How to know if you are on an acupoint.

Acupoint Large Intestine 4Acupoints are places on a meridian where the Qi (“chee”) can be contacted.

This a relatively simple sentence, yet a difficult notion to comprehend and take action on.

First, we must understand what Qi is.

The word Qi comes to us from ancient China. There is no easy equivalent of this term in English. We call it “energy,” “breath,” “life force.” “that which animates the body-mind,” “the steam from cooking rice.” Is this clarifying the term for you?

My simplified version of Qi is that it is the “thing” that it is not present in a deceased body. Contemplating Qi from this vantage point, it is easy to understand why it is such a difficult term to translate.  Never the less, Qi is what we work with in Chinese medicine and Qi is the foundation of the energetic approach to healing here at the Big Tree School of Natural Healing.

Second we must understand what a meridian is.

Meridians are unseen pathways that span the body from head to toe. Meridians are where the Qi flows in the same way that river beds are where water flows.

Thirdly we must understand what an acupoint is.

An acupoint is a specific location on a meridian where the Qi can be accessed by touch, needles, heat, herbs, and other intermediaries that are used to work with Qi. Acupoints are like places along a river where we can get into the river to cross it, or put a boat in, or drop in a fishing line.

Lastly we need to be able to feel Qi.

Once we know the map of the meridians and points (12 meridians over 360 points), we come to the next challenge of the journey – feeling the Qi.
Feeling Qi is both an art and a science. The science is held in the ancient practices of Qi Gong, Tai Chi, meditation, and  internal alchemy.  These practices are very specifically taught and then practiced for many years.  The art is one’s unique sense of Qi that develops out of their practice.
Out of the practice comes the skill of feeling Qi.
Out of studying comes the knowledge of where to make contact on the body at the precise location of an acupoint. With lots of practice and experience comes the internal awareness and confidence that you are indeed “on the point.”

Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.

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