The Divergent Meridians
The pathways describe the Yang Divergents as going through the Zang of their associated channel, and that they re-connect with their own channel. The Yin Divergents do not reconnect with their own channel but rather with their Yang-paired Divergent. This reinforces the notion of the Divergents as connecting inner and outer: the Yang Divergents moving into the Zang and the Heart, while the Yin Divergents move towards their Yang counterparts.
Thus we can say that the Divergents connect External and Internal in a way that is harmonious with the Dao of Heaven. They communicate the outer and the inner. In terms of Qi this translates to Wei Qi (outer) and Yuan Qi (inner) to the exclusion of Ying Qi. Ying Qi is on the level of desires, nourishment, and cognition. It is the nourishment we receive from our interactions and is heavily influenced by societal values we learn which is not necessarily in accord with the Dao of Heaven. Ying Qi is thus not involved in the Divergent meridian system.
The notion of the Divergents constituting six junctions (Liu He) can lead us to the conclusion that this interaction between outer and inner now leads to the definition and anchorage of the space of life. There are 6 directions, 4 campus directions, plus above and below; 6 faces of a cube, representing how we limit space. This can be interpreted to mean that the Divergents, having allowed the interaction between outer and inner, then create the space for life. Space that has boundaries is associated with Ying Qi. That space is what gives birth to the regular meridians that are conduits of Ying Qi. It is thus not surprising that the Divergents end with the Lung, where the regular meridians start.
The Divergent Meridians connect Wei and Yuan (external and internal) without conflict, without Ying. They separate and bring back together the most spontaneous and the most constitutional (Wei and Yuan), separating those away from Ying (regular meridians), that is away from cognition, desire, satisfaction, meaning.
The Divergent Meridians represent our ability to let go of desires and attachments, letting go of the Fire. When Wei Qi moves inwards, this is Wind/change that is not being rejected, that is seen as a threat. It is a pathology when we are unwilling to accept the changed circumstances, usually because of our attachment to old definitions of self and world. When we let go of our attachments and desires, we can accommodate change much more easily and without a struggle.
The order in which the Divergent Meridians are presented in the Ling Shu shows the Divergent Meridians as representing life, death, and letting go. First come the U.B. and Kidney, the Water element, the chaos from which life sprouts. Next are the G.B. and Liver, the Wood element. This is birth, the sprouting. This progression represents the creative cycle. The Stomach and Spleen are described next. This is the Earth element. Birth represents giving form to something, which is Earth. But once we are given life, we are also given death. The next junction is that of the S.I. and Heart, the Fire element. This represents decay (from Earth to Fire is a reversal of the creative cycle), which is in-line with the statement that we are born to die. We stay with Fire, as the next junction is that of the S.J. and Pericardium, a statement that what destroys us is Fire which represents conflict. And thus the last junction is that of the L.I. and Lungs, the Metal phase which is in conflict with Fire (control cycle) stating that our desires begin to burn us and create conflict with the world (Metal) and thus destroy us (Metal as decay). (The movement from True Fire to Ministerial Fire further reinforces the idea of decay, as the San Jiao can also be seen as Wood, or that which stalks Fire. Thus we see the movement going from Earth to Fire to that which stalks the Fire, all of which representing decay or the reversal/destruction cycle.)
The order of presentation also reinforces the notion of Yin Yang harmony. With Earth in the center, it starts with Yin-from-within-Yin which is Water, moving on to Yang-from-with-Yin (Wood), to Yang-from-within-Yang (Fire), and ending with Yin-from-within-Yang (Metal). This is a Tai Ji presentation of the 5 elements: Water, Wood, Fire, and Metal representing the gradation and inter-penetration of YinYang with Earth in the middle as the transformative factor.
The Divergent meridian system represents our capacity to accept the world as it is. This is the Yuan Qi (the self) accepting the Wi Qi (the world). The time clock of these meridians represents a progression of how the self (Water) comes out towards the world (Metal). To the Chinese Daoist this is how things should be, and perhaps that is why these meridians were given a more of a theoretical bias rather than a clinical one. In a world where there is tremendous conflict between self and nature, in which there seems to be a deterioration of both Dao and De (universal principles of nature and cultivation of virtue in the individual), these meridians might seem to hold far greater clinical significance than in previous generations.
Jeffrey Yuen attributes another time clock to the Divergents based on zones. He believes that the time clock described above describes the movement of Yuan Qi (Jing) towards Wei: it is a description of the preparation towards life. When considering Wei Qi moving towards Yuan Qi level, the time clock changes and follows a zone trajectory which reflects a similarity with the Sinew channels. This time clock starts with Tai Yang (U.B. then S.I.), moves to Shao Yang (G.B. and S.J.), to Yang Ming (Stomach and L.I.), Tai Yin (Spleen, Lung), Shao Yin (Kidney, Heart), and ends in Jue Yin (Liver and Pericardium).
When we look at the pathways of the Divergent Meridians and their Confluent points, we see a very close relationship between these meridians and the lymph system. Both systems connect with the major joints, move through the thoracic region, and have strong connection to the neck region. We can further make an association between the upper Confluent points of the Divergents and the Heavenly points on the neck (Windows of the Skies).
Since we are dealing with Yuan Qi as a component, chronicity is usually involved with Divergent Meridian problems, although the original assault may have swept in very quickly, bypassing the Ying level, the “social agenda”, and directly threatening to destroy the self. This can be assaults like an infectious disease or sexual abuse.
1. Opposite Side Symptoms:
2. Wind Symptoms – Arthritis, Neurological Symptoms:
3. Autoimmune Disorders:
4. Cancer and Tumors:
6. Conflicts Between the World and Self:
7. Lung and Kidney Issues:
8. Emotional Issues:
The Divergent Trajectories and Symptomology:
The Bladder and Kidney Confluence:
The Ling Shu says that the U.B. Divergent connects with (or permeates) the Bladder and Kidney, as well as the Heart. Jeffrey Yuen interprets this to mean that it creates two wrapings, one around the gut, and one around the chest/ribs.
At DU4 (Ming Men) it moves towards U.B.23 (Shen Shu), and into the Dai channel, making a girdle around the gut: G.B.26 (Dai Mai), ST25 (Tian Shu – Celestial Axis), and Ren8 (Shen Que – the Spirit Watchtower). In the Ling Shu this trajectory is described for the Kidney Divergent only.
At DU9 (Zhi Yang – Reaching Yang), it wraps to the front (to the heart), via S.I.10 (Nao Shu – Shoulder Shu), G.B.22 (Yuan Ye – Nocturnal Abyss), P.1 (Tian Chi – Celestial Pool) and Ren17 (Tan Zhong – Centre of Chest).
The Kidney Divergent starts at Kid10 (Yin Gu – Yin Valley), or U.B.39 (Wei Yang – Bending Yang). It follows a similar path to the U.B. Divergent: up to DU4, connecting with the Kidneys and the Dai channel, up to the root of the tongue, and back towards U.B.10 (Tian Zhu – Heavenly Pillar).
The Confluent points for the U.B./Kidney Junction are U.B.40 below, and U.B.10 above. The point of connection between the U.B. and S.I. is S.I.10.
Symptomology of the U.B./Kidney Confluence:
Chest pain (though all the Divergents connect to the chest and heart). (In this case use S.I.10 as well)
When Wei Qi moves inwards, towards the Jing, there may be urination problems as well as Dai Mai problems (genital herpes, leukorrhea). One side ovary problems can be seen as the Jing trying to move along this Divergent and stagnating in the Dai connection.
When the Jing is coming out, one may get tumors along the spine.
Hemiplegia can be seen as an issue of the U.B./Kidney Divergents as Jing coming out and obstructing/stagnating the Wei Qi (because Jing is Yin and Cold). In this case there the brain is left without enough Jing/Marrow. One can also see hemiplegia as involving the U.B./S.I. trajectory (Wei moving inwards), as hemiplegia can be a result of too much Wei Qi in the brain (neurological problems) and not enough Wei Qi left in the muscle layers (not enough Wei Qi, it is one-sided, and Tai Yang creates our upright stance).
The mood, emotion, or philosophical statement, of this Divergent is chronic fear of the unknown, where one is not sure what one is afraid of or why.
The need to be a martyr without knowing why is a statement related to the U.B./S.I. Divergent combination.
The Gall Bladder and Liver Confluence:
Jeffrey Yuen further describes another branch that is not described in the Ling Shu. This branch separates at G.B.30, moves internally up along the sides and opens at G.B.22 (Yuan Ye – Nocturnal Abyss). Here it enters the Pericardium (Ren17), moves up to ST12 (Que Pen – Empty Basin or Broken Dish), up behind the ear (S.J.16, Tian You – the Celestial Window, and S.J.17, Yi Feng – Wind Screen), to DU20 (Bai Hui – 100 Meetings), back out to G.B.1 and then crossing to the opposite side L.I.20 (Ying Xiang – Welcome Fragrance). This trajectory is more closely related to issues of uncertainty in life, and the fluctuating Shao Yang symptoms such as chills and fever, yellow sticky phlegm, migraine headaches, and ear aches.
The Liver Divergent starts at ST42 (Chong Yang – Rushing/Surging Yang), moves up to Liv5 (Li Gou – Worm Hole/Canal), to the genitals, meeting the G.B. Divergent at Ren2. Here it follows the G.B. Divergent (through the floating ribs, Liver, G.B., Ren17, Ren22) to G.B.1.
The Confluent points for the G.B./Liver Junction are either G.B.30 or Ren2/Ren3 below, and G.B.1 above.
Symptomology of the G.B./Liver Confluence:
The G.B. Divergent also connects with the vocal cords. It controls the contraction and expansion of the vocal cords with symptoms such as laryngitis.
The Liver Divergent brings in Wei Qi towards the genitals (an area of Jing). Thus it is responsible for sexual arousal. Pathologies may include infertility with sexual nervousness (Wei Qi moving in, but not being managed).
Through the pelvic and Chong connection one may get pelvic inflammatory conditions (Wei Qi moving in), or uterine and ovarian cysts and fibroids (stagnant Jing).
The mood, emotion, or philosophical statement, of this Divergent is chronic anger at life without being able to find the reason.
Rigidity, inability to make change or to adapt to change leading to frustration, as well as the inability to take ones place in life with “honor”, leading to resentment or contempt, are the emotional statement of the Shao Yang pair (G.B./S.J.) Divergents.
The Stomach and Spleen Confluence:
The Spleen Divergent starts at SP11 (Ji Men – Sieve/Weaving Gate), moves into SP12 (Chong Men – Chong Gate), ST30 (Qi Chong) where it joins the Stomach Divergent and follows it up to pass through the middle of the tongue. Jeffrey Yuen further describes it as moving out to L.I.20, up to U.B.1 and ST1.
The Confluent points for the Stomach/Spleen Junction is ST30 below, and U.B.1 (or either L.I.20 or ST1) above. The Confluent points of the Yang Ming zone (Stomach and L.I.) are ST12 and L.I.20.
Symptomology of the Stomach/Spleen Confluence:
When Wei Qi moves into the Stomach one may experience ulcers, gastritis, ulcerative colitis or discharge of mucus and blood in the colon.
When the Jing is coming out one may see nasal polyps (dirty Jing/Phlegm in the nasal cavity), mucus in the eyes, or physical deterioration of the eyes.
The Stomach/Spleen Divergents have a clear affinity to the Chong. They can serve to bring Wei, Yang, Qi in the form of Heat into the Chong, which translates into self-destructive behaviour (the Heat destroys the Chong, the blueprint). (If the Heat moves into the Yang Qiao (via U.B.1) then it will manifest as aggressive behaviour.) This association with the Chong makes this Divergent Junction influence the synchronization of the movement of Blood and regulating menses.
The Stomach/Spleen Divergents supply the drive that gets us to do things, creating boundaries and definitions that interplay between the self and the world. Definitions and boundaries facilitate consciousness (or thought) which gives us nourishment.
The mood, emotion, or philosophical statement, of this Divergent is lack of internal drive, lack of will to do something for oneself, and chronic boredom without knowing why one is bored.
The Small Intestine and Heart Confluence:
The Heart Divergent starts at HT1 (Ji Quan – High Fountain), moves into G.B.22 (Yuan Ye – Nocturnal Abyss), and towards the chest (Ren17, Tan Zhong) to penetrate the Heart. It then travels up the throat, to the root of the tongue, to the brain, coming out to the face, ending at U.B.1 (Jing Ming – Bright Eyes). Jeffrey Yuen describes another pathway descending from the Heart to Ren8 (Shen Que – Spirit Watchtower) to connect with the Dai channel, creating a Fire/Water connection.
The Confluent points for the Small Intestine/Heart Junction are G.B.22 below, and U.B.1 above. The Confluent point of the Tai Yang zone (U.B. and S.I.) is S.I.10.
Symptomology of the Small Intestine/Heart Confluence:
When the Jing is coming out one may see blood or ruddy complexion on the neck or head as the substance (Jing) of the Heart is Blood.
The Heart and Pericardium Divergents have an intimate relationship to Blood and Ying Qi. They represent the way we might maintain a rigidity of the self in the face of the world. This is our personality, the mask that hides us from the world and prevents us from developing our true individuality. These Divergents represent the major obstacle (our personality/ego) to becoming our natural selves. It is through holding on to Ying Qi (Blood – that is views that we believe nourish us) that we are prevented from being in touch with the Yuan Qi. We can, however, separate and diverge from our personality and become whole by letting go of our ego.
The mood, emotion, or philosophical statement, of the S.I./Heart is rationalizing in ways that are incorrect or disharmonious, through trivializing, exaggerating, making excuses, or taking on inappropriate roles.
The San Jiao and Pericardium Confluence:
The Pericardium Divergent starts at G.B.22 (Yuan Ye – Nocturnal
Abyss), and moves into the chest (Ren17, Tan Zhong) via P.1 (Tian Chi
– Celestial Pool). From Ren17, it descends through the three burners.
An ascending trajectory moves up through ST12 (Que Pen – Empty
Basin), up the throat, to S.J.16 (Tian You – Celestial Window),
behind the ear to G.B.12 (Wan Gu – End of Bone) where it joins
the San Jiao channel.
Symptomology of the San Jiao/Pericardium Confluence:
Thus symptoms of these Divergents involve not only pain along their pathways but also phlegm accumulation, as in nodules and swelling. And since the San Jiao wraps around the connective tissues, S.J.10 (Tian Jing – The Celestial Well) is specifically used for phlegm and nodulations in the Luo vessels, and nodulations in the connective tissue. Moles are considered to be in the domain of the Pericardium. Edema, fluid accumulation either above or below, facial edema with sinusitis can also be seen as involving this Divergent Confluence.
The San Jiao /Pericardium Divergents represent the way we develop our ego, creating a sense of status. The Pericardium allows us to adjust to many environments. When this adjusting ability is hampered, one becomes possessive, and the emotions seen are envy and jealousy. When the Wei Qi is engaged with something that is not reality, the love that one has becomes a fantasy.
Thus, mood, emotion, or philosophical statement, of the S.J./Pericardium Divergent is possessive love, fantasy love, fixation and obsession and even delusion and mania.
The Large Intestine and Lung Confluence:
The Lung Divergent begins at G.B.22 (Nocturnal Abyss), moves into LU1 (Zhong Fu – Central Warehouse), going into the Lung, and Heart (Ren17 – Tan Zhong, Centre of Chest). One branch ascends coming out at ST12 (Que Pen – Empty Basin) and L.I.18 (Fu Tu – Supporting Chimney) while another descends to the Large Intestine.
The Confluent points for the Large Intestine/Lung Junction are ST12 below, and L.I.18 above. The Confluent point of the Yang Ming zone (Stomach and L.I.) are ST12. and L.I.18.
Symptomology of the Large Intestine/Lung Confluence:
This final Divergent is in the Metal phase, ultimately going out to the world, recognizing the world as a mirror of oneself. The proper role of this Divergent is to allow one to put out the self to the world in perfect harmony, so that my gift to the world is my own true self.
The mood, emotion, or philosophical statement, of the L.I./Lung Divergent is over-examining the world, over-scrutinizing. When the Jing comes out, it can result in an attitude of feeling one must always interact, keep busy and interacting.
Treatment Strategies Using the Divergent Meridians:
The pulse associated with Divergent pathologies is usually a pulse that reflects the same quality on both the superficial level and the deep level (as one goes deeper one should also slide toward the tendon). When the superficial quality is the same as the quality on the deep level, this indicates a Divergent meridian issue. The specific confluence is determined by the position in which this quality is felt, that is the U.B./Kidney confluence will be felt at the left third position, the G.B./Liver at the left second position, the Stomach/Spleen at the right second position, the S.I./Heart at the left first position, the S.J./Pericardium at the right third position, and the L.I./Lung at the right first position. (The disposition of Wei Qi can be said to reflect at the superficial level: tight indicating entrapment of Wei Q, rapid indicating Wei Qi moving out, and slow indicating Wei Qi moving in.)
One can choose one Divergent Confluence to work with based on symptoms (physical or emotional) of the particular Confluence (e.g. chronic fear of the unknown might indicate U.B./Kidney confluence, arthritic hip might indicate G.B./Liver confluence, etc.). In this case the Confluent points of this confluence are needled.
The Confluence is needled in a loop, starting with the bottom confluence, pointing the needle upwards, the upper confluence, pointing the needle upwards and/or to the opposite side, the opposite upper confluent point pointing downwards, and finally the opposite confluent, pointing downwards. If there is a symptomatic side one should start needling on the non-symptomatic side (pointing upwards) and end on the symptomatic side (pointing downwards). If the problem is not polar, end on the dominant-hand side (right side for right-handed person).
This means that for a right-handed person the U.B./Kidney confluent loop will be created by first needling left U.B.40 (lower confluent) pointing upwards, then left U.B.10 (upper confluent) pointing to the right, then right U.B.10 (upper confluent) pointing down, and lastly right U.B.40 (lower confluent) pointing down.
All needles are inserted at three depths: superficial, deep, and superficial (or ending at the deep level if one intention is at the Yuan level). They are taken out in the reverse order in which they were inserted.
Once the loop is created (making this a Divergent treatment) other points can be needled. These can be other points on the Divergent trajectory (e.g. DU9, S.I.10 in case of the U.B./Kidney confluence), or other points which have a resonance with either Yuan Qi (e.g. Yuan points, 8-Extra channel points, Front-Mu points), or Wei Qi (e.g. Jing-Well points, or the meeting points of the sinews: G.B.13, S.I.18, G.B.22, Ren3).
No more than 15 needles are used in one treatment. This is based on the idea that the expression of Jing is correlated to the lunar calendar. During the full moon the Yin/Jing is fuller, while during the new moon the Yang/Wei is fuller. Each day from the new moon to the full moon, one can add one needle, totaling 15 at the new moon, then one reduces the numbers of needles by one each day. (This is clearly impractical, and thus one simply keeps the rule of using less than 15 needles.)
Another method of using the Divergent meridians is to look at the whole unit. Here we can not isolate a particular confluence that is affected, but see the communication between Wei and Yuan being seriously disturbed. Here we see both Wei Qi moving in to the Yuan level producing Heat as well as Jing coming out as nodules and phlegm.
One way of using this model is to look at the manifestation of cancer. We can see it as three stages, initiation, promotion of perversity, and metastasis, each corresponding to two confluences. Initiation being in the domain of the U.B./Kidney and G.B./Liver domain. At this stage the Wei Qi is beginning to destroy the self, manifesting in the lower regions of the body. By working on these confluences, one is attempting to release Wei Qi (represented by the Liver) out of the Jing (represented by the Kidney). Once the perversity has been initiated, it will be trapped in the body if there are blockages in the lower region (a Jing area) of the body. Next come the confluences of the Stomach/Spleen and S.I./Heart. This is the promotion of perversity through malabsorption through both the Stomach and the Small Intestine. Transportation, absorption and separation are all being affected. The metastatic stage is in the domain of the S.J./Pericardium. These are attached to all three burners and spread things out (like the lymph system). Here the thoracic duct and lymph nodes are inflamed. Once the L.I./Lung confluence is involved there is no longer an ability to vent out toxins, and finally the breath stops.
In non-cancer terms one can use the Divergent system to understand Wasting and Thirsting. We might see this as Wind (Wei) moving into the Jing (brain, bones, marrow) burning it off, with the Jing stagnating, creating an inability to mobilize Kidney Yang. The result is a progression of saturation from top to bottom. At the top the symptoms are of Wind and Heat in the head: sinus congestion, swelling in the neck, thirst. At the centre, Phlegm and Dampness accumulate with symptoms affecting the Zang Fu such as nausea, irritability and restlessness. Finally at the lower level one see consumption of Jing with symptoms such as incontinence, cold joints and/or back, cold teeth. Here one can also work on the Divergent channels by level rather than by confluences. One can release the head and neck first using the Divergent upper Confluent points (Window of the Sky points: L.I.18, S.J.16, U.B.10). Free the diaphragm and centre by using Divergent points on the thorax (e.g., G.B.22, Ren17, ST12). And finally release the lower/pelvic region (Doorways to the Earth – G.B.30, U.B.40, ST30, ST31, Ren3).
Jeffrey Yuen recommends
starting at the top, releasing the Wei Qi around the eyes (U.B.1, ST1,
G.B.1), moving down to the cheeks (L.I.20, S.I.18) and to the neck (L.I.18,
S.J.16, U.B.10). This can be done one level at a time or the whole head
region can be released in one treatment. Then going through ST12 (and
ST15/ST16 – needling around the nipple is a stimulation of the
Jing), moving to release the thoracic area through Ren17, Ren22, G.B.22.
Moving down through Liv13 to the lower region to release Ren2/Ren3,
ST30/ST31. Jeffrey Yuen refers to this strategy as releasing the perversity
and pushing the Yang down to the Kidneys, to the Jing level, so it can
convert back to Jing. Once the lower/pelvic region is released, an escape
valve should be supplied through the back (U.B./Kidney Divergent) and
the treatment should converge into the Kidneys.
FAQ | Publications
| Testimonials | Services
Contact | Avi Magidoff | Links