To understand Acupuncture you must under stand ‘Qi‘.
What is ‘Qi’?
‘Qi’ is a concept from ancient cosmic philosophy in the orient. In that period, the oriental people thought that the universe is filled with basic material called ‘Qi’, which has no shape, color and smell. Therefore, they had an idea that an object can be made with the cohesion of ‘Qi’ because, they thought, it has no shape but takes up some measure of space. Moreover, they sure believed that there’s an ceaseless interaction between ‘Qi’ and the material made of it.
They also identified human body as a respective small universe, so they thought ‘Qi’, the shapeless energy, is always circulating in the body interacting with blood, a visible energy.
This idea has developed into a traditional oriental principle of ‘yin and yang’ (for example, ‘Qi’ was considered as ‘yang’, blood as ‘yin’), of which fundamental concept seeks interdependence and equilibrium between those two elements. By the same token, body and soul have been thought to be formed and sustained with them.
How can ‘Qi’ be made in the body?
‘Qi’ is broadly divided into two parts in the oriental medicine; innate one and postnatal one. The former exists as an individual trait or energy bequeathed from ancestors; the latter also does as energy acquired from outer factors like food, water and air. The two parties are finally put together in the body and manipulated by the internal organs and the bowels, thereby producing ‘Qi’ that governs all life-related phenomena.
What does ‘Qi’ do in the body?
‘Qi’ governs the overall body growth and metabolism; keeps the body heat constant at around 37.5°; among many Qinds of ‘Qi’s in the body, ‘wi-Qi’ expels disease-causing matters out from the sQin; controls the whole material bodies’ shapes, positions and movements like blood circulation; enlarges and elevates the basic condition of body materials into the heightened status, such as purified mind and mental awakening.
‘Qi’ has some designated paths in the body, called ‘Kyung-rak'(the channels and collaterals). They not only serve as a paths of ‘Qi’, but also carry the disease.
Metabolism in the body is mainly made vertically under ‘kyung”s control; collaterals(rak), assisting kyung’s functions, do horizontal control.
What is ‘Kyung-rak’ composed of?
‘Kyung-rak’ can be divided into two parts, ‘kyung-mack’ and ‘rak-mack’: ‘kyung-mack’ into twelve channels and eight extra channels; ‘rak-mack’ into 15 reticular branch condunits, superficial collaterals and small collaterals. As with the symmetrical structure of body, ‘Kyung-rak’ is divided into two on both sides of body.
The twelve channels that are positioned vertically are connected to internal organs, viscera and pericardium. Each ‘Qi’ that gets started from a channel circles in the body via an organ and finally returns to its original position.
‘Qi-kyung-pal(eight)-mack’, which are symmetrical and rather broad branches from twelve channels, show both the vertical and the horizontal distribution, which is called extra channels. 12 horizontal branches, governing vessel, ren vessel and great reticular condunit from spleen are totally called ’15 byul(respective)-rak’, which is also named as 15 great reticular condunits.
What does ‘Kyung-rak’ do in the body?
‘Kyung-rak’ means a certain bio-reactionary channel that controls the circulation of ‘Qi’ and blood with interconnecting many acupoints in the body. It governs overall physiological phenomena that arise between ‘Qi’ and blood: serves some carrying functions; controls pathological reaction and treatment.
How is ‘Kyung-rak’ distributed in the body?
Among the twelve channels, ‘yangming taiyin’ and ‘shaoyin’ vertically cover the front side of the body; ‘shaoyang Jueyin’, flanks of the body; ‘taiyang’, the back side of the body.
Acupoint, also called transferring point, can serve as both the stimulative and the targeted points in acupuncture treatment. It interconnects sQin, five organs & six viscera and meridians.
The classification of acupoints
Followings are specific acupoints in the body and their own unique and special function.
1. Primary points (‘won-hyul’)
This serves as a stationary point of primordial ‘Qi’ from internal organs and viscera. Primordial Qi spread through the body via triple energizer, and at that time, a certain point on the sQin where the Qi is amassed is called primary point. Especially, the symptoms of disease in internal organs and viscera that can be seen on the point are helpful when diagnosing the general conditions of the patient’s pulse and internal organs. Each primary point represents a designated channel, so it can be used when treating the weak or excessive conditions of internal organs and viscera: when excessive, it gets discarded; when weak or deficient, it gets preserved and strengthened.
2. Collateral points (‘rak-hyul’)
This is the point that forms and controls the exterior-interior relationship among the 12 channels. Therefore, It is usually used for disease of exterior-interior channels. There are total 15 collateral points.12 collateral points among these, each one point of 12 collaterals which separate from 12 regular channels, have the function of linQing up the Qi and blood of the two channels related exteriorly-interiorly. There can be used for disorders involving the exterior-interior syndrome. For example, acupuncturing L7(collateral point of Lung meridian) can treat headache. But head is not path of Lung meridian. That’s why lung meridian and large intestine meridian which runs thru head have relationship of exterior and interior (or brothers). Others are those of collaterals of GV(governer vessel), CV(conception vessel) and the major collateral of the spleen. They can be used to treat abdomen, back and lateral side of trunk depending each running parh.
3. Cleft points (‘geuk-hyul’)
This is a chasm made by bend or twist of Qi and blood of meridians. Therefore, Qi and blood of channel gets together at this point. Besides acute disease in each channel can be treated by acupuncturing this point, excess type or deficiency type of disease can be diagnosed by pressing this point..
4. Front-Mu points
This means that Qi in the internal organs is centered on a point of chest or abdomen and gets distributed to the acupoints. It is originated from near the internal organs. When a disease appears in the internal organs and viscera, there can be seen some disorders around the area where blood is temporarily amassed. The area controls hyperactivity of yin & yang in internal organs and viscera.
5. Back-shu points
This indicates a certain point in the back where Qi is streaming and infused. Qi in the internal organs is connected to back in the body, and when it gets activated, some unusual symptoms can be found. This point can have great influence on internal organs, and E.N.T disease can be treated by diagnosing and treating the point.