In World’s history numerous cultures has tried to describe the body’s energetic mechanisms, and from my point of view, the system that has managed better in doing that is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Not by chance this is the energetic system on which Kinesiology is based!
There are numerous problems regarding TCM in the West. First of all is language. Not only does TCM, being an ancient philosophy, uses metaphors, allegories, allusions, images, and symbols, but above all, has been translated (poorly)! The biggest mistake was to translate and the name of meridians with the name of an organ. If the meridians are of Energetic manifestations, why have they been described with anatomical structure? It’s like trying to describe what is the Sun using a only terms that refers to darkness and night! At best we will be able to explain what is not the Sun.
The real names of the meridians in Chinese are not Kidneys, Liver, Intestine, and so on, but are named after the Energy Level they belong to. In fact, other then the Theory of the Five Elements, exists in TCM another Theory with which its possible to describe Meridians. It is called, in fact, the Theory of the Six Energy Levels, where Meridians are describes according to the amount of Yin and Yang energy which they expresses. Each Energy Level is made of two different Meridians. So we have:
- 2 Meridians Big Yang,
- 2 Meridians Middle Yang,
- 2 Meridians Little Yang,
- 2 Meridians Little Yin,
- 2 Meridians Middle Yin,
- 2 Meridians Big Yin.
To this 12 Meridians, we have to add, then, Central Vessel and Governing Vessel.
If, while I’m testing a client, I find an imbalance of the peroneus muscles, I will think that that person has an imbalance of the Bladder Meridian, and I will imagine that there might be problems with the bladder organ, or maybe, problems with some structures or functions of the urogenital system.
If, however, once found the imbalance of the peroneus muscles, I will think that those muscles are associated with the Meridian Big Yang, I could associate that imbalance to many other structures and functions: all those who perform a Very Yang function, and they are much more than only the uro-genital system. This completely changes the perspective. Meridians are not organs, they are the result of many structures, and mainly functions.
A characteristic of the Meridians is that, depending on their Yin-Yang amount, they will be in a very precise position of the body. In fact, if we consider that, by definition, Yang is lateral and posterior, while Yin is internal and ventral, then we will have:
- 2 Meridians Big Yang, will be on the side and back of the body,
- 2 Meridians Middle Yang, will be in the medial and dorsal part of the body,
- 2 Meridians Small Yang, you will find in the inner part and back of the body,
- 2 Meridians Small Yin, they will find in the side and ventral body,
- 2 Meridians Middle Yin, will be in the medial and ventral part of the body,
- 2 Meridians Big Yin, will be in the inner part and the ventral body,
This makes us understand a very important aspect, meridians do not follow pathways ramdomly, but their trajectories expresses their Yin-Yang nature.
Now, let’s see the names of the Meridians:
- the 2 Big Yang Meridians, are called Tai Yang, and correspond to the Hand Tai Yang (SI) and Foot Tai Yang (Bl),
- the 2 Middle Yang Meridians, are called Shao Yang, and correspond to the Hand Shao Yang (TH) and Foot Shao Yang (Gb),
- the 2 Little Yang Meridians, are called Yang Ming, and correspond to the Hand Yang Ming (LI) and the Foot Yang Ming (St),
- the 2 Little Yin Meridians, are called Tai Yin, and correspond to the Hand Tai Yin (Lu) and Foot Tai Yin (Sp/P),
- the 2 Middle Yin Meridians, are called Jue Yin, and correspond to the Hand Jue Yin (Pc) and the Foot Jue Yin (Lv),
- the 2 Big Yin Meridians, are called Shao Yin, and correspond to of the Hand Shao Yin (Ht) and Foot Shao Yin (Ki).
The human embryology, studies embryonic development, that is the very early stages of life, beginning with the zygote. The zygote is the cell that is obtained with fertilization, or by the fusion of two gametes, male and female.
The early stages of development of the organism is characterized by a sequence of changes, in which the embryo takes different names:
The term embryo is used with meanings do not always coincide, but there is tendency to establish the end of the embryonic stage around the eighth – twelfth week. From that moment, until birth, we speak about fetus.
The embryonic period is the most incredible moment of human life, in which occurs many changes and transformations, in which the cells are subjected to metabolic activities, kinetic and biodynamic movements. During these phases, the cells:
- grow in number up to several thousand billion (growth);
- specialize, organizing themselves in different cell populations, both in form and functions, so as to form different tissues (differentiation);
- they are structured in tissues and organs, thanks to active movements (cell migration, folds, invaginations) that lead to changes of embryo shape (morphogenesis) with the appearance of the organs (organogenesis) until reaching to the human recognizable forms.
After the blastocyst implants itself in the uterine wall, it undergoes a rapid and significant cellular reorganization to become Gastrula. The Gastrula is characterized by the fact that it is differentiated, or developed, in three distinct layers of cells. These cell layers are called Germ Layers, because from them will germinate, or rather will develop, all cells of the body. They are the progenitors of all tissues, organs and systems in the body and their study is essential to understand the links, relationships, and the resonances between various organs or structures, because even in adults, these structures has a memory of when they were “united.”
These germ layers are called:
- Ectoderm, and it corresponds to the most outer layer,
- Mesoderm, which corresponds to the middle layer,
- Endoderm, which is the innermost layer.
All the structures of our body are developed from these three cell groups.
Integration TCM and Embriology
I once read a beautiful definition of what are the Meridians. It went something like this:
“The Meridians are the result of the projection on the surface of the body of all the metabolic and energetic activities taking place within the body of the person, with the reflection on the surface of the body of the climatic events and energies of the environment around the person”.
Therefore the Meridians are not only the expression of what happens inside of us, but also of what happens around us.
With acupuncture, acupressure, kinesiology we are not able to influence the environment around us, but only what happens inside us. But what happens inside us? What processes, movements and energies reflects the Meridians?
According to TCM, there are three basic components that make up our Qi, the energy flowing in the meridians:
- Gu Qi, the Nutritional Energy, obtained from the metabolism of the drinks and food we eat;
- Zhong Qi, the Respiratory Energy, obtained from the respiratory metabolism;
- Yuan Qi, the Hereditary Energy, obtained at the time of conception.
The composition of Qi is the same for all the meridians, but will take on different connotations depending on the Yin and Yang level that owns the meridian:
- 2 Meridians Big Yang, of Yang nature, with a prevalence of Yang,
- 2 Meridians Middle Yang, of Yang nature, with a balance of Yin / Yang,
- 2 Meridians Little Yang, of Yang nature, with a prevalence of Yin,
- 2 Meridians Little Yin, of Yin nature, with a prevalence of Yang,
- 2 Meridians Middle Yin, of Yin nature, with a balance of Yin / Yang,
- 2 Meridians Big Yin, of Yin nature, with a prevalence of Yin.
Therefore, what the meridians manifest, are the metabolic processes that take place in the organs, expressed in terms of Yin and Yang.
Rather than see the Meridians in detail, let’s have a more global perspective. Already the fact of talking about 6 Energy Levels instead of 12 Meridians, allows us to have a broader approach, but let’s try to be even more ‘holistic’. If we observe carefully the 6 Levels, we will see that we have:
- 2 Levels “Big/Outside”, one with Yin polarity and one with Yang polarity;
- 2 Levels “Midle/Medial”, one with Yin polarity and one with Yang polarity;
- 2 Levels “Little/Inside”, one with Yin polarity and one with Yang polarity;
We can say, therefore, that the Meridians have 3 “Natures”:
- Big / External,
- Middle / Medial,
- Little / Internal.
These three “natures” corresponds perfectly to the concept expressed by the three embryological layers, infact:
- Ecto means, above;
- Meso means in the middle;
- Endo means inside.
This concept of three fundamental “natures” coincides perfectly with one of the basic concepts of another ancient medicine: Ayurveda, the Traditional Indian Medicine. It is based on three different “natures” that occur in the body and are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha and are taken into account in determining the individual’s constitution, the origin of diseases, treatments, methods for maintaining good health, daily routine and seasonal, purification techniques, tonifying techniques, massages, ype of exercises, diet, and so on. In Sanskrit this three natures are called Tridoshas.
Putting all together
The three embryological germ layers give life to all structures, all tissues and all organs of the body. So, we could say that our whole body can be divided into three major functional groups, made up of several components, that, perhaps now are very far from each other and perform very different functions, but, at some point in development, were part of the same original cell. This connection, this resonances between the various structures, also remains in the post-uterine life, and this can allow us to explain why organs so much different (in structure and function) such as the Lungs and Large Intestine, are actually part of a functional synergy (Metal Element of TCM). In fact, both are part of the same embryological germinative layer, the Endoderm.
Combining the Meridians with the embryological germinative layers allows us to even better understand the associations described by the Theory of Five Elements. It is easy to understand the relationship between Bladder and Kidney or between Liver and Gall Bladder, but it is much more difficult to explain the relationship between Heart and Small Intestine or between, in fact, Lung and Large Intestine.
Embryology not only can allow us to understand the synergies between the different Organs/ Meridians, but allows us to have a much broader view, since each germ layer generates numerous other structures in addition to just Organs. Furthermore, instead of haveing only the combination of two Meridians at a time, as in the Theory of the 5 Elements, we will have 4 Meridians interconnected to each other. In this way we will have the most holistic approach to the body as possible.
In my opinion Embryology should be part of the studyings of each student of Complementary and Energetic Medicine and Kinesiology in particular, for several reasons. First of all, Kinesiologists must know the mechanisms by which establishes the structural organization of the human body and of the organs that form the different physiological systems. This is of great help to understand the anatomical structures. Secondly, it’s also critical to understand the relationships that can be established between different parts of the body, which do not have a structural continuity, it is, therefore, the basis of all therapies reflected!
If Academic Science and Energy Sciences describing reality, speaking of the Human Being, they must come to the same conclusion and describe the same processes. Maybe the terms and the methods may differ, but the conclusions to which they arrive, must be the same. If we translate the various aspects of Traditional Energy Medicines, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Traditional Tibetan Medicine, Yoga, etc with “modern” terms we should reach the same descriptions of Academic Medicine. There are numerous scientific evidence that confirms what has been described by Traditional Medicines, we just have to translate ancient texts in a language understandable by the scientific comunity. Using the embryological language, many aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the fundamental basis of Kinesiology, will find their explanation!
- Pause Lock PC5 X TR8 X GB39 X SP6 on both sides of the body.
- Test one at the time these 4 points with Light Touch, Medium Touch and Deep Touch.
- If PC5 gives an Indicator Change with:
- Light Touch = Heart Meridian
- Medium Touch = Pericardium Meridian
- Deep Touch =Lung Meridian
- If TR8 gives an Indicator Change with:
- Light Touch = Small Intestine Meridian
- Medium Touch = Triple Heater Meridian
- Deep Touch = Large Intestine Meridian
- If GB39 gives an Indicator Change with:
- Light Touch = Bladder Meridian
- Medium Touch = Gall Bladder Meridian
- Deep Touch = Stomach Meridian
- If SP6 gives an Indicator Change with:
- Light Touch = Kidney Meridian
- Medium Touch = Liver Meridian
- Deep Touch = Speen/Pancreas Meridian
- If PC5 gives an Indicator Change with: