Magic Choral Trick #17 Central Meridian Sweep
One of the gifts given to us by Chinese medicine, and acupuncture (a 5,000 year old healing technique) is the knowledge that the body has energy pathways running through it, which can be stimulated in order to help the body accelerate healing.
The two really important energy pathways, or meridians, are the Central and the Governing. The Governing Meridian is a little tricky to ‘sweep’ because it runs from the tailbone, up the spine, over the back of the head, down over the nose and ends at the upper lip.
The Central Meridian goes from the groin, up the middle of the front of the body and ends at the lower lip.
The Central Meridian is the one that I have my choirs sweep – because they don’t have to be contortionists, and because it makes a wonderful, difference in the sound. The blend and the balance gets better, and the sound richer, and a little clearer.
For some odd reason I have met with some cultural resistance with starting the sweep at the Central Meridian’s actual point of origin! Fortunately, beginning the sweep at the lower belly still produces great results.
Here’s how to do the sweep:
Run the palm of the hand from the lower belly, in a swift movement, straight up against the body to the lower jaw and outwards into the air in front of the chin.
Do this quite swiftly – three times in a row.
This technique also works for soloists. I had asked a student one time to sing a passage. When he did, it sounded more open, free and clear than it had a few moments before. When I exclaimed about the sound he replied sheepishly, “Yeah, I swept when you weren’t looking.”