French Energetics
& Meridian Therapy

The term acupuncture energetics is the title of the book authored by the physician who taught me about acupuncture initially – Joseph Helms, MD. He was one of the pioneers who has helped re-introduce acupuncture to America. In that, he in turn, did much of his training in France, where acupuncture's history is far more rich and the practice of it more readily available as part of mainstream medicine.

Acupuncture Yin and Yang PosterHe learned and then taught a style of traditional acupuncture heavily influenced by the French and Europeans. As acupuncture is a type of energy medicine, hence the terms: French energetics & French meridian therapy.

Much of what is about to be said is not unique to any one style of acupuncture, but general for many. Acupuncture, having evolved over thousands of years, has adapted to change in treatment responses and social environments. The basic premise of mankind functioning harmoniously within an orderly universe remains the pillar of which supports all else. Models of health and disease reflect a disharmony in the (bodies) system. The language used is supremely metaphorical.

Although modern science speaks in terms of electro-physiologic changes as the way in which the entire system may function, ancient texts refer to life-giving forces as the critical factors correlating with the above and which travels through the vessels of everyone.

Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) is the term which describes that vivifying force; it is present in all of life – promoting the critical functions of that organism. The smooth function promotes respiration, circulation of blood, lymph and “lubrication” of movement.

As so many other civilizations and paradigms (from the classical Greek culture to yoga) have used this concept of a “life-giving force”, it is apparent that this idea is not unique to acupuncture.

Qi has three components: wei qi (defensive energy), rong qi (nourishing energy), and Yuan qi (Original energy). Qi Courses through all of the twelve principle meridians, as well as the curious or extra-ordinary meridians. These meridians or pathways are present in all of us – developing at the earliest stages of fetal development.

The flow through these meridians follows the theory of yin and yang, with upward flow towards “heaven” in the yin channels and downward flow towards the earth in the yang channels. The term’s yin and yang are relative descriptors – encompassing an enormous amount of territory!

When flow is blocked, by a variety of mechanisms, symptoms often become apparent. In simple terms, the goal of acupuncture is to re-establish the smooth flow thereby eliminating the annoying symptom.

For completeness sake, the names of the principle meridians are: shao yin, tai yang, jue yin, shao yang, tai yin, yang ming. They are each bilateral and cover a separate area of the body. Curious meridians are chong mo, dai mo, ren mo, du mo, yin wei mo, yang wei mo, yin qiao mo, and yang qiao mo.

Additionally, there are separate input patterns to achieve different goals. In a like manner, different “meridians” are used for this. They include the tendino-muscular meridian, distinct meridians, and the shu-mu sub system of points. An adequate explanation of each is beyond the intended scope of this web site. I shall be content to simply identify some of the terms used, and leave it at that.

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