Eight Extraordinary Channels
The basic wiring of the body is the eight extraordinary vessels or channels. The most well known of these are the front and back channels of the torso, which make up the microcosmic orbit. The other channels are: the core channel that travels from the perineum to the crown of the head, the belt channel, and the deep channels that travel the lengths of the arms and legs.
These eight extraordinary vessels are widely discussed in Classical Chinese Medicine and the Taoists have meditations for activating the energy in them. They are like the main electrical wiring system of one’s house. Meditations and movements that activate the eight extraordinary channels are like turning on the electricity to the house.
When the eight extraordinary vessels are overflowing, energy will fill the twelve organ-related meridians. These channels are sometimes called “the eight great rivers”. When the channels of the body are full, the muscles, skin, bones, tendons, hair, and nails will all flourish. Over time, Taoists believe the energy will turn into spiritual virtue and good deeds will be the fruit that is born from a spiritual practice.