First, what is the meridian system and did you know it runs through fascia?
The Bendable Body Method of stretching with resistance and contraction, stretches muscles, fascia plains, and along meridian pathways. Traditional Chinese Medicine identifies 16 major meridians - 14 traditional and 2 contemporary. Plus there are numerous secondary meridians.
Science has proven that these meridians or electrical current pathways travel through fascia.
When the meridian pathways are open (and a person is experiencing optimal health), they allow the flow of Qi (energy) to the body's tissues and organs.
Healthy fascia serves as the conductor - the pathway - for electric current in your body - which is essentially your energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it’s called Qi. When fascia becomes dry and stiff - or un-bendable - energy can’t pass through it. That stagnation in your body’s tissue translates into illness, pain, and lack of movement.
Stretching affects organs, physiological functions and emotions:
Different meridians service different organs. When meridian pathways become blocked, expect deterioration or ill-health in the associated organ/physiological and emotional functions. Because meridians reside in fascia, stretching with resistance to increase fascia health also un-blocks stagnant Qi and increases physiological and emotional health in predictable ways.
Getting Acupuncture after you stretch:
“I've been getting acupuncture for years. I recently started stretching using the Bendable Body Method. One morning I did a stretch flow for the whole body and went in for a treatment. My acupuncturist was blown away and wanted to know what I was doing. My channels were so much more open and receptive to the needling!” -Barbara Kaufman
When you go for acupuncture needles are placed in specific points along meridian channels to unblock and stimulate the flow of chi to the bodies organs and tissues. However, science tells us that meridian channels reside in fascia.*
The Bendable Body Method of stretching with resistance targets fascia tissue. Each stretch movement acts as an exfoliator for dense, dehydrated, unhealthy fascia. The more you stretch, the more your fascia returns to it’s original healthy state of primarily collagen and seawater. Because meridians reside it fascia, acupuncture results can be positively impacted when resistance stretching is incorporated in your lifestyle.
Try this stretching exercise to open up the Stomach Meridian Channel:
Pillar 1 - Start Postion: Hands interlaced behind target leg knee and helping ankle criss crossed on top of target leg shin.
Pillar 2 - Resist: Driving your target leg upward into your ankle ankle.
Pillar 3 - Lengthen for the Stretch with resistance throughout the movement: Using the helping leg to fold target at the knee.
Pillar 4 - Release and Return to the Start postion. Repeat Pillar 1.
*Try 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions and get up and walk around and see how your legs and hips feel!
*When you stretch the anterior lateral thigh - generally referred to as the lateral quadriceps - which the stomach meridian traverses, it can improve the health of your stomach functions and also associated ailments like allergies and emotional/psychological struggles like sobriety.