There are few texts available today that describe the purpose and function of the eight extraordinary channels and their place in Chi Kung practice. To make matters more confusing, the extraordinary channels and points used in Chi Kung are often quite different from those used in acupuncture, even though they may bear the same names.
Most acupuncturists pay little attention to the eight extraordinary channels in diagnosis and treatment with the exception of some modern Japanese researchers. By contrast, the extraordinary channels have been of special importance to Taoists and Chi Kung practitioners for thousands of years. Taoists see the extraordinary channels as the foundation of our bodily energy, as the bridge between our Original or Prenatal Chi and our Postnatal Chi; these channels affect us on the deepest level of our basic constitutional energy.
Therefore, Taoists focus on opening up the flow of energy through the eight extraordinary channels as a prerequisite for opening the energy flow in the twelve ordinary channels. In the Universal Tao system, you first open up the Governor Channel and the Functional Channel in the Microcosmic Orbit Meditation. The second pair: the Thrusting Channels and the Belt Channels are opened in the Fusion of the Five Elements II Meditation. The last four channels, the Yin and Yang Bridge Channels and the Yin and Yang Regulator Channels are opened in the third level of Fusion of the Five Elements Meditation. After opening all eight channels, in the next level of Taoist inner alchemical meditation called the Lesser Enlightenment of Kan and Li, the twelve ordinary channels are then opened.
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