Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) bases many of its health care practices on an internal system of energy in the body referred to as “Chi” or “Qi” (both pronounced chee). This energy runs in invisible rivers or lines through the body somewhat like the electrical energy system which provides power to your home. TCM practitioners say without proper flow of the Qi, the organs, muscles, digestive system and other systems of the body will not function properly and overall health will suffer. Likewise, with proper flow of Qi, the physical functions and emotions flourish and the body will be at its best in fending off disease and deterioration.
Over thousands of years, TCM practitioners have documented exactly where these lines, known as meridians, flow and what organs or systems of the body they influence. Acupuncture or acupressure points are unique points on the meridians which, if stimulated properly, can increase or decrease the energy flow within the system. Once proper flow of energy is restored, physical and emotional health can be maintained.
There are 12 primary meridians, known as organ channels, which flow within and along the outside of the horse’s body. These organ meridians (such as the Lung Meridian, Small Intestine Meridian, etc) have a line of energy which run along a pathway on one side of the body matched with an identical line which runs along the same pathway on the other side of the body.
In addition to this established system of 12 meridians are eight additional energy flows referred to as extraordinary vessels or strange flows. These flows stimulate different functions than the meridians. They are also different from the organ meridians in that they are single lines of energy along the horse’s body rather than paired lines.
Points along two of these eight extraordinary vessels are used extensively by acupuncture and acupressure practitioners to create health. The Conception Vessel runs along the belly line of the horse. The second extraordinary flow is what TCM practitioners call the Du Mai which means the Governing channel or Governing Vessel.