For centuries several traditional medical systems have depicted the body’s energetic anatomy or the energetic body in books and charts. Medical traditions from China, India, Japan and Tibet, as well as other countries all have described energy channels, also called meridians (jing-luo) or nadis, along which vital energy of the body (qi, prana) flows. Today many researchers associate life-force with a bio-electrical, bio-magnetic, bio-photon and vibrational energy phenomenon. Life exists because of the life-force and vital energy running through it, animating the body, ensuring we can move, breathe, digest food, think and even feel.

These ancient descriptions of energetic anatomy have been traditionally accepted and used as a basis for acupuncture theory and practice for over 2500 years. Since the early 1950s, researchers have tried to prove the physical existence of these energy channels or meridians. Much of the scientific skepticism of acupuncture has been in part around the unknown anatomical foundation for the existence of meridians. However, recently scientists at in Korea have confirmed the existence what they refer to as the “primo-vascular system.” This ongoing research has begun to help scientifically validate the existence of energetic anatomy and the traditional meridian system.

North Korean scientist Kim Bong-Han proposed that he had found tubular structures exist inside and outside of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels, as well as on the surface of internal organs and under the dermis. He believed they these corresponded to traditional meridian lines depicted in ancient texts. The structures were called ‘Bonghan ducts or channels’, after his research. Now the existence of this system in various organs has been corroborated by further research and is termed the ‘primo-vascular system (PVS)’.

Korean researchers now believe this PVS is in fact a part of the physical component of the acupuncture meridian system. It has also been suggested that this system is involved in channeling the flow of energy and information relayed by biophotons (electromagnetic waves of light) and DNA.

Korean scientists have extensively studied the primo-vascular system with biophysical methods, by injecting a special staining dye which colored the vessels. By injecting the dye into traditional acupuncture points, they were able to see thin lines. These did not show up at non-acupuncture point sites where there are no meridians. The researchers discovered that the meridian lines are not confined to the skin but are in fact a concrete duct system through which liquid flows. According to this research the PVS integrates the features of the cardiovascular, nervous, immune, and hormonal systems. It provides a physical substrate for the acupuncture points and meridians. Announcements of the morphological architectonics and the function of the PVS fundamentally changed the basic understanding of biology and medicine because the PVS is also involved in the development and the functions of living organisms.

The following are selected articles on meridians, the primo-vascular system (PVS) and Bonghan corpuscles and ducts.

The following are selected articles on the primo-vascular system (PVS) and Bonghan corpuscles and ducts.

An, Ping, Jingxing Dai, Zhendong Su, Jung-Sun Yoo, Rongmei Qu, Sung-Woo Lee, Ki-Hoon Eom, Kyang-Hee Bae, Hesheng Luo, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Putative primo-vascular system in mesentery of rats. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 3, no. 4 (2010): 232-240.

Chikly, Bruno, Paul Roberts, and Jorgen Quaghebeur. “Primo vascular system: a unique biological system shifting a medical paradigm.” J Am Osteopath Assoc 116, no. 1 (2016): 12-21.

Cho, Seong-Jin, Sang-Hun Lee, Wenji Zhang, Sae-Bhom Lee, Kwang-Ho Choi, Sun-Mi Choi, and Yeon-Hee Ryu. “Mathematical distinction in action potential between primo-vessels and smooth muscle.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 (2012).

Choi, Jae-Hong, Tae Hee Han, Chae Jeong Lim, So Yeong Lee, and Pan Dong Ryu. “Basic electrophysiological properties of cells in the organ surface primo vascular tissues of Rats.” In The Primo Vascular System, pp. 243-249. Springer, New York, NY, 2012.

Choi, Jae-Hong, Chae Jeong Lim, Tae Hee Han, Seul Ki Lee, So Yeong Lee, and Pan Dong Ryu. “TEA-sensitive currents contribute to membrane potential of organ surface primo-node cells in rats.” The Journal of membrane biology 239, no. 3 (2011): 167-175.

Fujiwara, S., and S. B. Yu. “Bonghan theory’morphological studies.” Igaku no Ayumi 60, no. 11 (1967): 567-577.

Ghiron, Chiara. “The Primo Vascular System as a Possible Exosomal Route Across the Body: Implications for Tumor Proliferation and Metastasis.” Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies 12, no. 1 (2019): 25-28.

Islam, Md Ashraful, Shelia D. Thomas, Kara J. Sedoris, Stephen P. Slone, Houda Alatassi, and Donald M. Miller. “Tumor-associated primo vascular system is derived from xenograft, not host.” Experimental and Molecular Pathology 94, no. 1 (2013): 84-90.

Jia, Zhao-Feng, Kwang-Sup Soh, Qiang Zhou, Bo Dong, and Wen-Hui Yu. “Study of novel threadlike structures on the intestinal fascia of dogs.” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 4, no. 2 (2011): 98-101.

Jia, Zhaofeng, Kwang-Sup Soh, Qiang Zhou, Bo Dong, and Wenhui Yu. “Observation of the primo vascular system on the fascia of dogs.” In The Primo Vascular System, pp. 71-75. Springer, New York, NY, 2012.

Jiang, Xiaowen, Hee-Kyeong Kim, Hak-Soo Shin, Byong-chon Lee, Chunho Choi, Kyung-Soon Soh, Byeung-Soo Cheun, Ku-youn Baik, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Method for observing intravascular Bonghan duct.” arXiv preprint physics/0211086 (2002).

Johng, Hyeon-Min, Jung Sun Yoo, Tae-Jong Yoon, Hak-Soo Shin, Byung-Cheon Lee, Changhoon Lee, Jin-Kyu Lee, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Use of magnetic nanoparticles to visualize threadlike structures inside lymphatic vessels of rats.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 4, no. 1 (2007): 77-82.

Jung, Sharon Jiyoon, Sang Yeon Cho, Kyoung-Hee Bae, Sun Hee Hwang, Byung-Cheon Lee, Sungchul Kim, Byoung Se Kwon, Hee Min Kwon, Yoon-Kyu Song, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Protocol for the observation of the primo vascular system in the lymph vessels of rabbits.” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 5, no. 5 (2012): 234-240.

Kim BH. Great Discovery in Biology and Medicine: Substance of Kyungrak. Pyongyang, North Korea: Foreign Languages Publishing House; 1962.

Kim BH. Study on the reality of acupuncture meridians [in Korean]. J Jo Sun Med. 1962; 9: 5-13.

Kim BH. On the Kyungrak system. J Acad Med Sci DPR Korea. 1963; 90: 1-41.

Kim BH. On the Kyungrak System. Pyongyang, North Korea: DPR Korea; 1964.

Kim BH. The Kyungrak system [in Korean]. J Jo Sun Med. 1965; 108: 1-38.

Kim BH. The sanal theory. J Acad Med Sci DPR Korea. 1965; 108: 39-62.

Kim BH. Sanals and hematopoiesis [in Korean]. J Jo Sun Med. 1965: 1-6.

Kim, Jungdae, Vyacheslav Ogay, Byung-Cheon Lee, Min-Su Kim, Inbin Lim, Hee-Jong Woo, Hi-Joon Park, Jan Kehr, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Catecholamine-producing novel endocrine organ: Bonghan system.” Medical Acupuncture 20, no. 2 (2008): 97-102.

Kim, Jungdae, Jonghyun Jung, and Michael Potroz. “Summary of Bong-Han Kim’s publications.” In The Primo Vascular System, pp. 7-17. Springer, New York, NY, 2012.

Kim, Min-Su, Ju-Young Hong, Su Hong, Byung-Cheon Lee, Chang-Hoon Nam, Hee-Jong Woo, Dae-In Kang, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Bong-Han corpuscles as possible stem cell niches on the organ-surfaces.” Journal of Pharmacopuncture 11, no. 1 (2008): 5-12.

Kim, Sungha, Sharon Jiyoon Jung, Sang Yeon Cho, Yoon Kyu Song, Kwang-Sup Soh, and Sungchul Kim. “A Method for the Observation of the Primo Vascular System in the Thoracic Duct of a Rat.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).

Kwon, Byoung S., Chang M. Ha, Sungsook Yu, Byung-Cheon Lee, Jae Y. Ro, and Sunhee Hwang. “Microscopic nodes and ducts inside lymphatics and on the surface of internal organs are rich in granulocytes and secretory granules.” Cytokine 60, no. 2 (2012): 587-592.

Kwon, Joonhyung, Ku Youn Baik, Byung-Cheon Lee, Kwang-Sup Soh, Nam Joo Lee, and Chi Jung Kang. “Scanning probe microscopy study of microcells from the organ surface Bonghan corpuscle.” Applied Physics Letters 90, no. 17 (2007): 173903.

Lee, Byung‐Cheon, Ku Youn Baik, Hyeon‐Min Johng, Tae Jeong Nam, Jawoong Lee, Baeckkyoung Sung, Chunho Choi et al. “Acridine orange staining method to reveal the characteristic features of an intravascular threadlike structure.” The Anatomical Record Part B: The New Anatomist: An Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists 278, no. 1 (2004): 27-30.

Lee, Byung‐Cheon, Jung Sun Yoo, Ku Youn Baik, Ki Woo Kim, and Kwang‐Sup Soh. “Novel threadlike structures (Bonghan ducts) inside lymphatic vessels of rabbits visualized with a Janus Green B staining method.” The Anatomical Record Part B: The New Anatomist: An Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists 286, no. 1 (2005): 1-7.

Lee, Byung-Cheon, Ku-Youn Baik, Hyeon-Min Johng, Baeck-Kyoung Sung, Kyung-Soon Soh, Dae-In Kang, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Fluorescent method for observing intravascular Bonghan duct.” Journal of Pharmacopuncture 8, no. 3 (2005): 5-9.

Lee, Byung‐Cheon, Jung Sun Yoo, Vyacheslav Ogay, Ki Woo Kim, Harald Dobberstein, Kwang‐Sup Soh, and Byung Soo Chang. “Electron microscopic study of novel threadlike structures on the surfaces of mammalian organs.” Microscopy Research and Technique 70, no. 1 (2007): 34-43.

Lee, Byung-Cheon, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Contrast-enhancing optical method to observe a Bonghan duct floating inside a lymph vessel of a rabbit.” Lymphology 41, no. 4 (2008): 178-185.

Lee, Byung-Cheon, Sungkwang Kim, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Novel anatomic structures in the brain and spinal cord of rabbit that may belong to the Bonghan system of potential acupuncture meridians.” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 1, no. 1 (2008): 29-35.

Lee, Byung-Cheon, Seong-Uk Jhang, Jae-Hong Choi, So-Yeong Lee, Pan-Dong Ryu, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “DiI staining of fine branches of Bonghan ducts on surface of rat abdominal organs.” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 2, no. 4 (2009): 301-305.

Lee, Byung-Cheon, Ki Woo Kim, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Visualizing the network of Bonghan ducts in the omentum and peritoneum by using Trypan blue.” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 2, no. 1 (2009): 66-70.

Lee, Byung-Cheon, Ki-Hoon Eom, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Primo-vessels and primo-nodes in rat brain, spine and sciatic nerve.” Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies 3, no. 2 (2010): 111-115.

Lee, Byung-Cheon, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Visualization of acupuncture meridians in the hypodermis of rat using trypan blue.” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 3, no. 1 (2010): 49-52.

Lee, Byung-Cheon, Hong Bae Kim, Baeckkyoung Sung, Ki Woo Kim, Jamin Sohn, Boram Son, Byung-Joon Chang, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Network of endocardial vessels.” Cardiology 118, no. 1 (2011): 1-7.

Lee, Byung-Cheon, Hong Bae Kim, Baeckkyoung Sung, Ki Woo Kim, Jamin Sohn, Boram Son, Byung-Joon Chang, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Structure of the sinus in the primo vessel inside the bovine cardiac chambers.” In The Primo Vascular System, pp. 57-62. Springer, New York, NY, 2012.

Lee, Changhoon, Seung–Kwon Seol, Byung–Cheon Lee, Young–Kwon Hong, Jung–Ho Je, and Kwang–Sup Soh. “Alcian blue staining method to visualize Bonghan threads inside large caliber lymphatic vessels and X-ray microtomography to reveal their microchannels.” Lymphatic Research and Biology 4, no. 4 (2006): 181-190.

Lee, Ho-Sung, Won-Hee Park, A-Reum Je, Hee-Seok Kweon, and Byung-Cheon Lee. “Evidence for novel structures (primo vessels and primo nodes) floating in the venous sinuses of rat brains.” Neuroscience Letters 522, no. 2 (2012): 98-102.

Lee, Soo Jae, Byung-Cheon Lee, Chang Hoon Nam, Won-Chul Lee, Seong-Uk Jhang, Hyung Soon Park, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Proteomic analysis for tissues and liquid from Bonghan ducts on rabbit intestinal surfaces.” Journal of Acupuncture and meridian studies 1, no. 2 (2008): 97-109.

Lee, Seung-Yoon, Byung-Cheon Lee, Kwang-Sup Soh, and Gil-Ja Jhon. “Development of the putative primo vascular system before the formation of vitelline vessels in chick embryos.” In The Primo Vascular System, pp. 77-82. Springer, New York, NY, 2012.

Lim, Jaekwan, Jong Hyun Jung, Sungwoo Lee, Zhendong Su, Zhou Qiang, Kwangsup Soh, Jin-Myung Cha, and Jin-Kyu Lee. “Estimating the density of fluorescent nanoparticles in the primo vessels in the fourth ventricle and the spinal cord of a rat.” Journal of Biomedical Optics 16, no. 11 (2011): 116010.

Liu, Jun-Ling, Xiang-Hong Jing, Hong Shi, Shu-Ping Chen, Wei He, Wan-Zhu Bai, and Bing Zhu. “Historical review about research on “Bonghan system” in China.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).

Nam, Min-Ho, Jaekwan Lim, Seung-Hoon Choi, Sungchul Kim, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “A primo vascular system underneath the superior sagittal sinus in the brain of a rabbit.” Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies 5, no. 5 (2012): 210-217.

Noh, Young-Il, Minsuk Rho, Yeong-Min Yoo, Sharon Jiyoon Jung, and Sang-Suk Lee. “Isolation and morphological features of primo vessels in rabbit lymph vessels.” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 5, no. 5 (2012): 201-205.

Ogay, Vyacheslav, Min Su Kim, Hyo Jun Seok, Cheon Joo Choi, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Catecholamine-storing cells at acupuncture points of rabbits.” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 1, no. 2 (2008): 83-90.

Ogay, Vyacheslav, Kyung Hee Bae, Ki Woo Kim, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Comparison of the characteristic features of Bonghan ducts, blood and lymphatic capillaries.” Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies 2, no. 2 (2009): 107-117.

Ogay, Vyacheslav, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Identification and characterization of small stem-like cells in the primo vascular system of adult animals.” In The primo vascular system, pp. 149-155. Springer, New York, NY, 2012.

Park, Sang-Hyun, Byung-Cheon Lee, Cheon-Joo Choi, Kwang-Sup Soh, Jae-Hong Choi, Soyeong Lee, and Pandong Ryu. “Bioelectrical study of bonghan corpuscles on organ surfaces in rats.” Journal of Korean Physical Society 55 (2009): 688.

Shin, Hak‐Soo, Hyeon‐Min Johng, Byung‐Cheon Lee, Sung‐Il Cho, Kyung‐Soon Soh, Ku‐Youn Baik, Jung‐Sun Yoo, and Kwang‐Sup Soh. “Feulgen reaction study of novel threadlike structures (Bonghan ducts) on the surfaces of mammalian organs.” The Anatomical Record Part B: The New Anatomist: An Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists 284, no. 1 (2005): 35-40.

Shin, H. S., and K. S. Soh. “Electrical method to detect a Bonghan duct inside blood vessels.” New Phys 45 (2002): 376-378.

Soh, Kwang-Sup. “Current state of research on the primo vascular system.” In The Primo Vascular System, pp. 25-39. Springer, New York, NY, 2012.

Soh, K. S., S. Hong, J. Y. Hong, B. C. Lee, and J. S. Yoo. “Immunohistochemical characterization of intravascular Bonghan duct.” Microcirculation 13 (2006): 166.

Soh, Kwang-Sup. “Bonghan circulatory system as an extension of acupuncture meridians.” Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies 2, no. 2 (2009): 93-106.

Soh, Kwang-Sup, Kyung A. Kang, and David K. Harrison, eds. The Primo Vascular System: Its Role in Cancer and Regeneration. Springer Science & Business Media, 2011.

Stefanov, Miroslav, and Jungdae Kim. “Primo vascular system as a new morphofunctional integrated system.” Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies 5, no. 5 (2012): 193-200.

Stefanov, Miroslav, Michael Potroz, Jungdae Kim, Jake Lim, Richard Cha, and Min-Ho Nam. “The primo vascular system as a new anatomical system.” Journal of acupuncture and meridian studies 6, no. 6 (2013): 331-338.

Sung, Baeckkyoung, Min Su Kim, Byung-Cheon Lee, Jung Sun Yoo, Sang-Hee Lee, Youn-Joong Kim, Ki-Woo Kim, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Measurement of flow speed in the channels of novel threadlike structures on the surfaces of mammalian organs.” Naturwissenschaften 95, no. 2 (2008): 117-124.

Yoo, Jung Sun, Min Su Kim, Vyacheslav Ogay, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “In vivo visualization of Bonghan ducts inside blood vessels of mice by using an Alcian blue staining method.” (2008).

Yoo, Jung Sun, Hong Bae Kim, Nayoun Won, Jiwon Bang, Sungjee Kim, Saeyoung Ahn, Byung-Cheon Lee, and Kwang-Sup Soh. “Evidence for an additional metastatic route: in vivo imaging of cancer cells in the primo-vascular system around tumors and organs.” Molecular Imaging and Biology 13, no. 3 (2011): 471-480.