Nāḍi (the Sanskrit for "tube, pipe") are the channels through which, in traditional Indian medicine and spiritual science, the energies of the subtle body are said to flow. • They connect at special points of intensity called chakras and marmas. • Nadis are related to the meridians of traditional Chinese medicine.
Nadis are thought to carry a life force energy known as ‘prana’ in Sanskrit, or ‘qi’ 氣 in Chinese-based systems. • In particular prana (active) is supposed to circulate inside Pingala, while apana (passive) is supposed to circulate inside Ida • In Chinese Medicine, Ida and Pinghalaare analogous to Yin and Yang
The word nadi comes from the Sanskrit root nad meaning "channel", "stream", or "flow". The rhythmical breathing and special breathing techniques are supposed to influence the flow of these nadis or energetic currents • The two nadis are believed to be stimulated through different practices, including Pranayama (breathing techniques) • An example is NadiShodana, which involves alternate breathing through left and right nostrils, • This is said to alternately stimulate respectively the left and right sides of the brain.
The Main Nadis are Ida and Pingala which make up the Sushumnanadi, flowing up the spine from the perinium to the crown. • Many progressively smaller nadis are said to flow from this main nadi • In some tantric texts more than 72,000 nadis are cited
Sometimes the three main nadis (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna) are said to be related to the Caduceus of Hermes or the staff of asclepius (which is often used as a symbol in medicine)
Meridians • Meridians could be seen as almost equivalent to nadis • The Name 經絡 (Jing Luo) means channel/collateral and can be interpreted as river. • The acupuncture points along the meridian are ascribed categories with water analogies (e.g. well, spring, stream, river, sea
Functions • 1 Transporting qi and blood throughout the body and rendering the body an integrated whole • 2 Protecting the body • 3 Responding to dysfunction in the body • 4 The channels serve to transmit qi to the diseased area
There are 12 main Meridians Lung Large intestine Stomach Spleen Heart Small Intestine Bladder Kidney Triple Warmer Pericardium Liver Gall Bladder
The Meridians flow along the surface of the skin but also penetrate deeper into the body and their corresponding organ system
The 8 extra meridians • There are also 8 ‘extraordinary meridians’ which are said to be deeper reservoirs of qi • The two best known are the Ren (conception) and Du (governing) vessels • These may correspond to the sushumnanadi of yoga (where the ida and pingala energies rise through the chakras)
Marmas, Acupoints • Acupoints (Xue) 穴 are analogous to Marmas • These are like mini chakras