What are The twelve divergent meridians?

| December 19, 2011 | 0 Comments | 7,058 views

What are The twelve divergent meridians?  and what are their functuions and clinical significance? The twelve divergent meridians, emerging from the twelve regular meridians, are the branches to function to link the coupled meridians with the exterior-interior relation inside the body. The running course of the divergent meridians can be summarized with four words: separation ,entrance,exit and confluence,which are the features of the funning courses of the twelve divergent meridiians. More specifically, "separation" refers to parting from te twelve regular meridians, "entrance" refers to entering the thoracic and abdominal cavities, "exit" refers to coming out from the head and neck and "confluence" refers to converging with the coupled meridians with the exerior-interior relation. In the chest and abdomen , the divergent meridians converge with the coupled yin yang meridians with the exterior-interior relation. In the head and neck , the yin divergent meridians ascend to head along with the yang divergent meridians and converge with their regular meridians. As a result, the twelve divergent meridians are divided into six pairs , called "the six confluences".

The functions of the twelve divergent meridians are as follows:

(1) To strengthen the internalconnection between the two coupled meridians with the exterior-interior relation inside the body

Entering the body cavity, the twelve divergent meridians run along with the coupled meridians with the exterior-interior relation, and pass through the corresponding zang-fu organs,so as to add another link to the coupled meridians. More sperifically, there is an exterior-interior relation through the collaterals in the four limbs, a relation of pertaining to zang organ and connecting with fu organ or a relation pertaining to fu organ and connecting with zang organ among the zangfu organs, and an internal relation inside the body through the divergent meridians. These relations with the exterior-interior confluences are of the great significance in guiding the clinical practice. For instance, Point Hegu ( LI 4 ) and Point Quchi( Li11 ) of the Large Intestine Meridian are often selected to treat the conditions of the pathogenic hart attacking the Lung Meridian.

(2) To strength the connection between the twelve regular meridians and the site of head and face

Among the 12 regular meridians, all the yang merridians run over the head and face, however,only the Heart Merdidian of Hand-Shaoyin and the Liver Meridian of Foot-Jueyin of all the yin meridians reach the site of head and face, with no points distributing over there. With the conncetion of the divergent meridians, all the yin meridians converge with the yang meridians and reach the site of head and fcce as will. as a result,it is said in Chapter 4,Symptoms of Diseases of zang-fu Organs by Pathogens, Spiritual pivot ( Ling Shu ) that "in the 12 regular meridians and 365 collaterals, their qi and blood flow upwards to all the apertures on the head", highlighting the key role of head in the whole body.

(3) To expand the connection between the twelve regular meridians and different parts of the body

The twelve divergent meridians spread and distribute to those areas where the twelve regular meridians do not reach, so that the acupuncture points also expand their range of indications as well. For instance, the Bladder Meridian of Foot-Taiyang does not reach the anus, but Point Chengjin ( Bl 56 ) and Point Chengshan ( BL 57 ) on the meridian can be used to treat hemorrhoids, it is because that the Divergent Meridian of Foot-Taiyang "enters the anus". For another instance, the Large Intestine Meridian of Hand-yYangming runs upwards to the head but does not reach the throat, Point Shangyang ( LI 1 ) and Point Erjian ( Li 2 ) of the meridian can be used to treat inflammation of the throat, it is because that the Divergent Meridian of Hand-yang-ming "ascends and runs along the throat". For more instances, in the treatment of leukorrheal disrders, it is advisable to regulate and adjust the kidney qi,but the kinney Meridian of Foot-Shaoyin is not directly related to the Belt Vessel. The reason is that Divergent Meridian of FootShanyin "comes out and pertains to the belt Vessel",so as to intensify the close relation between the kidney and the Belt Vessel.

(4) To strengthen the relation between all the meridians and the heart

All of the six meridians of foot are related to the heart through the three Divergent Meridians of Foot-Yang, so as to provide a goog explanation why the symptioms and manifestations involving the hear occor in all the meridians, as "panic and palpitaions" of the Stomach Meridian of Foot-Yangming,"cardiac and hypochondirac pain" of the Gallbladder Meridian of Foot-SHaoyang, and "mania or epilepsy" of the Blabber Meridian of Foot -Taiyang. This relation can fuituer confirm the theory mentioned in Chapter 71, Invasion of Pathogens, Spiriual Pivot ( Ling shu ) that "the heart is the major dominator of the fivezang and six-fu organs", which is of great significance in the clinic pracetice in analyzing the etiology and pathogenesis and establishing the therapeutic principles.



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