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Spiritual concepts

Meridians - the twelve primary channels

In Traditional Chinese medicine [TCM] as in a host of other systems based on meridians, there are some key channels which are called the primary channels.

If we use an analogy, the body is like the hardware of the computer with nerves and chemical mechanical parts that can be seen, much as it can with any hardware.  Mirroring this communications network is a spiritual or software based system.  The 12 primary channels mirror the  Blood circulation system. Having said this the blood circulation system and the physical nervous system tend to run in parallel in the body and interlink, thus the separation is a little meaningless from a functional point of view This software based network carries messages which have a data content.  So when we are touched by a feather, even with our eyes closed we can recognise it as a feather [or a wet fish].

 There are 12 recognised channels or primary meridians

Each channel, although referred to in the singular is actually two channels – a pair of mirror image channels one on each side of the body.

The physical nervous system showing the correspondences


One end of each of the primary channels is associated with one of the twelve organs, while the other end is associated to a toe or a finger or a thumb.

Six channels are connected to the fingers whilst the other six are connected to the toes.

There are also are literally millions of other minor channels spreading all over the body carrying energy out to the very periphery of the body and to every cell of the body, thus although these are the principle channels, many more exist.


If you look at the picture shown below, of the Parasympathetic nervous system and the Sympathetic nervous system, you will see that there is also a correspondence between the types of energy recognised in these channels – yang [red] hot energy is sympathetic nervous energy and yin [blue] cool energy is parasympathetic nervous energy.

Thus correspondingly yin energy is parasympathetic energy and yang energy is sympathetic  energy.


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