Archived from 5elements4animals.com
originally posted on Jan 11, 2011
What are meridians & what is their function ?
The meridians transport qi,blood & nourishment throughout the body. In 400 bc, the ancients had no idea about the krebs cycle, the immune system, nerve conduction or lymphatic drainage. By observation, they realized that fluids & electrical impulses flowed throughout the body with supplementation from the external environment and this was necessary for life of all living things.
The meridians also connect the organs & maintain homeostasis. How do our bodies maintain a constant temperature, maintain balance, how does our endocrine and immune system work ? We tend not to ponder these questions until we have a fever, get bedspins, suffer from diabetes or get a bee sting or fight off the flu. These questions have been answered relatively recently but practioners have been treating disease based on observations for thousands of years.
If the bodies defenses become weak, the external invaders can use the meridians to transmit disease. For example, a particle of flu virus lands on your mucous membranes, enters your blood stream & replicates in your lungs & lymph nodes. The meridians also reflect the symptoms of disease which is how practitioners can make a diagnosis. For example, liver heat can manifest as yellowing of the sclera/jaundice and the eyes are associated with the liver.
The meridians transport the therapeutic effects of herbal therapy & acupuncture. The arrival of the de qi is the reaction of the body to acupuncture. The de qi effect can feel like heat, tingling, pain or heaviness. Human patients can tell the dr what he feels. We vets look for muscle twitching or slight changes in behavior in our animal patients. The de qi response results in a release of endorphins, the bodies endogenous pain killers & muscle relaxers.
I use 3 kinds of acupuncture in my practice : dry needle, electro and aqua acupuncture. Dry needle is simple insertion of small acupuncture needles. During electro acupuncture, the needles are connected to a battery powered stimulator to deliver a painless low voltage current to the meridian. For Aqua acupuncture, I inject a small volume of vit b 12 or glucosamine into the point. This causes a small blister and gives continual stimulation over a few days.