Meridians are pathways of subtle energy that originate deep inside us, but that come to the surface of our body. The 12 Primary channels are 3 Yin Hand meridians, 3 Yang Hand meridians, 3 Yin Foot meridians and 3 Yang Foot meridians. These Primary channels correspond to the 12 organs and have many functions. Why are meridians important? Meridians regulate and direct blood, stimulate the flow of Qi to various areas of the body, and facilitate communication between the body, mind and consciousness. There is a flow of intelligence between various tissues (ligaments, muscles, bones, tendons, skin, sense organs, and limbs). The meridians flow from the face to the feet; the feet to the chest; the chest to the hands and the hands back to the face. ”Meridians support the “functional integrity of the whole” (Lad, 2008).
There are various methods used to transmit energy to imbalanced areas: needles, pressure-points, massage, heat and cupping). There is a rhythm to the flow of energy from Yin to Yang through the various organs at regular times within a 24 hour cycle for each system. These subtle energies nourish the body. They balance yin and yang. They protect us from and prevent various conditions known as the Six Evils: wind, cold, dampness, dryness, heat and fire (summer heat). This is done by keeping the pathogens at bay in superficial channels instead of penetrating deeper. The meridians spread out through the entire body, connecting all tissues and organs; binding them together as an organic unit.
There are really 72 channels of therapeutic importance: the 12 Primary meridians written above; 12 Dinomuscular meridians, 12 Transversal Lo Vessels, 12 Longitudinal Lo Vessels, 12 Divergent Meridians, 8 Extra-Ordinary Vessels, 3 Extra Longitudinal Vessels and 1 Huato Channel. I will not be delving into all of these, although two of the 8 Extra-Ordinary Vessels will be included: Governing and Conception Vessel.
Yin and Yang are the underlying principles of Chinese philosophy, Taoism, and medicine. Good health is believed to come from a balance of Yin (negative, dark, and feminine) and Yang (positive, bright, and masculine). Yin and Yang are not exclusively defined as male or female. Either sex can be considered yin or yang within a given context. Everything contains the seed of it’s opposite. That is why there is a black dot in the Yang side and a white dot in the Yin side of the Yin-Yang symbol. Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects (for instance, shadow cannot exist without light). There is a dynamic flow happening that automatically and continuously balances and rebalances these energies.
For every Yin organ, there is a Yang organ that pairs with it. They are as follows: Lung pairs with Large Intestine. Spleen pairs with Stomach. Heart pairs with Small Intestine. Kidney pairs with Bladder. Pericardium pairs with Triple Burner. Liver pairs with Gall Bladder. While on organ is at it’s peak, it’s paired organ is at its' weakest. Each paired organ is twelve hours apart within our 24 hour cycle. Using the Meridian Clock helps to pinpoint deficient and over-active meridian function. Energy Medicine uses tracing of meridians and acupressure points to transmit Qi healing energy to deficient and over-active organs. Sometimes there is a need to stimulate certain meridians and you may feel a warm energy or, if you can see colors, an orange energy stream moving in the normal direction. Other times there is a need to sedate certain meridians and you may feel a cool energy or see a blue stream of energy moving in the normal direction or against the normal direction.
Trace your meridians everyday to ensure there are no blockages in them and that they flow in the proper direction for optimal health. Another option is to schedule an appointment with me or a Polarity Therapist in your area. You can be lying on a table or standing up and have someone trained in Energy Medicine trace your meridians for you.
STOMACH MERIDIAN (7:00-9:00 a.m.) YANG
Descend from under the eyes and wrap around the jaw in front of the ears to the forehead. Go down through the eyes and neck and flare out to the collarbone. Move medially to sternum and down over the breast. Come in at the waist and down the front torso. Flare out at the knees and down the legs. Take a jag at the knees and off the second (“Air”) toe.
SPLEEN MERIDIAN (9:00-11:00 a.m.) YIN
Begin at the tip of the (“Ether”) big toe. Go up medially the inner leg, up across the groin, the stomach and through the diaphragm. Flare out at the hips and up the side of the rib cage and down the bottom of the rib cage. ( Connect with the stomach and heart meridian).
HEART MERIDIAN (11:00-1:00 p.m.) YIN
Begin in the heart. Spread over the heart system, pass through the diaphragm to connect with the small intestine. Bring your attention to the lungs, then move to under the armpit and trace down the inside of the arm and end at the tip of the “Earth” or pinky finger.
SMALL INTESTINE MERIDIAN (1:00-3:00 p.m.) YANG
Begin at the tip of the little finger (“Earth”) up the posterior side of the forearm to the back of the shoulders and ending at the back of the neck/scapula. Then move over to the neck and cheek until you come to the outer corner of the eye and end at the ear.
URINARY BLADDER MERIDIAN (3:00-5:00 p.m.) YANG
Begin at the inner portion of the eyelid and travel up and across the forehead to the back of the head and over to the crown. Two branches form here: Follow them as they travel down the back to the sacrum along the spine. And continue up to the waist and down between the buttocks and over to the back of the thighs. Move from behind the knee, where the two branches meet, travel between the calf along the Achilles tendon to the outside of the feet. Move in parallel lines from the shoulder down the spine to the buttocks and knee caps. From there, move down the calves to the outside of the little toe (“Earth”).
KIDNEY MERIDIAN (5:00-7:00 p.m.) YIN
Begin under the balls of the feet. Circle around the inside of the ankle bone up the inner leg and continue up the torso along the middle. Follow over the lung to just under the collarbone, next to the hollow of the throat (K-27).
PERICARDIUM MERIDIAN (7:00-9:00 p.m.) YIN
Begin at the lateral sides of the nipples. Ascend up over the shoulders and down inside the front of the arm to the hand and off the middle (“Fire”) finger.
TRIPLE BURNER MERIDIAN (9:00-11:00 p.m.) YANG
3 part Energy system: Thorax, abdomen, pelvis-
Palms down, begin at the tip of the ”water” or ring finger. Follow through the web of the 4th pinky finger to the wrist. Ascend between the radius and ulna, through the tip of the elbow. Continue up the outside (back) of the arm and move medially to the chest. Connect with the pericardium, upper burner, abdomen, middle and lower burners. Continue laterally to the collarbone and up the side of the neck. Then move around the back of the ear and split -one branch moves to forehead (gallbladder meridian) and one branch to the cheek (small intestine meridian).
GALL BLADDER MERIDIAN (11:00-1:00 a.m.) YANG
Begin at the outer corner of the eye, down under the ear and over the crown of the head to the hairline. Descend behind the ear and back up the near the temple. Follow it from the forehead above the center of the eye and move down the head to the bottom of the skull. Continue down the neck to the shoulder. Descend along the side along the ribs to the waist and pelvic. Follow down the outside of the leg to the ankle, ending on the lateral side of the “water” or fourth toe.
LIVER MERIDIAN (1:00-3:00 a.m.) YIN
Begin inside the big toe nail (“Ether”) and cross to the top of the foot and inside the ankle and up the inside of the leg. Pass the knee and along the inner thigh to the groin and pubic region and circulate the genitals. The meridian connects with the conception vessel in the lower abdomen. Follow the bottom of rib cage to the throat and eye and end at the crown of the head, where the meridian connects with the governing vessel. One branch circles the mouth. The other branch from within liver, reaches the lungs and starts the cycle of chi.
LUNG MERIDIAN (3:00-5:00 a.m.) YIN
Begin deep in the solar plexus (Middle Burner) and descend to the large intestine. Move up past the stomach and diaphragm and split into both lungs. Reunite the two lines and pass up the middle of the esophagus to the throat. Divide again. Surface in the hollow region near the front of the shoulders and down along the outside of the biceps. Continue down the forearms to the wrists and base of the thumbs and end at the corner of the thumbnail (“Ether”).
LARGE INTESTINE MERIDIAN (5:00-7:00 a.m.) YANG
Begin at the outside corner of the index finger (“Air”) and travel between two tendons of the thumb at the wrist joint to the outer edge of the arm to the elbow. Continue to the outside of the shoulder muscle and cross the shoulder blades. Follow upward to the muscle on the side of the neck to the cheek. Pass through lower gums, over the top lip and end beside the nostrils.
CONCEPTION VESSEL (YIN)
Ascends posteriorly from the pubic bone to the chin.
GOVERNING VESSEL (YANG)
Ascends anteriorly from the anus through the heart, over the back of the skull to the forehead and eyebrows.