East Meets West: Explaining the Energy System

Even though Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) was founded in the West, its origins are from the East. The foundational “Discovery Statement” written by EFT founder, Gary Craig says, “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.”

What is this so-called energy system? In ancient Chinese medicine, it is believed that life energy travels through the body using pathways called meridians. So, what is a meridian? Simply put, a meridian is an “energy highway” in the human body. Energy flows through this meridian accessing all parts of the body. Meridians can be mapped throughout the body, They flow within the body and not on the surface, meridians exist in corresponding pairs and each meridian has many acupuncture points along its path.

Putting needles along these meridians is thought to unblock stuck energy that in turn promotes healing. Emotional Freedom Technique is commonly called, “acupuncture without the needles.” The theory, as is stated in the Discovery Statement, is we can achieve emotional freedom by fixing the disruptions in this system, the cause of all negative emotions. But we tap on the acupressure points instead of using needles.

Until recently, conventional anatomy and physiology would not be able to identify these pathways in a physical sense in the way that blood vessels can be identified. But now Western science is hypothesizing what these meridians might be.

Auburn (Alabama) University Professor Vitaly Vodyanoy is among a select group of scientists in the world researching the primo-vascular system. Vodyanoy is building upon an initial primo-vascular system discovery made by North Korean scientist Bong Han Kim in the early 1960s.

Vodyanoy has used his personally invented, patented microscopy system to confirm the existence of a primo-vascular system that could provide a scientific foundation for acupuncture and other treatments.

He revealed for the first time in 2012 the microstructure of the miniscule, translucent system of vessels, subvessels and stem cell-filled nodes—together making up the primo-vascular system—running throughout a rat’s body, appearing in and on blood vessels, organ tissue and the lymphatic system.

Vodyanoy is testing his hypothesis that the nodes, when activated by acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, pressure or laser, release stem cells that flow to organs where they replace injured cells and become organ cells.

“Much of the misconception of acupuncture results from Qi often being labeled as a ‘special energy,’ making it seem mysterious, rather than defining it as a liquid containing stem cells with DNA,” he said. “We are pushing the boundaries of accepted or recognized anatomy and physiology,” Vodyanoy said. “Not many people are working on the primo-vascular system because it goes against current science concepts.”

Confirmation of Vodyanoy’s hypothesis could bring together the two medical philosophies of the East and the West, provide an unlimited source of individualized stem cells and bring new diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Even if his hypothesis is overturned, he says it will still bring a better understanding of the acupuncture meridian system’s fundamental properties and focus future acupuncture research on the combined actions of the nervous, circulatory, endocrine and immune systems.

“I am more excited about this project than any other in my career,” said Vodyanoy, who was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2013. He received a 2007 Nano 50 Award from NASA and two R&D 100 Awards by R&D Magazine in 2006 and 2007 for inventing his advanced microscopy system that allows scientists to observe nanostructures which cannot be seen with a conventional light microscope.

“In the second century AD, Galen described the blood circulatory system,” Vodyanoy concluded. “Fifteen hundred years later Thomas Bartholin discovered the lymphatic system. Medical advances from the acupuncture meridian system could be comparable to the discovery of the lymphatic system. We should not wait hundreds more years for this to happen.”