Several thousand years ago Chinese physicians discovered that Chi, the vital force, circulates throughout the body along fourteen major channels, twelve of which are duplicated on the left and right sides of the body. The two other major channels are located in the center of the body, one in the front, the other in the back. And there are a number of so-called Extra Channels and Miscellaneous Channels throughout the body. Today, English-speaking acupuncturists usually call the channels “meridians.”
Meridians form a highly-complex invisible network transporting and directing Chi to every part of the body including the head, arms, legs, torso, organs and systems. Good health, Chinese sages of old discovered, depends on a balanced circulation of Chi throughout the meridians.
Over centuries of trial and error and meticulous observation, the Chinese accurately mapped the locations of the meridians and identified hundreds of specific points in the meridians where Chi can be accessed and stimulated when there is an aberration of flow. Those points are commonly called “acupoints.” Over time, many more points have been discovered.