Science in Society Archive

Second International Congress on Acupuncture, 3-5 June 2005, Barcelona, Spain

Acupuncture, Coherent Energy and Liquid Crystalline Meridians

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho presents an update on how her theory of the organism provides a novel explanation for acupuncture and other forms of subtle energy medicines.

“There can be no real progress in conventional healthcare unless this theory is taken seriously,” says Dr. Mae-Wan Ho


The meridian theory of traditional Chinese medicine recognizes a vital energy, qi , circulating in nature and in our body. Within the body, qi is said to circulate through channels known as meridians, which interconnect the viscera and limbs and the deeper and superficial layers of the body in a branching network of increasingly fine mesh. The meridians and their acupuncture points have no known relationship with anatomical systems in western medicine, despite many attempts to search for correlations.

I show how traditional Chinese medical concepts, from the most general to the more specific, can be translated into contemporary Western science in a new physics of organisms.

The vital energy, qi , of traditional Chinese medicine corresponds to coherent energy in living organisms, which is stored everywhere over the entire range of space-times. Consequently any subtle influence arising anywhere will propagate throughout the system and become amplified into global effects. In other words, the system, by virtue of being full of coherent energy, will be ultra-sensitive to very weak signals; and this may be the basis of all forms of subtle energy medicine including acupuncture.

The living matrix is predisposed for the instantaneous, noiseless intercommunication that enables the organism to function as a perfectly coordinated whole because it is liquid crystalline, as we discovered in my laboratory in 1992. This liquid crystalline matrix, containing 70% by weight of water, permeates throughout the connective tissues and into the interior of every single cell. The water molecules are aligned in ordered layers along the extensive surfaces of macromolecules and are an integral part of the liquid crystalline continuum. It makes the living matrix highly responsive to changes in pressure, temperature, pH, and electrical polarization. The ordered layers of water in the matrix also support a special kind of ‘jump conduction' of protons (positive electric charge) that is much faster than nerve conduction and faster than ordinary electrical conduction through wires.

Ho and Knight [1] first proposed that the dynamically ordered layers of water molecules associated with the oriented collagen fibres in the connective tissues correspond to the acupuncture meridians, while acupuncture points correspond to gaps or junctions between the meridians (collagen fibres or connective tissue bundles). This hypothesis has received further collaboration from recent scientific findings, and new tests of the hypothesis are proposed.

Key words

FMRI and PET scans, coherent energy storage and mobilization, minimum dissipation, noiseless intercommunication, liquid crystalline matrix, interstitial connective tissue, biological water, oriented collagen fibres, proton jump conduction, SQUID magnetometer.

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Article first published 08/04/04

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