Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Meridians

Whether or not you believe the human form is a product of intelligent design or a cosmic accident, the wisdom contained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a unique way of describing the phenomena observed in the body.

In TCM, the body is a microcosm of planet Earth. When it rains on Earth, the water flows from the point it falls into small brooks, then streams then rivers. We take this metaphor and apply it to the body. Blood, electricity, and chemicals move along similar pathways that might look very much like the topographical map of a geographic region.

But in TCM these pathways in the body are not as specific as "the aorta artery" or "the sciatic nerve". Naturally, this anatomy is intrinsically a part of the meridian system, but it is much larger than any one specific thing. These meridians include the anatomy and physiology we know in the west, as well as speak in terms of Qi (Chi), a concept we do not have in western medicine.

Qi is the all encompassing life fore. It is everything from kinetic energy, digestive energy to spiritual energy and beyond. Qi flows along pathways called meridians. These meridians are very much like one of those collage pictures that are made up of smaller pictures. Here's an example:

Its a meta picture that encompasses all psycho- somatic and physical components of our corporeal and incorporeal forms. Qi flows along these meridians much the same way that water flows through a stream. But like a stream, it can be dammed up. Meridians are dammed by physical ailments and psychological phenomena. When this happens, like a river that is dammed, there is a build up and an imbalanced state may occur.

When it comes to treating diseases, TCM thinks about looking at where there is an imbalance. Where is Qi not flowing as it should. In this way, the diseases we know are little more than symptoms- the real problem lies in the lack of balance.

How do we balance them? Try seeing an acupuncturist. The Peoples Organization of Community Acupuncture is a network of community acupuncture clinics around the country that believe affordable health care should be accessible without insurance. Treatments work on a self- determined sliding scale usually between 15-40 dollars per treatment. You are treated in a more traditional setting where one practitioner treats many patients at a time.  
Find a clinic near you here:,0/18000/

Also, check out this article from the American Diabetes Association about acupuncture and diabetes (type 1 and 2).

I also feel I should point people to look at my very first blog post. I think this has the most comprehensive information and inspiration for further posting.


  1. So are you in diabetic ketosis or nutritional ketosis. If there is no insulin, then how does your cell gates open up for you to utilize and get to your energy. So how does your way of doing diabetic ketosis not starve your body?? Just curious about what you have written not looking to prove you wrong, just trying to understand.

    1. Sorry to take a long time to reply. I am in nutritional ketosis. You don't need insulin to burn ketones, only to pull glucose into the cell. Of course there is still some glucose coming into the body- vegetables do have some carbs albeit a small amount. The reason the entire process is interesting is because I continue to produce insulin. The ketotic state makes the insulin need extremely low, a level with which my beta cell function can handle. I believe that taking the stress off of the insulin producing cells has improved the situation. My endo agrees with me that the dietary changes and yoga have likely arrested the auto-immune response and allowed for beta cell regeneration :)

    2. and then of course I'm not a scientist, so thats just my best understanding from what I know (but then again so is what a scientist knows... haha)