:: brown text means unrevised translation or incomplete work ::
NB: the author uses the words "channel", "meridian" and "vessel" as synonyms to define the system of lines, tubes or slices transporting the undemonstrated energy called Qi (pronounce "tchi") to all parts of the body. Anyway he considers "meridian" more suitable for scientific speech and literature, also because it is already employed in other fields of knowledge as in geography and morphogenesis.
If we tried
to convince the most skeptical of our friends that in the top right
part of his abdomen there was a dark reddish brown organ called the
liver, he would answer: prove it!
First we would give our friend an ultrasound scan, explaining to him
that ultrasound waves hit his liver and bounce back as echoes, which
are converted by the computer into the images he is now seeing on
the computerís screen: the capsule of his liver, its lobes with the
annexed biliary tree and gall bladder.
But if after this test he were still incredulous, because we have
not demonstrated the dark reddish brown color of his liver at all,
we could take him to witness a post-mortem, which would erase all
In the same way, if we told him that, according to the acupuncture
meridians theory, his thumb is connected to his lung and the second
toe to the stomach, he would certainly ask us for a demonstration
for these new claims as well.
Then we would promptly show him one of the dozen charts of the
acupuncture meridians we possess. We would point our finger to the
lines drawn over the skin, which start from the thorax and face,
pass through the lung and stomach, and end at the thumb and second
toe, just as we declared.
And what if our friend commented that we were philosophizing on raw
drawings that prove nothing? And what if he defiantly said he could
draw similar lines connecting the lung to the little finger instead
of to the thumb, and the stomach to the big toe instead of to the
After this criticism, would he be satisfied if we said that the
meridians were drawn by the great doctors of the past and that proof
of their existence is logically deducible from the clinical
effectiveness of acupuncture?
Would he believe studies prove that the stimulations of the points
on those lines cure diseases of the lung and stomach better than
those of the bladder and pancreas?
What simple and immediate test like the ultrasound scan could we
give him to provide our claims with a convincing rationale? What
indisputable evidence like an anatomical dissection could we put
under his very eyes to demonstrate that acupuncture meridians really