A great deal of eastern or alternative medicine is based around meridians in the body discovered by the Chinese over 5000 years ago. These meridians are energy pathways that Qi (pronounced chee) flows through the body. When there is a blockage in these energy channels, issues can develop mentally, emotionally, or physically. A practitioner of eastern medicine would need to be just as knowledgeable of these meridians as a western doctor is with the physical body anatomy in order to be effective.
The meridians are yin yang pairs. There are twelve main meridians in the body. Each arm has six channels – 3 yin channels on the inside of the arm and 3 yang channels on the outside of the arm. Qi flows through the meridians starting from the chest area through the 3 yin channels in the arm to the hands where it flows back up through the 3 corresponding yang channels of the arm to the head. Once the energy reaches the head it flows down the 3 corresponding leg yang channels to the feet and then back up through the 3 corresponding leg yin channels to the chest.
Each meridian corresponds to a certain organ, which may not necessarily be equated to a physical organ. The Twelve Meridians relate as follows:
- Arm Tai Yin —–> Lung
- Arm Shao Yin —> Heart
- Arm Jue Yin —–> Pericardeum
- Arm Tai Yang —-> Small Intestine
- Arm Shao Yang –> San Jiao/Triple Burner
- Arm Yang Ming –> Large Intestine
- Leg Tai Yin ——–> Spleen
- Leg Shao Yin ——> Kidney
- Leg Jue Yin ——–> Liver
- Leg Tai Yang ——-> Bladder
- Leg Shao Yang —–> Gall Bladder
- Leg Yang Ming —–> Stomach
These meridians have points all along them where one can use healing methods such as acupressure, acupuncture or reiki to treat various illnesses of the body. It is very important that a practitioner understand these meridians and points well so that they can be effective in treating a person. These points along with the meridians affect the flow of energy and blood throughout the body. In addition to the 12 primary meridians, there are 8 extraordinary meridians which we will cover in another article this week.