According to Chinese philosophers and physicians some 2000 years ago, every object, whether living or non-living- has a specific Life Force or Life Energy that flows through it. In regard to human beings, this slightly mystical vitality functions something like electricity mingled with healing thought to bring health and vigour to the body. The Chinese refer to this force as Ch’i (pronounced “Chee” and translated, “breath”).
In their view, the energy moves throughout the body along invisible but distinctly real passageways they call meridians or in Chinese terminology, “jing luo”. These channels circulate the Ch’i to invigorate and sustain equilibrium in all parts of the body, including the muscles, tendons, bones, organs, and skin. Every person has twelve primary meridians, and each of these is connected to a specific organ: kidneys, liver, spleen, heart/lungs, paricardium, bladder, gall bladder, stomach, small and large intestines, as well as the body’s temperature regulator.
The Life Force flows freely and continuously from one meridian to another, entering through a point at one end of a channel and exiting through a point at the other end. When the movement is smooth, the body is healthy and balanced. But whenever this ideal flowing is interrupted or blocked, stagnated or weakened, the Ch’i is inadequate and the body becomes vulnerable to disease. This agitation can result in not only physical pain but mental and emotional suffering as well.
What sort of factors can cause this lack of balance? For one thing, highly charged emotional responses to the stresses of twenty-first century life can do it. Overwork, bone-deep fatigue, too many Big Macs and too few carrots and lettuce leaves, all can contribute to the body’s compromised well being. Environmental matters such as exposure to toxins, pollution, impure water, second-hand (or first-hand) smoke, and even such hum-drum forces as cold, wind, heat, or humidity, can interfere with the life-giving movement of Ch’i through the body.
When a pain arises- say, for example, at the right elbow- it is announcing that deep beneath the skin in that location, the meridian is blocked; the life energy or blood is stagnating there.
But the ancient Chinese sages went still further in their thinking. Of huge significance, they taught that along the meridians are situated well over a thousand points (or holes from the word xue) where the Ch’i moving through them rises close to the surface of the body and allows access to the channels below. You might think of these spots as gateways to get at or influence, whether to increase or decrease, the vital Life Energy. They are becoming increasingly well known in our society as acupuncture points. We have a network of them on the left side of the body that is duplicated on the right side. Interestingly enough, a large number of these pressure points are identical to the ones used in American physiotherapy and therapeutic massage to loosen stress-tightened muscles.
Scientific studies have shown that the body generates small electrical discharges and that the acupuncture points are huddles in areas of low electrical resistance where conductivity is at its most intense. Modern research has found a correlation between the body’s electromagnetic fields and the meridians, so any manipulation of the acupuncture points appears to have an electrical feature at work. In scientific terms, stimulating these areas energises the nerves to the brain which then releases certain neuro-chemicals known to relieve pain.
Acupuncture, of course, is provided by skilled practitioners using steel needles in a professional setting. The great advantage of working with a photonic torch, is that you don’t have to use any needles, can give yourself treatments as often as you wish in the privacy of your own kitchen or bedroom without fuss or bother to anyone and with no expense to you. This way, you don’t even have to climb into the car and battle the traffic to get the therapy that you need.