The Penetrating Meridian (Chong Mai)

Sep 29, 2012

By John Veltheim

Sneak Peak at John Veltheim's New Course:
Eastern Medicine: Anatomy & Physiology of the Energetic Body

The Penetrating Meridian (Chong Mai)

The Chong Mai meridian is one of the eight ancestral meridians that have a very important function in traditional Chinese acupuncture as regulators of the 12 main meridians. The reason they are called ancestral meridians is that, from a Chinese medical point of view, they are the main controllers of our genetic ancestry. This is another way of saying they are the most powerful way of influencing genetic and epigenetic diseases in the body from the point of view of traditional acupuncture. 

Many colleges and courses on Chinese medicine do not address the ancestral meridians because of the lack of understanding of how they function, and a fear that treating them directly may have adverse epigenetic effects. It is true, that if addressed carelessly by the untrained practitioner using acupuncture needles, some nasty side effects can occur. However, when they are addressed using advanced BodyTalk formulas, they can give rise to incredibly powerful results without any fear of side effects. This is why I have included them in my new "Eastern Medicine" course.

The main Chong Mai pathway starts in the perineum, then flows up to a point just above the pubic bone, and continues to flow bilaterally right up through the abdomen into the chest, and then up into the face. It gives out many branches to all the vital organs, and its main function is to regulate the Qi and blood in the 12 main meridians and their corresponding organs.  

Its upward energy flow helps to maintain the position of the organs. Any weakness in the Chong Mai will lead to prolapse. (The Spleen meridian also shares this function of maintaining bodily structures in place and preventing prolapse.) It also strengthens everything in its pathway by filling the organs and tissues with healthy Qi and blood.  It also fills the breasts. [Diminished breast size where tone has been lost, relates to functional disturbance of the Chong Mai and Spleen meridians.)

During pregnancy, it plays a very large role in nurturing the fetus. If the mother's vitality is low, or she's not eating well and under too much stress, there will be a tendency to drain the reserves of the Chong Mai in order to assure a healthy baby. After the birth, the weak Chong Mai will result in poor circulation of blood and Qi to the body. There may also be diminished breast milk as the Chong Mai is very involved with producing the milk. Depression, and general tiredness develop quite quickly.

If the Chong Mai is not replenished, then once the mother stops breast-feeding, the breasts will tend to diminish in size and tone, and will end up smaller than they were before the pregnancy. Another cause of this pathological scenario is when the mother has an episiotomy or cesarean birth. If the scars do not heal well, they will block the flow of the Chong Mai.  The BodyTalk or acupuncture scar treatment techniques are invaluable in this case.

Interesting observation: Clinical experience has shown how transverse scars of the abdomen can have a powerful influence on the meridians flowing through the area; particularly the Chong Mai. It is quite common for a woman to undergo a hysterectomy and find that over the next year she becomes unusually tired, and feels her body is deteriorating. She's prone to constipation, poor digestion, weak lungs, sagging breasts, and loss of tone in the facial muscles and skin. When she tells her medical doctor about this happening since the hysterectomy, he reassures her that he only took out her uterus, and that cannot affect the body in the way she describes! 

The reality is that the hysterectomy scars (internal and external) can effectively block most the flow of the Chong Mai, which would give rise to all those symptoms. Addressing the scar tissue will not necessarily correct the problem; the Chong Mai will also need to be addressed specifically. During my many years of practice I have literally seen dramatic regeneration of the body in hundreds of cases. I have also seen numerous cases of women who have diminished breast size and tone since the pregnancy, have that size and turn replenished even 10 years after having their last child.

In modern times, where there is continuing stress exhaustion, it is often the Chong Mai meridian that suffers the most. The Chong Mai works at its best when the body has abundant energy and is stress-free. In a sense it is considered the energy system indicative of good health because when the Chong Mai is "full" the whole abdominal cavity is filled with nurturing energy, the organs are vital, the breasts are full, the lungs are strong, and the face is wrinkle free.
Another indicator is the strength of the relationship between blood and Qi. This can clearly be seen in the menstrual cycle of women. When the blood is weak, the menstrual flow is scanty or nonexistent. When Qi is weak, there is often very heavy menstrual flow, or even flooding.
 When the Chong Mai is not filling the heart, there is a strong tendency to emotional heart pain, depression, and a general inability to experience joy in life. This will also give rise to a tendency to want to over-protect the heart in relationships, leading to an inability to fully express oneself, particularly in aspects of love and acceptance.
Filling the lungs with adequate Qi and blood is obviously a very important function. Weakness in this area makes the lungs vulnerable to infection, certain types of asthma, and respiratory disorders.
The Chong Mai doesn't have specific effects on individual aspects of the digestion however, it will create a general weakness in digestive function and inhibit the whole process of the breakdown and absorption of food.
On top of all that, this very important ancestral Meridian can be used to address epigenetic disorders related to all those functions mentioned above. Up to this point, no course offered by the IBA, (including the Chinese Medicine course offered until it was discontinued at the end of last year), has addressed the ancestral meridians because we did not have an appropriate treatment protocol for addressing them. Now an excellent treatment protocol has been developed and proven. The details of the protocol will be a very important part of this section of the new "Eastern Medicine" course offered early in 2013.

Read a full course description and listen to John Veltheim discuss his latest course here. 

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