Today, when we say meridians, people immediately associate it with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). However, it was found out that the concept also exists in Ayurvedic medicine.
What Is Ayurvedic Medicine Exactly?
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient holistic healing system from India which is considered by experts as the oldest medicine system in the world. According to this system, each person has his or her own energy pattern that combines his or her physical, mental and emotional characteristics.
Prana is the ayurvedic counterpart of qi in Traditional Chinese medicine which is considered as the body’s life energy. In Sanskrit language, prana refers to vital life. Just like how qi is defined, prana could not be identified as an actual substance. Rather, it is seen as a vibratory power which can be obtained through food, water and even breathing. In Ayurveda, the air and the way we breathe are considered as very vital to our health.
Meridians in TCM also have its counterpart in Ayurveda medicine. In this ancient Indian healing method, meridians are referred to as nadis which are categorized into three subtypes, the pingala, ida and sushumna. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that human beings experience life through the flow of substances along the nadis. To remain healthy and fit, the flow of energy or prana should not be blocked.
In the physical body, nadis are said to be found in the respiratory, nervous systems, circulatory, digestive and other systems of the body. Whenever blockages occur, certain health conditions begin to occur. On the other hand, in the subtle body, the nadis are said to contain thoughts, nerve impulses and feelings. When the flow of prana is blocked, an individual begins to experience difficulties in communicating with his environment and he may even lose his connection to his self.
Defining The Three Major Nadis
Susumna or Sushumna is the nadis which runs along the spine centre from the crown chakra through the base chakra. The lower end of the base chakra remains closed unless the Kundalini gets awakened. Kundalini is said to be present in all human beings regardless of their spiritual practice or religión.
The awakening of the kundalini represents the advancement of the spirituality of a person. The process can be quick or slow depending on the person’s openness, surrender and practice. It is believed that most people have not experienced this phenomenon.
According to Ayurveda, the three main nadis meet at the Muladhara which is also referred to as the Yukta Triveni which literally means "combined three streams". The awakening of the kundalini is usually represented by a serpent which coiled itself into three and a half circle at the lower portion of the spine. The serpent is said to guard the central axis.
The Ida Nadi
On the other hand, ida nadi dominates the left side of the body. It plays responsible in regulating the functions of the parasympathetic nervous system of the body, brain activity as well as the restorative and rest processes of the body.
Ida is normally associated with being feminine. In fact, it is described as the white and moon energy which promotes rest, healing, creativity and calmness. If the Ida Nadi is dominant in one’s body, an individual is more inclined to arts such as singing, writing or he may become an expert chef or artist someday.
However, excessive dominance of the Ida Nadi is said to be associated with extreme depression, tiredness and introversion. This nadi is said to begin with the muladhara and ends with the left nostril.
The Pingala Nadi
This is the main nadi that controls the right side of the body which is associated with the functions of the sympathetic nervous system of the body. Aside from controlling the one’s brain activity, pingala nadi is also responsible in regulating the fight or flight response of the body.
The dominance of pingala nadi in the body produces the abilities of mathematicians and lawyers. To complement the ida nadi, pingala nadi is associated with masculinity. It is represented by the sun which is red and vitalising. Pingala nadi is said to dominate in us when we solve puzzles and play sports.
Now that we have discussed the similarities between ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine in terms of the presence of qi or prana and meridians or nadi, it shouldn’t be a surprise that acupuncture has also its counterpart in ayurveda. It’s called marmapuncture.