In an excavation of the Changsha area, South China, scrolls from the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220nChr.) were found, in which 11 meridians were described. It was remarkable that the meridians did not form a closed circuit and had no relation to the organs.
Some Chinese authors believe that first the 6 meridians of the lower extremity (spleen/pancreas, kidney, liver, stomach, bladder, gall bladder) existed and only then the 5 meridians of the upper extremity (small intestine, heart, large intestine, lung, pericardium) were constructed based on the analogy. Only in the late period of “Neijing”, the so-called spring and autumn period, they were extended to 12 meridians. Even then, the reflective relationship between regions on the surface of the body – the meridians – and internal organs was recognized.
It was also recognized that the 12 meridians form a closed circuit that establishes a 24-hour rhythm. From the observation of archaeological findings it can be seen that the concept of the meridian course is much older and more important than that of the acupuncture or meridian point. Modern medicine regards the meridians as the sum of the following systems: blood vessel system, lymph vessel system, peripheral and vegetative nervous system, interstitial connective tissue and muscle chain as a functional unit (kinetic muscle chain).
Important acupuncture points
Given the abundance of different acupuncture points, it goes without saying that only a few examples can be given here to illustrate the function and definition of the following terms.
Ancient acupuncture points
As we have seen, all main meridians begin or end at the fingers or toes with the most remote points. Of these points, 5 special so-called antique points are assigned to each meridian. These are interpreted in Chinese medicine as individual stages of a waterfall.
The 1st ancient point is the “well” (“Jing”). It is located on the arm and leg furthest away from the waterfall, usually in the area of the nail fold. Later the water becomes a spring, therefore the 2nd antique point is called “spring” (“Ying”).
Because the water continues to flow, the 3rd point is called “stream” (“Shu”). The water then becomes a river and accordingly the 4th antique point is called river (“King”). Finally at knee and elbow the river flows into the sea, therefore the 5th antique point is called “He or Ho point” (“Sea”). Ancient points can be used in particular for functional disorders and resistance to therapy. The toning and sedation points are recruited from the ancient points.
Toning and sedation points
There is a toning and sedation point in each major meridian. It should be said that toning points are used for weakness symptoms and more chronic complaints (e.g. Lu9, Di11, Ma41) and sedation points for more acute complaints (e.g. Lu5, Di2, Ma45).
In Chinese medicine, the various points are further subdivided. At this point, however, reference is made to the corresponding literature. Just to name them: Yuan points (source points, points of origin, regulate the flow of energy), acute xi-cleft points (cleavage points, move the energy in a meridian), Luo points (cross-linking, passage points, especially used in stasis and congestion) and Luo group points, He points (lower influential points, especially in the case of stasis and congestion) and Luo group points, He points (lower influential points, especially in the case of congestion). points (meeting points, from here the energy for certain body and functional areas can be mobilized), Shu and Mu points (approval and alarm points, Shu points can be assigned segmentally to one of the 12 organs and Mu points correspond to the so-called Head‘s zones) and reunion points (points in which all Yang or Yin meridians reunite).