Using infrared scanning, researchers at the International Institute of Biophysics have acquired evidence for meridian pathways.
While bioenergetics is a modern term, it has deep historical bindings. For example, as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) often associated with Taoism acupuncture has been practiced for at least 2,000 years with some dating its inception up to 5,000 years ago. At the heart of acupuncture are meridians, channels that form energetic circuits throughout the body. This flow is not unlike the movement of blood through the circulatory system, which requires proper regulation for health. Meridians are also a biological connection with qi, or life energy.8 Needles are inserted into the skin along the channel routes in order to restore and regulate the movement of energy. Since acupuncture is performed with minimal invasiveness, adverse side effects are also minimal—a valuable consideration given the frequent toll taken by the side effects of pharmaceuticals.
Referring to acupuncture as a medical science, the World Health Organization recognizes fourteen meridians with 361 classical acupuncture points.9 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), of which acupuncture is a part, deals with recognizing and treating disharmony among the various elements of the body. Fundamental textures of qi, blood, essence, spirit, and fluids—along with their individual and collective effect on homeodynamics—are all taken into account. Each texture has several aspects. Qi has positive and negative functions relating to nutrition, protection, deficiencies, and stagnation. Blood is the opposite of qi. Whereas qi energizes, blood relaxes. The fluids of the body moisten and nourish. Essence deals with to the intrinsic separation of animate and inanimate worlds, and spirit is the defining quality of humanness.10
A refinement of this practice occurs when viewing textures in relation to organs, another part of TCM. The liver, for instance, connects with blood as well as tempers qi. The kidneys provide the foundation upon which water or fluids may work within the rest of the body.11
Using infrared scanning, researchers at the International Institute of Biophysics have acquired evidence for meridian pathways. And studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging conducted at the University of California, Irvine, demonstrated that communication along meridians occurs orders of magnitude faster than known signaling processes of the nervous system, perhaps conducting energy approaching the speed of light. Measurements of the definitive speed were hampered due to limitations of current technology.12 Simply on the face it of, this research supports metaphysical considerations that the body is comprised of energy.
Next Section: Chakras and Nadis