The muscle channels in TCM
Our bodies are always working towards balance. Each muscle relies on other structures to allow it to move. When a muscle is too tight, it impairs healthy blood flow and is unable to function optimally. It can form pockets of stagnation that results in pain and/or dysfunction. When a muscle is too weak, it causes the muscles around it to compensate for the weakness. This is often at a different location further along the pathway.
‘Jingjin’ is the term used to describe these muscle channels of the body. There are 12, and they correspond with the 12 main channels. They follow the connections between the muscles and fascia, often covering over several joints.
E.g. This image shows the Small Intestine Jingjin (on the left) and the Large Intestine Jingjin (on the right).
The use of Acupuncture (using this channel theory) and trigger points (also known as Ah Shi points) can help alleviate pain and restore proper functioning of the muscles and the surrounding structures. Herbal medicine can also be used to address internal patterns (e.g. Weak muscles could be due to a Spleen deficiency and tight muscles could be from a Liver imbalance.) Exercises are likely required to strengthen the weak muscles, and an integrative approach might be best suited 💪☺️