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Science Finally Proves Meridians Exist

By Azriel ReShel on Wednesday April 20th, 2016

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What the Merging of Spirituality and Science means for you

“In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Biochemist and Nobel Prize Winner.

For centuries the ancient wisdom keepers and healers in several traditions had a keen understanding of the energetic body. The healing traditions from China, India, Japan and Tibet, as well as other countries all spoke of energy channels, meridians or nadis along which the vital energy flowed.

Life was considered to be a bio-electrical and vibrational energy phenomenon and so health revolved around balancing energy through various means. Life existed because of life force and energy running through and animating the body, ensuring we can move, breathe, digest food, think and even feel.

Healing traditions all spoke of energy channels, meridians or Nadis.Healing traditions all spoke of energy channels, sen, meridians or nadis.

Energy channels

This vital life force or chi, is composed of two kinds of forces, yin and yang, and flows along a sophisticated network of energy pathways, or highways, circuiting the body. Over 2000 years ago ancient cultures knew of the existence of these energy channels. They were called ‘sen’ in Thailand, ‘nadis’ in India, ‘meridians’, ‘channels’ or ‘vessels’ in China and Japan, and ‘channels’ in Tibet. In India, where many eastern healing arts developed, there were said to be 72 000 nadis or energy pathways. Disease is believed to be a blockage in the energy flow of these channels. A range of healing traditions, including acupuncture, acupressure, massage and yoga, are founded on the principle of the existence of energy channels or pathways, known as meridians, or nadis, running around the body in an expansive network.


While it may seem a little airy fairy to some to consider the energy body while we have flesh and bone, at source we are an energy field, embedded into another energy field. Our bodies are electromagnetic in nature and science has measured these frequencies with advanced machines, like EKG’s and MRI scanning, for many years. Numerous studies demonstrate these energy pathways and points conduct electricity even when needles aren’t used. And the massage technique of Shiatsu have been found to stimulate the same energetic effects. Similarly, Qigong,Tai Chi and the postures of yoga, have been found to increase electrical conductance at acupoints, yet science never believed in the existence of meridians until now.

A range of healing traditions including acupuncture,are founded on the principle of the existence of energy channels or pathways.A range of healing traditions are founded on the principle of the meridians.

Scientific research

Recently scientists at Seoul National University confirmed the existence of meridians, which they refer to as the “primo-vascular system.” They say that this system is a crucial part of the cardiovascular system.

Previously, North Korean scientist Kim Bong-Han proposed that he had found meridians in the early 1960’s.  Dr Kim Bong-Han showed over 50 years ago that new tubular structures exist inside and outside of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, as well as on the surface of internal organs and under the dermis. He believed they were the traditional meridian lines. The meridians were called Bonghan ducts or channels, after his research, but now the existence of this system in various organs has been corroborated by further research.

The current Korean researchers now believe the primo-vascular system is in fact the physical component of the Acupuncture Meridian System. And it has also been suggested that this system is involved in channelling the flow of energy and information relayed by biophotons (electromagnetic waves of light) and DNA.

DNAimageThere may be a link between the meridians and energy and information relayed by DNA.

The Korean scientists studying oriental medicine with biophysical methods injected a special staining dye which coloured the meridians. By injecting the dye onto acupuncture points, they were able to see thin lines. These did not show up at non-acupuncture point sites where there are no meridians. The researchers discovered that the meridian lines are not confined to the skin, but are in fact a concrete duct system through which liquid flows, and that this liquid aggregates to form stem cells.

Previously, scientists used a combination of imaging techniques and CT scans to observe concentrated points of microvascular structures that clearly correspond to the map of acupuncture points created by Chinese energy practitioners in ancient times. In a study published in the Journal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena, researchers used contrast CT imaging with radiation on both non-acupuncture points and acupuncture points. The CT scans revealed clear distinctions between the non-acupuncture point and acupuncture point anatomical structures.

Scientists injected a special staining dye which coloured the meridiansScientists injected a special staining dye which coloured the meridians.

The meridian system

There are 12 primary paired meridians and two single mid meridians, six yang and six yin. The yang meridians run down the body and the yin meridians flow up the body. Each meridian is also related to an element. Each meridian is most active at a certain time of the day or night and each meridian is influenced by an element or season.

The nature of meridians, in their elemental structure, and as vessels for the life force, show the intricacy and profound connection of our body at a cellular level, to the universe. We are intimately connected by the elements, energetic structure and flow of energy, to all life, at a cellular, physical level. Our earth is also said to have energetic pathways or ley lines, akin to meridians.

The map of acupuncture points was created by Chinese healing practitioners nearly 2000 years agoThe map was created by Chinese healing practitioners nearly 2000 years ago.

How are meridians related to health?

Our bodies need balance. A balanced flow or energy, not too much or too little, is conducive to good health. This is the same in the way we live our lives. Balance is paramount. Just enough food, water and a healthy balanced lifestyle. As the Buddha said: “middle way” or moderation in all things.

We can see this harmony and balance in life, as the balance between the energies of yin and yang – or more simplistically, masculine and feminine – the two opposing and catalyzing energies of the universe.

In our bodies we need balance, so a balanced flow or energy, not too much or too little.In our bodies we need balance, not too much or too little.

Our health is vibrant if there is harmony and balance between these two forces in the body. If the balance is disturbed, and the flow of one of these forces becomes greater than the other then illness arises. These forces or energies flow through very definite channels in the body, or meridians, and these are the body’s healing energy pathways.

In traditional Indian medicine, the meridians are expanded upon.There are nadis found within the physical body and these nadis make up the nervous system, the circulatory system, the digestive system, the respiratory system, the lymphatic systems, etc. Any blockages in these nadis can result in physical health conditions. Nadis can also be found in the subtle body where they carry thoughts, feelings, and nerve impulses. When these nadis are blocked, we lose our ability to feel, and connect deeply with others, the environment and ourselves. In the same way that veins and arteries are important for the body to function, nadis weave through our physical nerves and the matrix of consciousness that circuits the mind and self, supporting our physical expression from the otherworldly dimensions of existence.

YinYangChi is made up of two kinds of forces, yin and yang.

When the flow of energy is blocked, it causes low energy and illness. Practices like yoga and meditation work on these subtle energy channels, supporting the flow of energy through the body. According to some ancient indian texts there are 350 000 nadis or energy pathways in the body. In traditional Indian medicine and spiritual science, the energies of the physical body, the subtle body and the causal body are said to flow through the nadis. Within this framework, the nadis are said to connect at special points of intensity called nadichakras.

The three most important nadis are those running along the spine: ida, pingala and sushumna. The Sushumna is the central channel of energy in the human body and it runs from the base of the spine to the crown of the head and carries kundalini energy, which is the primal evolutionary force. Kundalini is awakened through yoga and meditation and is said to lie dormant at the base of the spine. Activation of the kundalini leads to higher consciousness states. The aim of yoga is to broaden the sushumna and to unite the pathways. Purifying all three nadis leads to overall health, and wellness of body and mind, as well as spiritual growth. Various Pranayama techniques aid in helping to keep these nadi channels open.

The three most important nadis are those running along the spine: ida, pingala and sushunma.The three most important nadis are those running along the spine: ida, pingala and sushunma.

If you are sensitive to energy and have had energy treatments, such as acupuncture, you may have felt streams of energy or a flow of cold or heat, for example, up the legs or arms. This is a freeing up of energy in the meridians and the flow of energy that is released when a blockage is removed.

There are many wonderful healing modalities based on the meridian system that support radiant health. By enhancing the flow of energy through the body, balance and health is achieved and we come in touch with our true selves. Acupuncture is a therapeutic modality used in China as early as the late stone age. It was used to treat all ailments affecting people. Acupuncture did not enter modern Western consciousness until the 1970’s when China ended a period of isolation and resumed foreign political and cultural contacts.

The range of applications for acupuncture has grown slowly in the West, possibly because of the belief that it has no scientific basis.  Perhaps now with the scientific proof of meridians, acupuncture will become more widespread for all ailments, along with other great healing modalities based on the energetics of the body, supporting more people to have vibrant health and wellbeing.

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Azriel ReShel

Writer, Editor, Yoga Teacher & Healing Facilitator

 

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References

http://www.slideshare.net/thorntonstreeter/primo-vascularmeridian-system-2016

comments

95 Responses to Science Finally Proves Meridians Exist

  1. Yes, lets believe a North Korean scientist about a “difference in structures” at certain points in the body which obviously must be meridians.

  2. I feel that western medicine will not take seriously the findings of korean scientists…even if they really do exist.

    • Seoul in South Korea which is very different to North Korea was ranked 36 in University rankings last year. Higher than most Unis in the West. American universities are highly likely to conduct the same experiment for confirmation if they have any reservations about it coming from Asia.

    • Yeah, as long as they stick to building better appliances and cars, and winning prizes in science.. Here’s a newsflash for you: the US healthcare research market only takes things that are funded by pharma and durable med equipment and patentable techniques seriously. In the US, science need not apply,

  3. Is there a study published from Seoul University? I can’t find it. The picture of the supposed meridian with injected dye is a blue cloth fiber on a microscope slide.

  4. This is an excellent article!!! Clearly explaining ‘ chi’.
    For those non-believers….. Don’t forget this….. You might need it someday.

      • Doubts well-articulated, backed by exeprience and maybe even citable references? Sure. Mindless trolls pretending they can’t read what they don’t want to see? That’s the standard that most professionals interested in reconciling Holistic and Allopathic health care have gotten used to.

        • I read the article and what I didn’t see was references to back up the claims that were made in the article. You do have a good point, though. To hell with freedom of speech, anyone who doesn’t agree with you should definitely have their comments deleted.

    • Not a naysayer just thirty years of acupuncture practice and observation. Qigong practice and daoist thinking. Fluid filled vessels cant transmit acupuncture stimuli fast enough. The fascia can, its that simple!

  5. This does not prove in any way the existence of meridian channels. It could possibly be an explanation, maybe, but the scientific article talks about links with the immune and circulatory system. Correlation does not equal causation. And I use many holistic therapies, but this is still not evidence. I’d love to read an article on the bio magnetic fields of the body and their functions.

    • Hi Evi, previously science refuted the existence of meridians all together, so while this doesn’t necessarily as you say go as far as proving the bio magnetic fields of the body, it is a great starting point.

    • After having read the article I take umbrage with the statement that; The researchers discovered that the meridian lines are not confined to the skin, but are in fact a concrete duct system through which liquid flows, and that this liquid aggregates to form stem cells.

      This is implying that the energy channels are material and physical in nature and actually have a ‘fluid’ flowing through them?

      This would be contrary theory to the notion that the meridians are energy channels and thus in the realm of the ‘ether’ element and not physical or material as we refer to cardio-vascular or lymphatic channels which are visible and measurable and traceable. The notion that science can ‘track’ or ‘trace’ a meridian pathway with a dye makes me question their science.

      When we are referring to the ida, pingala, or sumshumna pathways we are referring to energetic channels which are non-physical, but which are energetic and have life-force fields which operate on the dimension of ether and consciousness, like emotions and thoughts; not on the physical 3rd dimensional plane.

      • They dont need to be in an etheric realm, joins and folds in the fascia match the Channel pathways beautifully. Besides Qi is not energy (a purely modern concept) but means breath. The TCM concepts of Qi came into being to explain the natural phenomena of fascial transmission of stimuli and of something we breathed which kept us alive. Fascial transmission reduces as ones health diminishes. The weaker one is the less fascial transmission can occur.
        Daoists were (and are) a very practical people. Observe and utilise those observations. Theories evolved to try and explain these. We dont need to make it more complicated than what is naturally there.

        • Prof. Yingqing Zhang of Shandong University proved several decades ago that the unexplained benefits of acupuncture travel through the blood. Stimulating acupoints releases hormones, proteins and antibodies stimulating the healing process.

          • Professor Yingqing Zhang was nominated 3 times for the Nobel Prize in Medicine, yet his department was closed down, his life work destroyed and he was banned from setting foot in any biology dept throughout China. He died shortly afterward in dire poverty.

    • In the 1950s, Niboyet, a French researcher suspected a correlation existed between meridian points and skin areas with lowered electrical resistance. It turns out that he was right when he scanned skin surfaces with a galvanometer and then stimulated these points with direct and alternating currents: electrical conductance at meridian points varied from electrical conductance at other areas, and stimulating meridian points generated physiological responses that are not elicited from stimulation of other areas (Niboyet and Mery, 1957). In 1962, Grall verified Niboyet’s work and further discovered that points of low resistance on the face and forearms corresponded to the meridian points shown as Chinese meridian points as well (Grall, 1962). These sources are cited from my Complementary and Alternative Medicine textbook. There are more sources if you’re interested.

  6. “The researchers discovered that the meridian lines are not confined to the skin, but are in fact a concrete duct system through which liquid flows, and that this liquid aggregates to form stem cells.” WTF? 😀

  7. Surely the energy would not be visible, just like the lines of magnetism. Remember the school experiment with the magnet under a sheet of paper covered with iron filings. we know it’s there but we can’t see it. Lines is probably a bad word. Why not use flow as in flows of energy. Can’t see it but we know it is flowing throughout the body.

  8. If published, I would like to see the reference of the Korean study, and whether the research was carried out with humans or with animals. Based on the data published in this article, I found one article about visualization of primo vascular system. This research was done by researchers in Seoul National University, and the study was done by using rats, not humans. The publication is J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2014 Dec;7(6):337-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2014.09.001. Epub 2014 Oct 20. The name of the article is Visualization of the primo vascular system afloat in a lymph duct. The authors are following: Jung SJ1, Lee SH2, Bae KH3, Kwon HM4, Song YK5, Soh KS6.

    However, this study does not – to my understanding – confirm once and for all the existence of meridians.

  9. The links provided to the slides and other pages are not peer-reviewed, replicable scientific research or evidence for any of the claims in the article. They are a bowl of claims and assertions tha make a nice sciencey-sounding word salad. Thanks for pretending, though. I’m sure plenty of people will be continue to be tricked into throwing their money at quackery.

  10. All of the references appear under the blue, highlighted word “show” about midway in the article. There is also a color image here of the acupuncture points on the meridian thay spec up with this new technique that is more sensitive.
    They fail to mention another key modality, Reflexology, which is based on the same premise as acupuncture, using different techniques using the hands and done the the feet, hands and ears.
    I found the article informative since it is supported by references.
    In actual practice, many acupuncturists are also trained in Reflexology. They are compatible and complementary, each with benefits.

  11. It’s pretty obvious that science lacks explanation for many things in this world that are ancient in nature and clearly of extraordinary power and nature. I believe fully that meridians exist… and my proof would be pretty simple. Let one of the skeptics object while I strike them with my forearm on one of their meridians as described in the bubishi… and let’s hear their scientific objections when they get up off the floor.

    • fascial contraction, shockwave propagation, muscle paralysis, blood vessel rupture, nerve overload, concussion, unconsciousness and possible death. Fairly straight forward really.

  12. bunkum … Qi sensation upon needle stimulation is far more rapid than could ever be transmitted via fluid filled vessels. The Fascia Model is far more effective in explaining Qi phenomena. My thirty years of Oriental Medicine experience has verified that day after day, treatement after treatment.

    • I don’t think it’s, as you say, “bunkum” – This system is tied to the endocrine system, nervous system (nerve impulses are around about the same “speed” as Qi sensation – I speak as an acupuncturist myself), and blood vessels. I think of it a bit like the clutch system of a car. The Jing-Luo transport Qi, Blood and body fluids, why can their pathways not contain a less viscous fluid that allows conduction of Qi from points to brain for nervous system response? It’s really interesting, you should read about it!

  13. If you earnestly give acupuncture a try when you are not feeling in top form, that is the best reference of all. Try it for at least 6 months, don’t give up too soon. I have done only energetic therapies for the last 16 years of my life and only regret I didn’t start sooner.

  14. Ironic that “science finally proves” something which practitioners have known about and worked with for thousands of years.

  15. Master Choa Kok Sui developed since 1984 a modern pranic healing teaching which incorporates the meridians, chakras, cleansing and energizing stabilizing and releasing energy between practitioner and client/patient. The techniques are detailed in his many books and the arhatic yoga meditations are available for advanced pranic practitioners which incorporate pranayama techniques as well.

  16. Such a great thing that Science was able to discover such kind of things in order to give some new information for those students who wanted to learn something about some cultures that existed before.

  17. Such an awesome thing, to the point that Science could find such sort of things so as to give some new data for those students who needed to learn something about a few societies that existed some time recently.

  18. I have studied energy treatments for almost 40 years and it is real, no matter what the so-called skeptics say. They have been a great detriment to our health in general and their main purpose has been to make the allopathic doctors and drug companies lots of money.

  19. These meridiens have long been confirmed n invented by the chinese eons ago. Yet credit is given to koreans.
    Wonder if there is any racism here or other considerations that could not be expressed? How sattirical….

  20. The study was done with radioactive substance, its published somewhere, but yes, highly sloppy of the writer to not provide a source.

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