I believe the TCM theory is basic on meridian theory, and the meridian theory is basic on astronomy and Geography.
In TCM theory, human being's body is connected by the environment sky and earth, the stars like the points on the body is the energy field spread condtion, and it is the same as the energy field condition on the earth.
Ancient Chinese found and made 12 longitudes and latitudes on the earth to locate the earth condition on the earth map, the same, put them on the sky to locate the star system on the sky map. And they found the human body also has the same meridian system, 12 meridians and Dai meridians, the meridians system is for locate the acupuncture points on body, shows the human body's energy field condition. Di Zhi is longitude, Tian Gan is latitude. Longitude is 12 mainly meridians, Tian Gan is Dai meridians, and I found there are more than one Dai meridians on human body. 361 points means 361 luminaries, plus 4 directions god star luminaries(4 gate points), also means 4 seasons, totally are 365 number, also means one year days number. The star energy move in the sky like the Qi move in body's meridian system from point to point, they have certainly orbits. To coordinate the body's energy movement to sky stars energy movement can help body health condtion, because in TCM theory, there is a sentence said: sky and human is one unite(天人合一), that mean human body energy system is same as universe energy system, same move steps, if the body qi movement go upset or blocked not follow the same steps of universe stars movement orbits, the human body will be sick, so the acupuncture is through stimulate the points on body meridian system, to adjust the Qi movement cooperate to the universe energy frequency for body health.(The picture is from Daoism book <性命圭旨>).
How would you explain the early occurence of 11 channels? The moxa texts in the Ma Wang Dui archaelogical sites from 200BC only show 11 channels. There is some debate whether this misses Heart or Pericardium. But of course the Nei Jing suggests that the Hand Shao Yin was apparently not included originally.
You may be interested to know:
Taoist Yoga mentions three Dai Mai - the lower (the usual acupuncture one), middle at CV.17 and SP.21 level, and upper at Yin Tang (GV.24.5) level.
About Ma Wang Dui <Leg & hand eleven meridians map>
2000 years ago, ancient Chinese people just found leg and hand eleven meridians, and they believe the Ht and Pc merdians are the same meridian, till the time of began, people found Pc meridian and name them leg and hand three yin and three yang meridians. 马王堆.jpg
The "Leg and Hand eleven meridians moxa Jing" is the most early book about TCM meridian system from Chinese archaeology, it's wrotten year is about ChunQiu times(Spring & Autumn times) of China, "Huang Di Nei Jing" was wrotten at about ZhanGuo times(war countries times) of China.
I probably phrased my question poorly. I know the things you have stated. My question is that if the acupuncture channel system was based upon the geographic system, how would you explain the former having only 11 at one time? Perhaps you did not mean to suggest an historical development.
Yes, at very beginning, people just found 11 meridians, till times' change, people found more and more, the TCM theory become more systemly, at Ming dynasty, Chinese Daoism people put philosophy theory into TCM system, and astronomerist put their calender knowlegde to coordinate TCM theory, So the TCM theory become more and more improved, and my article is my personal idea
Fair enough. I find the numerological aspects of Chinese cosmology and natural science incredibly interesting. Where I find a need for caution is that sometimes the numerology can became a dogma that could get in the way of empirical modification.