The network of Meridians is typically divided into two categories:
- the jingmai (經脈) or meridian channels;
- the luomai (絡脈) or associated vessels (sometimes called “collaterals”).
The jingmai contain:
- the 12 Main/Principal/Primary Meridians;
- the 12 Tendino-Muscular Meridians (TMM);
- the 8 The Eight Extraordinary Meridians (Qi Jing Ba Mai);
- the 12 divergent meridians;
- the Huatuo channel, a set of bilateral points on the lower back whose discovery is attributed to the ancient physician Hua Tuo.
The collaterals contain 15 major arteries that connect the 12 principal meridians in various ways, in addition to the interaction with their associated internal organs and other related internal structures. The collateral system also incorporates a branching expanse of capillary-like vessels which spread throughout the body, namely in the 12 cutaneous regions as well as emanating from each point on the principal meridians.
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