The Meridians and the energy or “qi” or “chi” that flows through them are the cornerstone of Chinese medicine and it is believed that as long as the energy flows smoothly through the body, the person remains healthy. If there are any obstructions in this flow and the harmony in the person’s mind, spirit and body is broken, the person is likely to develop some ailment.
Network of Meridians
The meridians are like an intricate, though invisible network of channels that run through a person’s body connecting every single point from cells, organs, tendons, bones, skin and in short every atom of the body. Similar to the circulatory system, these channels or pathways link the upper part of the body to the lower and the outer sections to the inner. Aside from the connecting the physical and visible parts of the body, the channels also conduct a person’s emotions, thoughts and feelings through the body. Not only conscious feelings but subconscious ideas are also communicated to the body through this network
There are twelve meridians running vertically on each side of the body and these meridians correspond to twelve other meridians on the opposite side of the body. Each meridian links a particular organ of the body to the other organs and in essence, they help convey messages between them for the proper functioning of the person’s physiology. Though, it must be remembered that the organs as identified by Western medicine are different from those in Chinese medicine. Each meridian is closely linked to the other and is also dependent on the others. For instance, if the body temperature is too high or too low, messages are passed around to release sweat for cooling or raise the metabolism to create heat. The emotions the person feels are also passed to the body and reactions occur such as a rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, dizziness and so on.
Yin and Yang
Chinese medicine also believes that every meridian is a Yin and Yang pair; and the organs in a person’s body are identified as being either Yin or Yang. For example, the lungs, pericardium and heart are Yin channels while the large intestine, San Jiao and small intestine are corresponding Yang channels. In this way, all the organs are assigned as Yin and Yang. These channels also run through the arms and legs of the body and effectively conduct the chi or life force through them.
Aside from the twelve basic meridians, the body also has Extraordinary Meridians that create more detailed connections. They act as vessels to store the “qi” and blood and they also help to circulate the “wei qi” or defense energy through the torso of the body helping to resist ailments. They are also known to transmit the “jing” or essence that is connected to the kidneys.
Healers and Chinese medicine practitioners must understand the meridians and their functions in a person’s body just as Western medicine teaches doctors the anatomy and physiology of the body. Having studied how these channels work, healers can perform therapies like acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, acupressure, moxibustion, massages and many more. They can learn which meridians to target and stimulate and in this way, restore harmony in the body and heal the patient.
1. http://www.tcmworld. org/what-is-tcm/the-meridian-connection/#sthash.dZOmUyWb.dpuf
2. http://www.acos.o rg/articles/the-chinese-medicine-meridian-system/