(Extraordinary Vessels – 2)
(Read also the Introduction to Eight Extraordinary meridians)
In this article and in next few I will talk about Eight extraordinary vessels (sometimes called also Eight extraordinary meridians or channels) which we use in Qigong and on the lesser degree in acupuncture. I will introduce different viewpoints and theories, which do not agree and therefore uncover that this field of energy medicine and Qigong still hasn’t been researched to the deepest end, even though it has been practiced in different intervals for more than 2 millennia.
What are these extraordinary vessels
Extraordinary vessels are energy routes, or meridians which are not ordinary in their characteristics and function. They are not directly linked to any of internal organs, as this is the case with twelve primary meridians. By using them in healing purposes, for example in acupuncture sessions they act »uncommonly« and »unpredictably« and therefore because of this unpredictability they were named “extraordinary”.
They represent a way or a key to the matrix of human organism. Before we were born, energy (Qi) was flowing through these eight vessels and organized form, growth and functioning of the body.
After a birth the flow in these eight extraordinary vessels calmed down and spontaneous ignition of energy flow happened in twelve primary meridians or twelve organ meridians.
How do we work with extraordinary vessels
In Qigong we stimulate energy flow in extraordinary vessels, fill up these vessels and consciously open them and in this way we stimulate functioning of this same matrix that created us.
Relaxation is important
For us to open these vessels easier and feel this flow of energy it is necessary to attain Alfa state of brain activity. This can be done easily by reaching a meditative state, for example you can imagine yourself in front of a beautiful landscape, listen to some pleasant music or just breathe, and so on. In this way you reach a balance between left and right brain hemisphere and your field of perception expands.
Why are extraordinary vessels really uncommon
Their peculiarity is hidden in their activity, as they serve as reservoirs for energy and that’s why they are compared in ancient texts with water dams and lakes, while those primary or organ meridians were compared with rivers. Some of these extraordinary vessels also contain a “Sea of something”, for example Sea of blood. This would mean Sea of energy meant for blood or a very big reservoir of energy meant for production of blood, like this is the case with Chong Mai extraordinary vessel.
Use of extraordinary vessels in Qigong
In Qigong we use extraordinary vessels for storing energy and at the same time for consciously lading the Qi through the energy system.
Let me explain. In Qigong with exercises, breathing and attention on energy we generate Qi. Energy is moving towards primary meridians or organ meridians (kidney, liver, heart…). When these meridians or rivers are full, energy starts flowing into extraordinary vessels and they start filling up. This is a basic function of extraordinary vessels – storing energy and leading away redundant energy from primary meridians so it would not come to overloading any of 12 primary meridians. When you overgrow this degree of filling primary meridians, you start second degree which is consciously leading the Qi through Eight extraordinary vessels. This flow of energy is also connected with conscious work with lower Dan Tian, which represents a wheel that is moving Qi through our extraordinary vessels. Circular motion of Dan Tian which naturally turns only once in 24 hours outlines circulation of energy in energy system. This energy is circulating through Microcosmical or Small Circulation, which is formed by Ren Mai (Conception vessel) and Du Mai (Governing vessel). First is Yin and the other is Yang.
When you learn to work and breathe with lower Dan Tian, then you start to circulate with energy more than once in 24 hours and that is how you accelerate flow of energy in extraordinary vessels. This is how we all started to consciously lead the energy.
Use and conscious work with extraordinary vessels is therefore a key for how to begin consciously lead energy. This involves also leading the energy out of your body into the energy field, working with others and even broader.
In continuation of this blog I will introduce Yin and Yang linking vessels and at the same time I will briefly introduce acupuncture points Triple Warmer 5 (Waiguan) and Pericardium 6 (Neiguan), which beside their primary functions, serve also as opening points for these two extraordinary vessels, Yinwei and Yangwei Mai or Yin and Yang linking vessels.
Yin and Yang linking extraordinary vessels
Yin and Yang linking extraordinary vessels serve above all as reservoirs for energy. When somewhere is a shortage of energy those two will supply it and when there is overflow they will lead it away.
According to some theories this extra energy is then stored in extraordinary vessel or evenly distributed. According to some other theories this energy circulates through the whole system if the system is opened enough for normal current. When the energy is »cooled« down, is then lead back to normal circulation. I talk about an excess of energy, when there is too much of it.
On contrary, when there is a shortage, these two vessels will supply energy from somewhere else usually from stockpile. If this is too small probably what will start to do is draining off »Mother« organ, which means the primary meridian that is according to the five elements theory before this one that lacks energy.
Triple Warmer 5
Triple Warmer 5, TW-5 or Waiguan, is a point on a Triple Warmer primary meridian. This point is just on the opposite side of your arm and of the point PC-6 or Neiguan on Pericardium primary meridian. Its position is between ulna and radius bone, two cuns or three of your fingers above your wrist. PC-6 is located on the inner side of your arm between two central tendons, as well two cuns or three of your fingers above a joint of your wrist.
Use of Triple Warmer 5 (TW-5)
This point is used with headache, pain in the neck and with facial pain, with partial deafness, with ringing in the ears or tinnitus, with any arm injury, with problems with oversensitivity for weather changes, with cramps anywhere in the body…
This is one of the more important points in acupuncture and in Qigong as it opens Yang linking extraordinary vessel (Yangwei Mai). This extraordinary vessel serves as reservoir for storing Yang energy. Even though these vessels are named extraordinary (unpredictable, unusual…), their activity is actually what we need in certain moment.
Yangwei Mai is linking all Yang meridians and removes any obstruction in them, by conserving excess of energy or supplying when there’s shortage.
Use of Pericardium 6 (PC-6)
This is one of more important points in acupuncture and in Qigong as it opens Yin linking extraordinary vessel (Yinwei Mai). Its stimulation is also very beneficial with different health issues: with all problems related with heart and blood vessels, with palpitations, hypertension, with problems with digestion, nauseas (even with travelling nausea), with psychological problems related with sexuality, hyperemotional states, insomnia, epilepsy…
Yin linking vessel links all Yin meridians and removes any obstructions in them. It stores excess of energy or supply when there’s shortage.
Sit down and relax your breathing. Put a tip of your tongue on the palate of your mouth, so you bind small circulation. Stay with this and make few more inhales and exhales. Find both opening points on the one of your arms, for example on a left one. Hold both of them and massage them gently. Close your eyes. Imagine under your fingers two little lightning balls through which Qi is flowing into these two points. Continue with relaxing breathing and visualization.
With counsciousness that you are opening extraordinary vessels, you are opening Yang linking vessel with point TW-5 and at the same time stimulate acupuncture point PC-6, which opens Yin linking vessel. In this way Yin and Yang energy in the body and in energy system will balance and treatment will be more holistic, than it would be if you would open only one of them.
Watch also videos:
May the Qi be with you!
Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PetarSmiQigong
Our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/PetarSmiljanaQigong
Video course Qigong for Professional Helear’s Self Care: https://petarsmi.com/en/qigong-professional-healers-self-care/