The Eight Extraordinary Channels are one of the 5 Channel systems in Chinese Medicine, which include:
- The Primary Channels (what most acupuncturists use in treatments)
- The Eight Extraordinary Vessels (that treat the deepest levels of healing, what I like to say is akin to treating DNA)
- The Luo Channels (the offshoots of the blood vessels in the body that are responsible for spider veins)
- The Divergent Channels (for painful joints and other illnesses resulting from a build up of toxins in the body)
- The Sinew Channels (for working with the muscles and tendons)
The Eight Extraordinary Channels are the body’s main meridians when we are a developing fetus in the womb. Once we are born, our Primary Channels become activated, of which there are twelve. But the Eight Extraordinary Channels (or Vessels they are sometimes called) are still at work. They exist very deep in the body, and we like to think of them as more like working at a DNA level. They generally have to do with our development as children and how we incarnate into this world and lifetime. They are also part of the brilliant way our bodies deal with an overload of toxins. At any point, our bodies are processing toxins in the body. But what happens when the amount of toxins in the body is currently overloading the system, and your body cannot process them?
The body has the ability to put these toxins in a safe place, AWAY from the organs of the body. Instead of having those toxins float around and cause havoc, they get stored first in the joints, where they can be safely stored until such time that they can be purged. If the trauma is too great that the person cannot survive the level of toxicity being stored, the deepest level of storage is the Eight Extraordinary level, which we like to say is like our DNA. Because at that level, we are passing it on to our children because we cannot resolve it in our lifetime.
There are two main types of Eight Extraordinary Treatments we do.
Belt Channel Treatments
When life is too toxic, we store what we can’t handle in our “Belt,” which is the channel that runs around our middle. These treatments slowly dredge out these toxins and help our body process their release. These are not for the faint of heart. There was a reason we tucked those toxins away… they put us on overload back then, and releasing them can bring up a host of symptoms. However, if you have a chronic condition that just won’t budge, these treatments can be life transforming.
Early Development Treatments
- In utero, the first of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels represent having our every need met. We do not experience hunger or ever feeling along when our umbilical chord is attached to our mothers. However, after the cutting of that chord, we have to rely on Mom (or caregivers) to give us our every need. If you have had difficulty incarnating in this life or having a sense of being cared for, then this may be appropriate for you.
- The second of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels represents the mother’s role in caregiving and responding to the child. It is essential the attachment parenting philosophy. Many children for many different reasons did not develop a bond to their mothers in those early months of life and that lack can be the cause of all kinds of anxieties, a lifetime sense of loneliness or neediness, and a general sense of fear. If you have had these feelings most of your life, then this may be appropriate for you.
- The third of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels is the one that represents the traditional Father role. We get up out of Mother’s arms and walk toward our Father. It is our steps of independence in life and individuation from our Mother. It is also a critical time for brain development. If you’ve had issues of independence or disabilities related to brain development in that timeframe, then this may be appropriate for you.