The main channels of vital energy or chi flow in the body were discovered by sages who observed the human fetus. The fetus absorbs nutrients and breaths through the umbilical chord from the mother. They observed from the fetus that the vital energy flows naturally from the centre at the belly button down to the perineum and up to the head, down from the tongue to the navel again. The navel point is said by the taoists to be the starting point for the flow of vital energy or chi, and remains the point from which energy can circulate and wherein energy can be stored.
Microcosmic Orbit Meditation
For a fetus baby this energy flows naturally through these two main channels in the body. As we enter the world this energy settles out into hot and cold parts of the body. The hot 'yang' energy rises to the upper part of the body and the cold 'yin' energy settles in the lower part. A young person usually has sufficient energy to keep the energy pathways flowing and avoid obstructions so that the body can remain sustained with energy. As we age the energy pathways become blocked due to traumas or physical and emotional tensions. This results in fatigue, weakness and poor health.
This can be avoided if we practice the microcosmic orbit meditation in order to keep the two main energy channels open. The microcosmic orbit practice allows one to return to a state of dynamic energy circulation which existed inside the womb. The energy which is circulates brings vital power to our internal organs, endocrine systems and every cell in the human body in order for them to function optimally. And so we return to our original, primordial self, like a child again.
These two main energetic channels, the functional and the governor channels, are like the main wiring of a house, which controls the current to all the other rooms and electric wiring inside the house. By opening the two main routes we allow current to flow in all other energy channels of the body, to their respected bodily organs and glands. This also allows for balancing the hot 'yang' energy from the “heavenly wire” from the top of the head, with the cool “yin” negatively charged energy from the earth wire from the earth. We balance the yin and yang, hot and cold, heaven and earth, balancing our physical, mental and emotional selves.
The ancient Taoist masters discovered two primary energy channels which carry an especially strong current.
The “Functional channel” begins at the base of the trunk, at the perineum, midway between the testicles and the anus. From here it goes upward to the front of the body along the sexual organs, stomach, heart and throat.
The “Governor channel” starts in the same place at the perineum and goes upward along the the tailbone and up though the spine into the brain and back down to the roof of the mouth.
When we practice the microcosmic orbit meditation we allow the tongue to touch the roof of the mouth. The tongue acts like an electric switch which allows the two energetic channels to connect energetically. This way the energy can flow up the spine and back down the front of the body, in a circle. The practice of circulating energy in this way is called the microcosmic orbit. The energy circulated during microcosmic orbit practice can then nourish the different cells of organs, glands, and nervous system so that they can function optimally.