The Five Elements
The second primary subtle energy system of the body is the acupuncture meridian system, as developed by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
There are 670 meridian acupoints on the body.
TCM claims the subtle energy they call ch’i or qi circulates through a series of vessels or channels, called the Meridians. The ch’i is a dynamic force, in constant flux, that circulates throughout the body, following the specific meridian pathways.
There are 12 organ based meridians and 2 extraordinary vessels that have their own acupoints.
Acupuncture or acupressure therapy consists of either stimulating or dispersing the flow of ch’i via activation of specific acupoints on the surface of the body.
One of the premises of both the energy medicine of the West and TCM is that for every energetic imbalance, there are corresponding or related symptoms, or disturbance in function, at one or all levels of the body.
In TCM, the meridians are bilateral and connected by horary channels that provide a mechanism for the transfer of energy, including heat, from one side of the body to the other, and could account for the bilateral increase in temperature of identical areas on the opposite side of the body.
One of the central tenets of acupuncture is The Law of Five Elements. It states there are certain directions of energy flow and acupoints on the body that when activated cause the movement of energy from one point to another. Everybody only has a specific amount of energy or ch’i flowing through them, so an over-energy in one place means there must be an under-energy in another place.
TCM does not name diseases as such, they are more interested in a holistic approach of patterns. These patterns help them diagnose imbalances. Once they know where the imbalance of the over-energy and under-energy is, then they can employ the Law of the Five Elements to locate the correct acupoints to stimulate. This would remove the block to energy flow. Once unblocked, the excess energy would naturally flow to where it was deficient. When energy is in balance, theoretically, health is restored.
Ref: C Krebs & T O’Neill McGowan 2014, Energetic Kinesiology