The term “meridian lines” is used in a number of natural therapies with acupuncture being perhaps the best known. Meridian lines are invisible lines that carry energy throughout the body. Along these lines are points called meridian points. Meridian lines cannot be seen or felt like other systems in the body such as the circulatory or nervous system. When a person is in good (balanced) health, their meridian lines will be open and clear of blockages.
These meridian lines, or channels of energy, can be associated with the functioning of the body’s internal organs. Under healthy conditions, the energy will flow freely through the meridians. If the internal organs function abnormally, or abnormal external stimulation occurs, the energy will stagnate in the meridians and cause illness. In order to cure the illness, the blockage must be released and the flow of energy normalised. The whole meridian can be worked on evenly, or specific points can be concentrated upon.
The Twelve Main Meridian Lines
The twelve main meridian lines have been named after six “zang” and six “fu” organs. The relationship between the organ and the meridian exists in the functioning of the organs rather than in the actual organ itself.
1. The Lung Meridian – is the intake of Qi energy from the air for use by the body, and to build up resistance against any external intrusions. It also eliminates gasses that are not needed in the body through exhalation.
2. The Large Intestine Meridian – this meridian helps the function of the lung, and secretes and excretes from inside and outside the body. It also eliminates the stagnation of Qi energy.
3. The Spleen Meridian – is involved in digestion and the process of fermentation. In modern terms, the spleen is considered as being the pancreas, and the pancreas governs general digestion, and reproductive hormones related to the breasts and ovaries. Mental fatigue has a negative effect on the spleen and a lack of exercise will cause problems with digestion and also with the secretion of hormones.
4. The Stomach Meridian – this meridian is involved in the functioning of the stomach, esophagus, and duodenum, as well as the functioning of the reproductive, lactation, ovary, and appetite mechanism. It is also involved in the menstrual cycle.
5. The Heart Meridian – this represents compassion and thus governs emotions and the spirit. It is also responsible for the circulation of the blood and the total body through the brain and the five senses. This meridian is also the mechanism that adapts external stimulation to the body’s internal environment.
6. The Small Intestine Meridian – the small intestine governs the total body through the displacement and digestion of food. Anxiety, anger, nervous shock, and emotional excitement can affect the circulation of the blood, and the small intestine can actually cause blood stagnation that affects the body as a whole.
7. The Kidney Meridian - this meridian controls the spirit and energy to the body and governs resistance against mental stress by controlling hormone secretions. It also detoxifies and purifies the blood.
8. The Bladder Meridian – this is related to the mid-brain which cooperates with the kidney system and the pituitary gland. It is also connected to the autonomic nervous system related to the reproductive and urinary organs. It is also responsible for expelling urine.
9. The Heart Constrictor (Pericardium) Meridian – this meridian acts as a supplemental function of the heart related to the circulatory system, which includes the heart sac, the cardiac arteries and the system of arteries and veins. It is also responsible for total nutrition.
10. The Triple Heater (Sanjao) Meridian – this meridian acts as a supplemental function of the small intestine, and also controls the spirit and visceral organs that circulate energy to the entire body. It also protects the function of the lymphatic system. The upper heat is related to the chest, the middle heat to the solar plexus, and the heat above the navel and below is related to the peritoneum, as well as circulation to the extremities.
11. The Liver Meridian – this meridian stores nutrients and energy for physical activities. It also helps resists against disease and supplies, analyses and detoxifies blood in order to maintain physical energy.
12. The Gall Bladder Meridian – this meridian distributes nutrients throughout the body and balances the total energy through the help of internal hormones and secretions include bile, saliva, gastric acid, insulin, and intestinal hormones.