THE CHANNEL SYSTEM
Living Links Interconnecting the Body
The living organism, the human body, is not a collection of separate parts or components but rather it is a intricately connected whole with complex interrelations linked through form and function across its vital, living energy-system. The system that connects the living organism to itself from left to right, top to bottom and inside and out it the channel system. This system is a network of connections known as "Channels" or "Meridians" through which a vital energy called 'Qi' moves through maintaining the life processes of all of the body's structures (such as organs) and functions.
Each channel is named according to the organ system that it passes through and is a part/extension of. There are also points along each channel and these are the points that are treated with acupuncture; each point, when stimulated by a needle, will create a specific physiological effect. When the energy becomes blocked in a channel this can lead to discomfort and pain and ultimately disease. This is a simple mechanism to understand that is a function of an intricately complex system.
There are many energy practices which implement knowledge from Chinese Medicine and channel theory in order to create specific effects in the body/channel system; these include Qigong and Tai chi, among many others. Using this knowledge, Qigong practitoners are able to adjust their internal state and bring about great health, strength and productivity. The practitioner will be able to learn about how the channel system works through direct sensory/feeling experience of the channels and Qi.