The two main energy channels of the body can be compared to the main wiring of a house. Imagine a trunk line which brings power from outside into the building’s service panel. This panel contains the circuit breakers that protect the inside wiring from short circuits and overloads. It also has the switches that control the current to all the rooms inside the house.
This inside wiring is like the “six special power routes” in the body used in higher levels of Taoist meditation that branch off from the Microcosmic Orbit. In higher levels there are additional “wires” for especially heavy loads of energy that might surge into the system — the “thrusting route” in the middle of the body is one such wire. Once your house, like your body, is properly wired and all the safety precautions have been made, it is ready to connect to the main utility company trunk line for power. You are ready to receive the power that comes from above and from beneath you without harm.
“Opening the routes” means clearing all obstructions that impede the flow of chi energy in their natural paths. Most obstructions take the form of physical, mental, or emotional tension. It helps to understand that these energy routes in the body are grounded in the larger balancing forces of nature which are exerting powerful influence over us at every moment. The healing power of natural forces can be tapped to help the body in clearing itself of the obstruction to its natural energy flow.
The route running down the front of the body (it may flow in an upward direction before the Microcosmic Orbit is linked together) the Functional Channel, has a yin, or cold nature. The route running up the back, the Governor Channel, is yang, or hot, in nature. The feet are said to be the ground or the “earthwire” and absorb