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General Information on Meridians
The entire human body, as well as bodies of animals and even plants, is run through by numerous canals, invisible to ordinary eyesight, that channel energies of various levels of subtlety around the organism. These canals, called meridians (or nadi), were discovered and utilized in ancient Chinese medicine (Zhen Tsyu therapy).
Meridians can be discovered, in particular, because of their increased — compared to adjacent body tissues — electroconductivity (but one should keep in mind that electric current, even the weakest one, is inadequate for them, therefore the methods of punctuate electrodiagnostic and electropuncture can be used in extraordinary cases only).
Meridians can be seen by people whose range of perception was expanded with the help of meditative training.
Because of inflammatory processes in the body tissues, contaminating type of nutrition or external negative energetic influence, meridians can lose their conductivity. Then lingering disorders of the organs deprived of proper energy supply may develop. Such diseases usually cannot be completely cured by drug therapy. In such cases, acupunctural methods and similar therapeutic techniques: laser, vibration and other kinds of influence through “biologically active points” (acupuncture points) of the integument turn out to be efficient. These methods work because they restore conductivity of meridians by means of sending currents of energy through them.
Main Meridians and Their Functions
There are several important meridians that can be successfully used in psychic self-regulation.
All chakras are connected with one another by several large meridians that run along the spine, as well as the front and the middle part of the body.
A wide canal called sushumna (tu-mo ordu-mo in Chinese) runs along the spine from muladhara to sahasrara. One of its functions is to distribute the energy accumulated in muladhara to other chakras. This energetic potential is formed primarily of svadhisthanic energy — udana (through sublimation, i.e. transformation of udana into energies of other chakras), unless one does not waste the latter due to overtiredness or illness.
Within sushumna — in its back section — there is a significantly narrower canal (its diameter is about 2 centimeters), called vajrini, through which udana flows to other chakras.
The third of the spinal canals — chitrini (Brahma nadi) — is located behind sushumna. It begins at the end section of sahasrara, passes under the occipital bone and runs down the back part of the neck and then — down the backmost part of the spinal column, coinciding with the spinous processes of vertebras and the skin.
Chitrini is an exceptionally important structure for man. It gives us a standard of a most subtle state. This is the Holy Spirit’s level of subtlety. Upon learning to concentrate in chitrini, one can easily “dive” with the consciousness through this canal into the eons of the Holy Spirit.
The system of chakras is also communicated by the front channel zhen-mo. It begins from the upper end of sushumna, forks into two branches that turn around sahasrara and join in the forehead area to split into several small canals that run down the face and join again in the vishudha region. One more branch of this canal crosses through the middle of the head, reaches the chin coming through the palate and joins the other branches at the neck. After that, the canal runs down the front side of the trunk, branching off to every chakra, passes the share bone and heads for the coccyx.
Especially interesting is the upper part of this canal that unites the four chakras of the so-called emotional center — anahata, vishudha, manipura and ajna — into one functional block.
The leading role in this complex is played by anahata and vishudha, of course. The intensity of one’s emotions depends to a certain extent on the manipura chakra, while the ajna chakra serves as a liaison for interaction with the hypothalamic-pituitary complex, which plays an extremely important role in coordination of emotional and behavioral reactions of the entire organism through the endocrine control system.
Only those people whose front canal is well-developed and who know how to use it are able to experience truly exalted positive emotions in communicating with other people and with nature. But such people are extremely few: only a handful per thousands. Most people do not have a developed front canal, and it takes special efforts to develop it.
In Chinese tradition, the system of the spine and the front canals is called microcosmic orbit. By means of circulation around the microcosmic orbit, one of the stages of transformation of energy within the organism is performed. The aim of this stage is the production and accumulation of the “golden elixir” in the human organism — this is what the subtlest energy obtained as a result of such transformation was called in the ancient alchemy.
Performance of exercises with the microcosmic orbit produces a strong emotional effect, changing the entire personality, making man buoyant and willing to give his sincere cordial love to other people.
It should be mentioned also that there are methods of Chinese Qi Gong that involve work with the microcosmic orbit without preceding thorough cleansing and development of chakras and meridians. In such cases, the entire work is performed only at the level of visual images, while purifying, healing, and refining effects are not obtained.
On one of the subtlest planes the system of chakras is communicated by another canal — the middle meridian. This wide meridian connects the developed chakras, running vertically through the middle of the entire body. It forms along with the development of chakras: it cannot be found in people whose chakras are undeveloped. Its width corresponds to the diameter of chakras. This is also a very important energy structure of the organism.