Passages and Cavities
"Passages and Cavities" ( 關竅 guanqiao ) are terms used in Daoist medicine and Inner Alchemy ( 內丹 neidan ). They refer to the joints and cavities through which the inner breaths circulate. Chapter 57 "Techniques of the Vital Breath ( 氣 qi ) of Various Schools: on Gymnastics ( 導引 daoyin ) " in the Seven Slips of a Cloudy Satchel ( 雲笈七簽 yunji qiqian ) discusses the "flourishing Vital Breath". It says that this breath can "circulate body fluid and blood, strengthen bones and muscles, and sharpen passages and cavities". Daoists believe that the Essential Matter ( 精 jing ) can be refined into Vital Breath, and the latter in turn gets through passes. According to the theory of body channels of traditional medicine, along the Ren and Du channels, many acupuncture points are distributed as well as many passes. In Inner Alchemy cultivation, the mind guides the inner Vital Breath to get through these passes, which leads to a circulation in the whole body. Only when the three major passes, namely Weilu, Jiaji and Yuzhen are passed, can the Cosmic Orbit ( 周天 zhoutian ) skills be possibly attained. Therefore, to pass the passages and cavities is a very important step.