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The Science Behind Meridan Theory by Shui Yin Lo, Ph.D Physics

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The Biophysics Basis for Meridian and Acupoint Theory
by Shui Yin Lo, Ph.D. Physics


Dr. Lo and water

Thank you for coming to my site,, which focuses on our work at Quantum Health Research Institute in establishing evidence of meridian and acupoints and a theory of how these work in health and healing.


The Documentation of Meridian Theory

Meridians are defined as the lines of energy that connect acupoints and are conduits for qi. Acupoints are particular bodily locations that allow practitioners to balance clients' qi to affect therapeutic changes with acupuncture or acupressure. (Mosby's Dictionary of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (c) 2005, Elsevier).

Meridians and acupoints are the basis of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The Western health care system, in general, and Wikipedia, in particular, are reluctant to believe in meridians and acupoints. This is primarily because they can't be seen. Doctors and researchers in the West may be deterred by this invisibility, but theoretical and quantum physicists frequently work in the area of the unseen.

If there seems to be a recognized effect, some predictability, then we search for ways in which to prove existence by means other than direct vision. I am a quantum, mathematical and theoretical physicist and I would like to share my story of researching meridian theory and attempting to establish a hypothesis for the effectiveness of TCM.

Many who challenge the legitimacy of TCM use the placebo effect to explain pain relief, illness intervention and a movement towards health. But to me, this didn't make sense. The Chinese have used these techniques for several thousand years and traditional medicine continues its popularity today.

It is not just the East that believes in these methods. In the 1970s, when the relationship between China and the United States opened up, Americans were introduced to TCM, primarily in the form of acupuncture. Over the ensuing decades, it has become more and more accepted.

By 2007, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine announced that 3.1 million people in the U.S. had used acupuncture. Today, many insurance companies pay for TCM, and even the United States Army is using acupuncture. They are calling it battlefield acupuncture. Could this many people, over that many years, turn to a technique simply because it helped them believe they would be healed by it? I didn't think so. There had to be a science behind TCM.

As often occurs in scientific discoveries, a number of elements came together to lead me down the path of meridian/acupoint research. The first is quite personal. When I turned forty, I began to detect a slight decrease in my energy. As I was born in China, I knew many people who believe that TCM can slow the aging process and move people closer to health. I began to do some qi exercises, and to think about why (TCM) might work and how it could be scientifically proven.

The second catalyst was my introduction to medical-grade infrared photography or thermography. Many practitioners of TCM believe that the acupuncture points can be identified by heat--the hotter the temperature, the more likely the presence of inflammation or illness. Too little heat might indicate a blockage.

I reasoned that the this very sensitive, medical-grade infrared camera might be able to capture temperature variations correlating to acupoints along the meridians. This is what occurred when I tested this hypothesis:

I was far from the first to use thermography in health screening. It is believed that cancer may be detected up to ten years earlier via thermography, as opposed to mammograms. What's more, thermography emits no harmful rays that may contribute to health issues. As a result, more and more woman are opting for thermography instead of mammograms.

A thermograph is a picture of the heat (and cold) levels in your body. Since cancer has a very high metabolism, it is slightly hotter than the normal tissues surrounding it and can be detected by a competent thermographer.

This image is from a medical-grade breast thermography scan. It was not taken by me or by the Quantum Health Research Institute.

Image taken in breast thermography, thermography is more and more replacing mamograms as you can see issue earier and there are no harmful xrays.


When thermographic images are loaded into specially-designed software, temperatures manifest themselves as color. White is the hottest, followed by red, then orange, then yellow. In general, green indicates health.

As you can see, the white areas indicate potential issues for this subject.

The camera can't capture body temperature through fabric or hair; areas obscured by hair or clothing show up as black or blue.

Black or blue may also indicate cool surface temperatures, which may point to health issues.

TCM practitioners believe the meridians link and balance all the organs and systems of our body. It is my hypothesis that this system exists on the molecular level and is water-based. Please visit for more details on my theory of a water-based meridian system.

This site you are currently visiting focuses on our merdian research using infrared photography. Our method is to correlate established acupoints with health history information sheets filled out by people coming in for imaging.

I have hypothesized that we may be able to predict where hot spots will appear, given certain health issues. We may also be able to detect the presence of undiagnosed health issues when areas manifest unusually high or low temperatures.

We've performed and analyzed thousands of scans, yielding fascinating results we hope will be used to prove the existence of meridian theory.

Our object now is to make many people aware of our work in meridian theory. Meanwhile, we will continue gathering data to convince the health care community of the scientific basis for traditional Chinese medicine.

TCM has many advantages. It is low-cost, can aid in early diagnosis, and focuses on health maintenance. The unity of Western medicine and TCM will bring about a more efficient and effective worldwide health system.

We begin with an image of a healthy teen. health image teen health teens back

Example: Stomach


Stomach issues are predicted by these meridian points. stomach meridan figure

stomach issues and stomach meridians


Kidney meridians issues seen in leg acupoints. kidney meridan leg


kidney meridians


Thyroid Issues Indicated by ST (stomach) meridian thyroid indicated by st 11 and st12

thyroid images
Thyroid issues are common in subjects over 50 years old.

When a person with a thyroid disorder is imaged, the front of the neck--where the thryoid gland is located--does not manifest a higher temperature. The infrared camera doesn't seem to be able to be able to penetrate the surrounding tissue.

We do, however, find a high predictability of thyroid issues when excess heat is detected in theneck acupoints ST 11 to ST 12.

Lung meridian lung meridan figure

lung meridan chest meridan arms

The above image shows a woman with definite lung issues. The day after the imaging,
she was taken to emergency and then admitted to the hospital for respiratory problems.


Arm imaging: heart meridian

Images of adults with known heart issues show white at the PC 3

heart meridian

woman with some heart issues along heart meridan

adult with white meridan points on arm.


The significance of using infrared imaging combined with meridian theory is illustrated by this next set of images, which were taken of a 10-year-old child.

The boy was with his grandfather, who had come into QHRI for his own images. As part of our research is on autistic children and we had few images of healthy childred, we suggested that the boy be photographed as well.

The boy's head, chest and back looked healthy, like those of the subject in the first infrared photos on this page. But when we got to his heart meridian, it was obvious something was wrong.

Child's heart meridan taken QHRI image of child with evident heart issues

The Ht 3 acupuncture point was very hot and the boy's fingers were black, indicating a possible lack of circulation. It was only after the images were taken that the grandfather told me the boy's mother had died of heart problems at 21 years of age, leaving the grandparents to raise her two children.

The thermographic imaging indicated that the boy may have inherited significant heart problems, as yet undetected by his pediatrician. (Images taken of patients' chests via medical-grade cameras do not reveal heart issues.)

Meridian theory combined with thermography points to a likely health issue. We are grateful that we suggested imaging for this apparently healthy child. As a result, this family can seek proper treatment for the boy.

We have many more scans than we were able to display on this page. For fluency in two languages get simultaneous interpretation equipment, experienced technicians, and translated materials for your participants is available. We continue to perform thermographic imaging in our Pasadena, CA office. Our goal is 10,000 images with specific temperature analyses, enough to convince even the most skeptical of the existence of meridians and acupoints. If you are interested in participating in our meridean theory research, contact us at



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