Our body has an energetic aspect, which the Chinese discovered over 3,000 years ago. It flows through certain channels in the body and relates to all regions and organs of the body. This channel system, called meridians, distributes Qi (energy) throughout the entire body.
Each of the 12 meridian has a direction of flow and they flow into one another. Keeping these lines/channels open is essential for healthy living. This wave of energy goes though each meridian for 2 hours in specific cycles (as shown below), completing a 24 hour cycle every day.
There are 12 primary channels
Six yang and six yin – each yin forms a pair with its yang
Stomach meridian (yang) – flows to the Spleen meridian (yin)
Heart meridian (yin) – flows to the Small Intestine meridian (yang)
Bladder meridian (yang) – flows to the Kidney meridian (yin)
Pericardium meridian (yin) – Flows to Triple Warmer meridian (yang)
Gallbladder meridian (yang) – Flows to the Liver meridian (yin)
Lung meridian (yin) – flows to the Large Intestine meridian (yang)
Governing Vessel – flows to the Conception Vessel
Diet, trauma, and emotions can have a profound impact on the meridians. It is necessary to release disturbed/excess energy from these channels.
There are 8 secondary channels which help connect the primary meridians. There are also 15 more channels which help communication between the channels, 12 tendon muscle channels, and many more smaller channels that run on the surface and help Qi and blood circulate.
On every channel, there are points where Qi is brought to the surface and these points can be used to help regulate the flow of Qi within the body. On the 14 main channels, there are 361 points. If you include all the other channels, there are over 2000.
Reflexology, acupressure, acupuncture, laser, and massage are methods used to keep these channels open. These methods are still used today in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The methods share a similar concept – use pressure points on the body’s meridians to open them up, relieve stress, and let the body’s natural healing ability take place.
Reflexology is used through the feet, hands, and sometimes the ears. Acupressure and acupuncture are similar; acupuncture uses needles, acupressure uses fingertips to apply pressure or to tap the points along the meridian. They were developed in Asia over 3,000 years ago – Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine), which is said to be the oldest medical textbook in the world.
Below is a breakdown of each of the meridians and what they are capable of healing when clear.
Small Intestine meridian
Triple Warmer meridian
Large Intestine meridian
Additionally, each organ is regulated and nourished by one of the Twelve Major Meridians. The 12 meridians are broken down into 5 primary categories – earth, fire, metal, water, and wood. Each of the six pairs of organs are governed by one of the Five Elemental Energies:
Earth – Stomach/Spleen
Fire – Heart/Small Intestine
Water – Bladder/Kidney
Metal – Lung/Large Intestine
The picture below shows how each organ flows into the next and how they are all related and dependent on each other.