we view the body through a Western medical lens. Above and beyond, one of the questions I get asked the most, both in the acupuncture clinic and in the classroom is about meridians. Although we are fortunate enough in Shaolin Wahnam to be able to get results from our qigong and kungfu training without the need to understand what a meridian is or how it works, the concept is fascinating enough that it deserves a little elucidating.
Also known as channels, vessels, or conduits, meridians are the pathways through which our Qi flows. Each meridian links one organ system to another, including organs which are well known in Western medicine and those which exist in Chinese medicine and have no Western equivalent, like the Triple Burner. Thus, the interconnected nature of the body in Chinese medicine, its dependence on the healthy functioning of each system, and the underpinning concept of treating the body as a whole instead of merely treating individual symptoms.
Just like the road network in the US has superhighways, interstates, state and county highways, all the way down to dirt country roads, meridians have their major branches, as well as secondary branches and smaller collaterals which though smaller, are no less important. These lesser branches and channels serve to further reinforce the intimate connections between the body's organ systems.
In acupuncture parlance, we will ask questions and formulate a diagnosis involving an individual meridian or a whole organ system, then base our treatment around that. Qigong is actually much easier! Within a qigong paradigm, illness is simply viewed as a blockage of energy, nothing more. When practicing Cosmos Qigong, you need not know what meridian is involved. You simply learn the skills, then let your energy build and circulate. Over time the blockage can resolve itself and the associated issue fade away. From my standpoint as an acupuncturist though, it is always interesting to observe a qigong student, have an idea of how I would diagnose them in clinic, and then observe how their qi flow actually works on that affected organ system. This is also one of the reasons one needn’t know how exactly their body’s energy might be blocked, our Qi is intelligent and knows where to go in the body that needs it the most.
In just a few short weeks, Qigong for Health and Vitality will be starting up again. This is our 12-week class offering for new and existing students where fresh beginners get to experience the power of Cosmos Qigong and returning students are able to deepen their skills and refresh their qigong practice. Space is limited and class starts soon so reserve your space now!