so, in case you hadn't noticed, we're going to have a lesson of the day, since i don't really want to study (my exam is in 5 hours) and so, i figure i'll make the great wide beyond out there learn with me :).
so, back to basics - the jing luo system has various levels, the primary channels are what we all know and think of as acupuncture meridians. however, there are many other levels we can access both more superficially and at depth. the most superficial of the jing luo system are the cutaneous regions, then the minute collaterals, then the sinew channels, the luo (or connecting) channels, then come the primary channels, deep to these are the divergent pathways, the extraordinary vessels and finally the deep pathways.
cutaneous regions: demonstrate the location of disorders in deeper channels (i.e. you may have a rash or some skin condition in a particular region associated with an internal organ disorder), and external pathogens often enter the body at the cutaneous level.
minute/blood collaterals: distribute qi and xue to the body surface (you can thing of these like your capillary system), they also circulate your wei qi (this is your body's defensive qi which protects you again external pathogens...much like the immune system).
sinew/TMM channels: connect muscles, tendons and ligaments to joints, distribute qi and xue to body's surface, protect the bones, link structures of the body together, and facilitate articulation and normal activity.
luo channels: run superficillay along the body, they do not penetrate to the internal organs, they connect internally/externally paired channels.
now that we've covered the Luo... onto the Jing:
primary channels: intergrate the body, circulate qi/xue, demonstrate location of disorders, transmit qi, have their own points including 5-phase, xi, yuan and luo points. these are the points you have all heard of with organ names and numbers (i.e. Stomach 36/ZuSanLi) these are the points your acupuncturist will palpate for and needle. However, while they directly access the primary channels, these points can also be used to access the other levels described here.
divergent pathways: run deep to strengthen internally/externally paired organs and channels, they distribute qi/xue to head, face and interior (allowing yin to reach the head), integrate areas of the body not interconnected by primary channels, explain clinical actions of some commonly used points (i.e. PC 6 to treat nausea).
8 Extraordinary channels: not directly related to primary channels, reservoirs of qi and xue, link the 12 primary channels, protect the body.
so there you have it, an intro (and probably more than you ever wanted to know) to acupuncture meridian theory. but it made me read and rephrase the info, so thanks for helping me study :), but i suppose now i should stop procrastinating and get back to the books. after tonight i will be HALFWAY done with my national board exams... can you believe it?
wish me luck!