I just wrote this for the Survivor Extravaganza thread, if anyone's interested to take a look:
OK everyone, in response to TommyH's excellent question on 6 Mai Shen Jian, I have written a short article explaining, to the best of my knowledge, how this incredibly powerful skill works. I hope it helps to clear up some confusion.
There are 12 main channels (meridians) in the human body. Scientific research has concluded that these channels are electrically active and conducive to increased propagation and conductivity. Channels here refer to energy meridians which extend out of the human body through the limbs; therefore these channels are what 6 Mai Shen Jian makes use of.
Out of the 12 channels, 6 are Yin channels, and 6 are Yang. 6 extend through the fingers, and 6 through the toes. The 6 channels that extend out of the fingers are the ones made use of in 6 Mai Shen Jian, and they are:
1) The Lung Channel (taiyin fei jing) (extends out of the thumb)
2) The Large Intestine Channel (yangming wei jing) (extends out of the index finger)
3) The Heart Channel (shaoyin xin jing) (extends out of the pinky)
4) The Small Intestine Channel (taiyang xiaochang jing) (also extends out of the pinky – it connects with the Heart Channel)
5) The Pericardium Channel (jueyin xinbao jing) (extends out of the middle finger)
6) The Triple Burner Channel (shaoyang sanjiao jing) (extends out of the ring finger)
The 6 meridians mentioned above are also the exact same 6 meridians mentioned by Jin Yong in DEMI GODS AND SEMI DEVILS during his explanation of 6 Mai Shen Jian. Therefore we can be clear that these are the meridians and fingers that 6 Mai practitioners make use of to extend their sword qi. As you can see, 3 of these meridians are “yin” (1, 3, and 5), and the other 3 are “yang” (2, 4, and 6). Therefore 6 Mai Shen Jian maintains a balance between yin and yang energies. Furthermore, the 12 main energy meridians are “paired”, meaning each one is mirrored on the other side of the body in a symmetric balance. What does this mean for 6 Mai Shen Jian? Effectively, it means that all 10 fingers of the practitioner are used, giving him/her the ability to wield 12 swords simultaneously.
Many thanks to PJ for providing me with the relevant passages from DEMI GODS AND SEMI DEVILS.