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Human Channels and Collaterals Brief Introduction

blue-light / 2011-02-21
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The human channels and collaterals are the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine and the treatment. The traditional Chinese medicine believes that there is a system composed by the channels and collaterals which spread across and extend in all directions in the human body.

The  "channels and collaterals"  is the general name of main and collateral channels. The main channels which are thick and cross vertically in the body are called  "channels"  or  "main channels "; the collaterals, also called  "collateral channels"  are   the branches of the main channels, which run horizontally in the body and interweave the network with the main channels. The channels and collaterals link the five internal organs and six viscera, all the limbs and bones, the five senses and nine orifices, the flesh and veins in the human body to join an organic entity. The channels are composed by the 12 Main Channels, the 8 Channels with the attached 12 Secondary Channels, the 12 Vein Channels and 12 Skin Channels, which plays a leading role in controlling the whole body. The collaterals are composed by the 15 Secondary Collaterals, Floating Collaterals and the Grandson Collaterals, the latter winds out from the collaterals, which is numberless that distributes over the whole body.

The theory of channels and collaterals is built up and developed on the foundation of Chinese medical experience and the qigong practice. Some people who practice qigong may feel that there is the internal Qi running and circulating along the channels and collaterals; some people who have obtained the extraordinary physical functions from practicing qigong can see the channels and collaterals and the acupuncture points in the human body. This is just the foundation thatChinese medical theory can correctly describe the channels and collaterals and the acupuncture points and localize them accurately.

Chinese people discovered the human channels and collaterals 2500 years ago. The renowned medical scientist Wang Weiyi in the Song Dynasty carved the 14 channels and collaterals and 354 acupuncture points described in  "Nei Jing" on a copper person, which became the first model in the world for acupuncture and moxibustion, the teaching of the channels and collaterals study and the clinical treatment.

  "Nei Jing •Channels and Collaterals Chapter"  says that the channels and collaterals can control the functions of the human body which has the function of  "deciding the life and death, placing all various diseases", i.e. it is all decided by the channels and collaterals that whether a life exists or a disease occurs with the treatment. The book  "Exercises Channels and Collaterals for Eternal Health" edited by Professor Zhu Zongxiang thinks  "All health-care therapies, such as acupuncture and moxibustion, massage, qigong, folk therapies, martial arts, sports as well as all actions and movements and so on that have the medical and health-care effect, and this is all caused by the stimulation and exercising on the human channels and collaterals system. Therefore, it can be said the channels and collaterals system is the general controlling system of the human health, or the channels and collaterals system is the health-care system of the human body. 

The Chinese medicine also believes that the channels and collaterals are the channel in which the Qi and blood move about the whole body to communicate the internal and external and regulate all the parts in the body. However, the Qi and blood that move in the channels and collaterals are not the apparent Qi and blood-red blood and the oxygen it carries. The apparent Qi and blood moves through the blood vessels. The Qi and blood that move in the channels and collaterals mentioned in the Chinese medicine refer to the internal Qi which is latent, invisible and intangible. The regulation and controlling of the channels and collaterals to the internal human body is also realized by moving the latent Qi in the channels and collaterals.



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