The Lung Meridian is a Yin Meridian and controls breath and energy.
It is paired with the Large Intestine Meridian.
Known as the 'Prime Minister', the lungs control breath and energy and assist the 'King' heart with the circulation of blood. The Internal Medicine Classic states: 'Energy is the commander of blood; when energy moves, blood follows. Blood is the mother of energy; where blood goes, energy follows.'
This intimate relationship between breath and pulse, blood and energy, is the basis of Chinese breathing exercises.
Breathing controls cellular respiration, and shallow irregular breathing is therefore a major cause of low vitality and insufficient metabolism.
The lungs also control the skin, which 'breathes' via the opening and closing of pores and is responsible for adjusting body temperature through perspiration and shivering.
Breathing directly controls the autonomous nervous system, and this relationship is the basis for almost every system of yoga and meditation. By regulating the autonomous nervous system and governing energy and pulse, breathing forms a direct bridge between body and mind and may be utilized to keep the two in balance.
It is said that the Lungs are "the priest" or The Minister of Heaven and are responsible for establishing the foundation of Qi for the entire body. The Lungs house the body's Seven Corporeal Souls (Po) and are responsible for self-protection and self-preservation.
Functions: Accepts pure fluids from spleen, which are then mixed with air, and circulated through the meridians, circulates Wei Qi.
Physical Branches: Nose, skin, body hair, mucus.
Disappointment, sadness, grief, despair, anxiety, shame and sorrow.
Righteousness, dignity, integrity and high
Peak Hours: 3am-5am
The lung channel begins deep in the solar plexus region (middle burner) and descends to meet the large intestine.
Winding up past the stomach, it crosses the diaphragm, divides, and enters the lungs.
It then re-unites, passes up the middle of the windpipe to the throat and divides again, surfacing in the hollow region near the front of the shoulder (LU-1).
From here it passes over the shoulder and down the anterior (front) aspect of the arm along the outer border of the biceps muscle.
It reaches the outside of the biceps tendon in the elbow crease (LU-5), and continues down the forearm to the wrist just above the base of the thumb (LU-9).
The channel crosses the height of the thumb muscle to finish at the corner of the thumbnail.
The Meridian Elements
Each Meridian is related to an Element:
Earth, Metal, Fire, Wood or Water.
Understanding the five meridian elements,
gives us tools for treatment...
The Meridian Clock
Each Meridian is most active at certain times of the day/night.
The Meridian Clock is helpful in pin-pointing deficient or over-active
Studying the meridian pathways and Acupressure points for transmitting Qi healing energy is key to
transformational energy work.
For centuries, in China, Japan, Tibet, India and other countries, life has been considered as a bio-electrical/vibrational energy phenomenon.
It is only because of the existence of this energy in our body that we can move, breathe, digest food… think and even feel.
This energy is called 'Prana', 'Chetana' or 'Qi' (Chi). Qi is composed of two kinds of forces:'Yin' and 'Yang'. A person remains in good health if there is harmony and balance between these two forces.
If the balance is disturbed, that is, if the flow of one of these forces is greater than the other, illness arises. These forces – energies – flow through definite channels in the body, called 'body meridians' (body's healing energy pathways).
Meridian massage therapy (Meridian flush and Meridian tapping) and Acupressure - use the Acupressure meridian chart - (as well as Acupuncture and other energy flow techniques) promote balance and health.
Energy blockages whether from stress, an injury or trauma, or bad living habits (diet,habits/addictions, lack of exercise) can be traced to the root of all health (physical/mental/spiritual) problems.
Our energy flow affects how we feel, how we think, and our health situation. When the body's life-force energy (Qi) becomes blocked, various imbalances result.
12 Paired Meridians
Meridian Pairs complement each other -
one Yin (energy flowing up ↑)
one Yang (energy flowing down ↓)
↑ Lung meridian (yin) flows to the ↓ Large Intestine meridian (yang)
↓ Stomach meridian (yang) flows to the ↑ Spleen meridian (yin)
↑ Heart meridian (yin) flows to the ↓ Small Intestine meridian (yang)
↑ Pericardium meridian (yin) flows to ↓ Triple Energizer meridian (yang)
↓ Bladder meridian (yang) flows to the ↑ Kidney meridian (yin)
↓ Gallbladder meridian (yang) flows to the ↑ Liver meridian (yin)
2 Single Meridians
Governing Vessel – flows to the Conception Vessel
LARGE INTESTINE MERIDIAN
The Large Intestine Meridian is a Yang meridian
and Paired with the Lung Meridian.
The large intestine is called the 'Minister of Transportation'. It controls the transformation of digestive wastes from liquid to solid state and transports the solids onwards and outwards for excretion through the rectum.
It plays a major role in the balance and purity of bodily fluids and assists the lungs in controlling the skin's pores and perspiration.
Coupled with the lungs by Metal energy, the large intestine depends on the lungs for movement via the expansion and contraction of the diaphragm, which works like a pump to give impetus to peristalsis by regulating abdominal pressure. Thus sluggish bowels may be stimulated and constipation cured by deep diaphragmic breathing and by tonifying lung energy. Conversely, congested lungs and clogged bronchial passages may be cleared by purging the bowels.
The large intestine channel begins by the outside corner of the index fingernail.
It runs along the edge of the finger, between the two tendons of the thumb at the wrist joint (LI-5) and along the bony margin of the outer edge of the arm (the radius bone) to the elbow.
The point LI-11 is situated at the outside of the elbow crease, which is visible when the arm is bent.
From here the channel continues to the point LI-15 on the outside of the shoulder muscle.
It then crosses the shoulder blade and meets the governing vessel below the 7th cervical vertebrae at point GV-14.
It descends internally to connect first with the lung and then the large intestine.
From the shoulder a branch travels upward over the muscle at the side of the neck (sterno-cleido-mastoid) to the cheek, passing through the lower gums, then over the top lip.
It terminates beside the opposite nostril, where it links to the stomach channel.
The Large Intestine relationship to the Lungs makes it equally affected by the emotions of sadness, grief, and worry.
Strong emotions of fear or panic can produce an energetic-stool reflex reaction in the Large Intestine resulting in a spontaneous defecation.
Functions: Absorption of fluids, elimination of solid wastes.
Nose, skin, body hair, mucus.
The Large Intestine is affected by the emotions of sadness, grief, and worry.
Physical weakness and provoke emotional introversion, accompanied by feelings of depression, irritability, discouragement, distress and apathy and low self-esteem.
Peak Hours: 5am-7am
The Stomach Meridian is a Yang Meridian and is paired with the Spleen yin meridian.
The stomach is called the 'Minister of the Mill' and is also known as the 'Sea of Nourishment'. Because it is responsible for providing the entire system with postnatal energy from the digestion of food and fluids, it is regarded as the 'Root of Postnatal Life'. In addition to digesting bulk foods and fluids and moving them onwards to the small intestine for extraction and assimilation of nutrients, the stomach also extracts pure postnatal energy from foods and fluids, and in coordination with spleen energy it transports this food energy through the meridian system to the lungs, where it combines with air energy from breathing. This is a function of the stomach not acknowledged in Western medicine, which focuses only on the biochemistry of digestion and does not recognize the bioenergetic aspect.
Governed by pivotal Earth energy, the stomach is responsible for extracting and balancing all five elemental energies from foods and fluids ingested through the mouth, which it shares with the spleen as its external aperture. Any dysfunction of the stomach results in an immediate deficiency or imbalance in the nourishing energy channeled from the stomach to other organs.
Element: Earth element with strong nurturing qualities.
Functions: Extracts pure postnatal energy from foods and fluids.
Muscles, lips, mouth, saliva
The Stomach influences the mental state; an Excess condition can agitate the mind and cause mental symptoms such as: mania or hypomania, confusion, severe anxiety, and hyperactivity.
Peak Hours: 7-9 am
Starting beside the nose, near LI-20, the stomach channel meets the bladder channel at point BL-1 on the forehead.
From ST-1, just below the eye, it passes into the upper gums and around the mouth to link with the governing and conception vessels.
Next, via the lower gums, it ascends in front of the ear to the forehead.
From the jaw it descends alongside the throat to the collarbone region, where an internal branch descends to meet the stomach and spleen.
The superficial path continues down over the abdomen to the pubic area, where a second internal branch from the stomach rejoins it.
The channel continues down the anterior thigh, passing just to the outside of the kneecap.
At ST-36, below the knee, the channel divides again. The surface branch runs down the leg beside the shinbone, ending on the outside of the second toe.
The deeper branch descends to the middle toe.
From the top of the foot a connection runs to the spleen channel.
The Spleen Meridian is a Yin Meridian and is paired with the stomach yang meridian.
In Chinese medicine, the function of the spleen organ-energy system includes the pancreas. Called the 'Minister of the Granary', the spleen and pancreas control extraction and assimilation of nutrients from food and fluids by providing the digestive enzymes and energy required by the stomach and small intestine. They regulate the quantity and quality of blood in circulation and coordinate with the kidneys to control fluid balance throughout the system. Spleen energy commands extraction of energy from stomach to lungs, where it is blended with energy from air to form True Human Energy. The spleen directly influences and is reflected by the tone and condition of muscle tissue. Weak limbs and muscular atrophy are indications of deficient spleen energy.
Spleen and pancreas condition is reflected externally by the color and tone of the lips: reddish moist lips indicate strong spleen function; pale dry lips are a sign of weak spleen function. The mouth is the spleen's external aperture, and temperamental moodiness is its associated emotion. The Chinese term for 'bad temper' is 'bad spleen energy', a psychophysiological association also reflected in the English term 'splenetic'.
The Spleen houses the body's thoughts and intentions, and is responsible for analytical thinking, memory, cognition, intelligence, and ideas.
The Spleen is responsible for directing memories to the Kidneys for short-term memory storage. The Kidneys will later transfer these memories to the Heart for long-term memory storage.
Functions: Cleanses and 'modifies' the blood.
Muscles, lips, mouth, saliva, lymphatic system.
Worry, excessive thinking, pensiveness, obsessiveness, remorse, regret, obsessions, and self-doubt.
When Balanced: Trust, honesty, openness, acceptance, equanimity, balance, and impartiality.
Peak Hours: 9am-11am
Beginning on the inside tip of the big toe, the spleen channel follows the inner aspect of the foot to the arch, then turns up in front of the inner ankle to SP-6.
It continues up the leg, just behind the bone, crossing the knee and ascending the anterior thigh from the inner border of the kneecap.
From the groin it enters the lower abdomen, meets the conception vessel, then resurfaces briefly before penetrating the spleen and stomach.
The main channel then ascends through the diaphragm, over the chest, and crosses the lung channel at LU-1.
It continues up to the esophagus and under the tongue.
An inner branch from the stomach region transports qi up to the heart.
The Heart Meridian is a Yin Meridian and is paired with the Small Intestine meridian.
The heart is called the 'King' of the organs. The Internal Medicine Classic states: 'The heart commands all of the organs and viscera, houses the spirit, and controls the emotions.' In Chinese, the word for 'heart' (shin) is also used to denote 'mind'. When the heart is strong and steady, it controls the emotions; when it is weak and wavering, the emotions rebel and prey upon the heart mind, which then loses its command over the body.
Physiologically, the heart controls the circulation and distribution of blood, and therefore all the other organs depend upon it for sustenance. Thoughts and emotions influence the function of various organs via pulse and blood pressure, which are controlled by the heart, where emotions arise.
Internally, the heart is functionally associated with the thymus gland, which is located in the same cavity and forms a mainstay of the immune system. Extreme emotions such as grief and anger have an immediate suppressive effect on the immune system by inhibiting thymus function, a phenomenon that has long been observed but little understood in Western medicine.
Externally, the heart is related to the tongue, to which it is connected by the heart muscle. The color and texture of the tongue thus reflect the condition of the heart. Speech impediments such as stuttering and mutism are often caused by dysfunction or imbalance in heart energy. Facial complexion, which is a direct reflection of blood circulation, is also a major external indicator of heart function. Fire energy makes the heart the dominant organ of summer, during which season the heart must increase circulation to the surface in order to dissipate excess body heat.
It is only recently that the intelligence system of the heart has been discovered. The heart is not just a pumping machine. It is an intelligence system. It is in fact the most intelligent system of all our brains, with its own receptors, its own electromagnetic force, from 45 to 70 times more powerful than the brains of the neocortex, and the only force capable of changing our own DNA.
Long-term memory, thinking, emotions, intimacy, cognition, intelligence, and ideas are all dominated by the function of the Heart. The Heart is sometimes called The Emperor, or "supreme controller of all Yin and Yang organs". The Heart houses the body's spirit (Shen).
The Heart dominates sleep; if the Heart is strong the patient will fall asleep easily and sleep soundly. If the Heart is weak, the patient's mind will "float," resulting in an inability to fall asleep, disturbed sleep, or excessive dreaming.
Functions: Pulse/circulation, house of the spirit.
Blood, tongue, throat, sweat, facial complexion, adrenals, thyroid, prostate, pituitary.
Hate, guilt, shock, nervousness, longing and craving.
When Balanced: Love, joy, peace, contentment, propriety, insight, wisdom, orderliness, forgiveness, and courtesy.
Peak Hours: 11am-1pm
This channel begins at the heart and emerges via the surrounding blood vessels to pass down through the diaphragm to the small intestine.
Another internal branch extends through the throat to the eye, and a connecting channel goes to the tongue.
A third branch goes first to the lung before surfacing at the center of the armpit.
From here the channel descends along the inner aspect of the arm on the opposite side of the biceps to the lung channel, passing the inner end of the elbow crease.
It continues down to the tip of the little finger by the corner of the nail on the thumb side.
SMALL INTESTINE MERIDIAN
The Small Intestine Meridian is a Yang Meridian and is paired with the heart yin meridian.
Known as the 'Minister of Reception', the small intestine receives partially digested food from the stomach and further refines it, separating 'the pure from the impure', then assimilating the purified nutrients and moving the impure wastes onwards to the large intestine for elimination. Associated with the heart by Fire energy, the small intestine controls the more basic emotions, as reflected in the Chinese term duan chang ('broken intestines'), which is equivalent to the English term 'broken heart'. Its energy meridian runs into the head, where it influences the function of the pituitary gland, the 'master gland' whose secretions regulate growth, metabolism, immunity, sexuality, and the entire endocrine system.
The Small Intestine influences the patient's mental clarity, judgment, and powers of discernment. The ability to distinguish relevant issues with clarity before making a decision is attributed to the Small Intestine.
Functions: Absorbs nutrients, digestion and elimination.
Physical Branches: Blood, tongue, throat, sweat, facial complexion.
A feeling of mental deficiency due to inability to assimilate ideas, and insecurity. Forgetfulness, indecision, unclear thought process. Restlessness and difficulty in expressing emotions.
When Balanced: Love, joy, warmth, vitality, excitement, memory, ability in making decisions, clarity of thought.
Peak Hours: 1pm - 3pm
This channel starts on the other corner of the little fingernail from the heart channel and follows the edge of the hand to the wrist, where it turns slightly to flow up the forearm, close to the outer edge of the (ulna) bone.
Passing the elbow at the "funny bone", it continues up the back of the arm, behind the shoulder joint.
It then curves across the shoulder blade to connect with the governing vessel at GV-14 as do all yang channels.
It crosses forward to the hollow above the collarbone where the internal branch penetrates, first to the heart, then along the esophagus to the stomach, before connecting with its own organ, the small intestine.
From the collarbone region the superficial path continues up behind the muscle on the side of the neck (sterno-cleido-mastoid), then over the cheek to the ear.
Two internal branches separate on the cheek. They lead to the gallbladder channel on the outer corner of the eye, and to the bladder channel at BL-1 on the inner corner.
The Bladder Meridian is a Yang Meridian and is paired with the Yin Kidney Meridian.
The bladder is called the 'Minister of the Reservoir' and is responsible for storing and excreting the urinary waste fluids passed down from the kidneys. As an organ the bladder has only this function, but as an energy system the bladder is intimately related to the functions and balance of the autonomous nervous system. That's because the bladder energy meridian runs along the back of the body from head to heal, with two parallel branches flowing along each side of the spinal column. These four branches of the bladder meridian exert a direct influence on the sympathetic and parasympathetic trunks of the autonomous nervous system, whose condition of modern life, over activates the sympathetic system, causing tension and pain along the spine and its periphery.
This tension and pain may be relieved by stimulating the flow of energy along the spinal branches of the bladder meridian. Such stimulation induces total relaxation by switching the autonomous nervous system over to the restful, restorative parasympathetic mode. Chinese massage therapy focuses primarily on these four spinal branches of the bladder meridian because of their direct influence over the autonomous nervous system, which regulates all the body's basic vital functions.
The bladder channel begins at the inner corner of the eye, rising up through the eyebrow (BL-2) over the forehead and skull to join the governing vessel at GV-20.
Here it enters the brain, re-emerging as a superficial path at the nape of the neck.
This path continues over the base of the skull (occiput), where it divides again into two branches that descend parallel with the spine.
The inner branch diverts briefly to meet GV-14 before continuing to the sacrum, then on down the back of the thigh to the center of the knee-fold.
An internal branch connects with the kidney and then the bladder, after separating at the lumbar region.
The outer branch passes from the occiput along the edge of the shoulder blade and descends to the buttock, continuing down the thigh to meet the other branch at the knee.
The single channel continues down the center of the calf muscle and passes behind the outer ankle to the outer tip of the little toe.
An imbalance in the Bladder can cause such psychological symptoms as habitual fear, lack of decision making capability and a diminished moral character.
Functions: Stores and eliminates urine.
Physical Branches: Autonomous nervous system
Jealousy, suspicion, and holding on to long-standing grudges.
Hopeful, calm and peaceful
Peak Hours: 3pm - 5pm
The Kidney Meridian is a Yin Meridian and paired with the Bladder Meridian.
Known as the 'Minister of Power', the kidney is regarded as the body's most important reservoir of essential energy. The original prenatal energy (yuan chee) which forms the basis of life is stored in the kidney organ-energy system, which is why the kidneys are also known as the 'Root of Life'. In the Chinese view, the kidney organ system also includes the adrenal glands, which consist of the adrenal medulla and the adrenal cortex.
These glands sit like hats on top of the kidneys and secrete a wide range of essential hormones that regulate metabolism, excretion, immunity, sexual potency and fertility. Destruction of the adrenal cortex is fatal. The kidney system also includes what the Chinese call the 'external kidneys': the testicles in men and the ovaries in women. Thus the kidneys control sexual and reproductive functions and provide the body's prime source of sexual vitality, which the Chinese regard as a major indicator of health and immunity.
The kidneys themselves are responsible for filtering waste metabolites from the blood and moving them onwards to the bladder for excretion in urine. Along with the large intestine, the kidneys control the balance of fluids in the body. In addition, they regulate the body's acid-alkaline balance (pH) by selectively filtering out or retaining various minerals.
The kidneys, particularly the adrenal glands, are especially vulnerable to damage from excessive stress and sexual abuse. In the Chinese view, such damage is a major cause of immune deficiency, low vitality, and sexual impotence.
The kidneys control the growth and development of bones and nourish the marrow, which is the body's source of red and white blood cells. Weak kidney energy is therefore a prime cause of anemia and immune deficiency. The Chinese view the spinal cord and the brain as forms of marrow, and therefore poor memory, inability to think clearly, and backache are all regarded as indicators of impaired kidney function and deficient kidney energy.
Kidney vitality is reflected externally by the condition of head and body hair and is associated with the aperture of the ears. Tinnitus (ringing ears) is thus a sign of kidney dysfunction. The kidneys are the seat of courage and willpower, and therefore any impairment in kidney energy results in feelings of fear and paranoia. Intense fear can cause involuntary urination, a phenomenon also known to Western medicine.
The "memory zone," as well as the "thought center" are also located in the cerebral cortex and will not develop until the Kidney Channels travel through the spine, along with the Liver Channels, to reach the cortex. When the Qi of these two channels is abundant, the memory function is keen.
The Kidneys house the body's will power (Zhi). They control short-term memory and store data. The Kidneys provide the capacity and drive for strength, skill and hard work. A patient with strong Kidneys can work hard and purposefully for long periods of time. Consequently, when the Kidneys are in a state of disharmony, the patient can sometimes be driven to a state of excessive-compulsive working habits (a workaholic). A patient with weak Kidneys will lack strength and endurance.
Functions: Stores prenatal essence, filters the blood.
Physical Branches: Ears, bones, urine, head and pubic hair, brain, marrow.
Fear, loneliness, insecurity, and shock (which attacks the Heart first then descends into the Kidneys to become fear).
Wisdom, rationality, clear perception, gentleness, and self-understanding.
Peak Hours: 5pm - 7pm
This channel begins under the little toe, near the end of the bladder channel, and crosses through KD-1 to the inner edge of the foot.
It loops behind the inside ankle bone to the heel, then rises along the inner aspect of the leg, intersecting the spleen channel at SP-6, before continuing up the calf and the inner thigh.
Here its pathway becomes deeper and goes to the base of the spine, where it joins the governing vessel.
Rising internally in line with the lumbar spine it enters the kidney, descends to the bladder, and surfaces at the pubic area.
It connects with the conception vessel in the lower abdomen and then rises over the body to the collarbone.
Internally a branch leaves the kidney to enter the liver and lung, and continues up to the throat and tongue.
From the lung another branch flows to the heart and chest and joins the pericardium channel.
The Pericardium Meridian (also called 'Heart Constrictor' or 'Circulation-Sex' Meridian) is a Yin Meridian and is paired with the Triple Warmer Meridian (also known as the Triple Energizer/Burner Meridian).
Known as the 'King's Bodyguard', the pericardium is the heart's protective sack. Although it is not recognized as an organ in Western physiology, it is regarded in Chinese medicine as a Fire-energy organ whose special function is to protect the heart. Not only does the pericardium provide the heart with physical protection, its energy also protects the heart from damage and disruption by excessive emotional energies generated by the other organs, such as anger from the liver, fear from the kidneys, and grief from the lungs. In the Chinese system of health, extreme outbursts of the Seven Emotions are regarded as powerful disruptors of internal energy balance and major causes of disease. Without the pericardium to protect it, the heart would be subject to injury from the radical fluctuations in energy caused by every emotional up and down of the day.
The pericardium also helps regulate circulation in the major blood vessels that run in and out of the heart. Emotionally, pericardium energy is related to the loving feelings associated with sex, thereby linking the physical and emotional aspects of sexual activity. It does this by moderating the raw sexual energy of the kidneys with the all embracing love generated by the heart.
This channel begins in the middle of the chest at the pericardium.
A branch descends internally through the diaphragm to the upper, middle, and lower burners.
From the starting point a branch of the main channel crosses the chest to emerge just outside the nipple.
It then ascends on the surface around the front of the armpit and flows down the arm, through the biceps muscle.
At the elbow crease it passes just to the inside of the biceps tendon, then down the middle of the front of the forearm, between the heart and lung channels to the wrist.
It crosses the middle of the palm to PC-8 where it divides.
The main channel continues to the outer corner of the middle fingernail, and a connecting branch goes to the fourth finger to join the triple burner channel at TB-1.
The Pericardium has a powerful influence on the patient's mental and emotional states. Its goal is to "create feelings of joy and/or pleasure for the emperor (Heart)."
Functions: Protects the heart.
Physical Branches: Blood, tongue, throat, sweat, facial complexion.
Difficulty feeling and expressing emotions, depression, aversions, and phobias.
When Balanced: Joy, happiness and healthy relationships.
Peak Hours: 7pm - 9pm
The Gallbladder Meridian is a Yang Meridian and is paired with the Liver Meridian.
Known as the 'Honorable Minister', the gall bladder is in charge of the 'Central Clearing Department'. It secretes the pure and potent bile fluids required to digest and metabolize fats and oils, and its energy provides muscular strength and vitality.
It works with the lymphatic system to clear toxic by-products of metabolism from the muscular system, thereby eliminating muscular aches and fatigue. In the Chinese system, the common tension headache is caused by obstruction in the gall-bladder meridian, which runs up over the shoulders and back of the neck to the top of the head and forehead. Hence such headaches are usually accompanied by neck and shoulder tension.
The gall bladder governs daring and decisiveness. In Chinese, the word for 'daring' is da dan ('big gall'). The English language also acknowledges this psychophysiological relationship with the phrase 'a lot of gall'. An old Chinese adage states: 'The gall bladder is daring, the heart is careful', which reflects the stimulating generative influence of Wood to Fire.
This channel begins just outside the outer corner of the eye, loops down and up to the forehead just within the hair line, and descends behind the ear to the corner of the skull.
It then returns to the forehead above the center of the eye and contours the head to the bottom of the skull at GB-20.
It continues down the neck behind the shoulder to connect with the governing vessel at GV-14, then crosses over the shoulder.
The channel descends the side of the body along the rib margin to the waist and pelvic crest before going deeper to meet the bladder channel at the sacrum.
At GB-30 it re-emerges and continues down the outside of the leg, in front of the ankle, ending on the outside of the 4th toe.
Internal branches connect with the stomach channel (on the jaw) and the small intestine channel, and join the liver and gallbladder organs.
The Gall Bladder is responsible for making decisions and judgments, as well as providing courage and initiative. This organ is sometimes called the Court of Justice or The General's Advisor. Although the Kidneys control drive and vitality, the Gall Bladder provides the capacity to turn this drive and vitality into decisive action. The Gall Bladder has an influence on the quality and length of sleep.
Functions: Stores and excretes bile, one of the Six Extraordinary Organs
Eyes, tendons, tears, nails
Timidity, indecision, easily discouraged and resentment.
When Balanced: Courage and initiative, decision making and good judgment, sound sleep, healthy expression and processes of creativity, planning, brainstorming, analysis, and decision-making
Peak Hours: 11pm - 1am
Through its association with Wood energy, the liver governs growth and development, drive and desires, ambitions and creativity. Obstruction of liver energy can cause intense feelings of frustration, rage, and anger, and these emotions in turn further disrupt liver energy and suppress liver function, in a vicious self-destructive cycle.
The Liver Meridian is a Yin Meridian paired with the Gallbladder Meridian.
The liver is called the 'General' or 'Chief of Staff' and is responsible for filtering, detoxifying, nourishing, replenishing, and storing blood. The liver stores large amounts of sugar in the form of glycogen, which it releases into the blood stream as glucose whenever the body requires extra infusions of metabolic energy. The liver receives all amino acids extracted from food by the small intestine and recombines them to synthesize the various forms of protein required for growth and repair of bodily tissues.
The liver controls the peripheral nervous system, which regulates muscular activity and tension. The inability to relax is often caused by liver dysfunction or imbalance in Wood energy. Liver energy also controls ligaments and tendons, which together with muscles regulate motor activity and determine physical coordination. Liver function is reflected externally in the condition of finger- and toenails and by the eyes and vision. Blurry vision is often a result of liver malfunction rather than an eye problem, and even Western medicine recognizes the symptomatic yellow eyes of liver jaundice.
The Liver is responsible for planning and creativity, as well as instantaneous solutions or sudden insights; it is therefore considered The General in Charge of Strategy. The Liver houses the body's Hun and governs fright. Whenever the Liver is not functioning properly (stagnate or excessively Hot due to suppressed emotions) the patient can experience fatigue as well as physical weakness.
Functions: Stores the blood, governs the free flow of qi.
Eyes, tendons, tears, nails.
Anger, irritability, frustration, resentment, jealousy, rage, and depression.
When Balanced: Kindness, benevolence, compassion, and generosity.
Peak Hours: 1am - 3am
Beginning by the inside of the big toenail, the liver channel crosses the top of the foot, passes in front of the inside ankle and up the inner aspect of the leg through SP-6 close behind the edge of the bone.
It continues past the knee along the inner thigh to the groin and pubic region, where it circulates the external genitals.
It connects with the conception vessel in the lower abdomen and continues up around the stomach to enter both the liver and gallbladder.
Connecting with two surface points on the ribs, the channel then dips into the ribcage, runs up through the throat, opening to the eye, and ends at the crown of the head where it connects with the governing vessel.
A branch circles the mouth.
From within the liver, another internal branch reaches the lungs, and this restarts the cycle of qi.
GOVERNING AND CONCEPTION VESSELS
The Governing and Conception Vessels are the main rivers of the body’s Yin and Yang energies. They are polar aspects of the body, perfectly complementary, like midnight and midday. They are responsible for the formation of the holoblastic cleavage and the first cellar division of the fertilized ovum in embryological development.
The Governing and Conception Vessels are two branches of the same source, and inseparable Yin-and-Yang, front-and-back duality. These vessels connect the uterus with the Kidneys, Heart, and Brain.
They originate externally at Huiyin CV-1 point, ascend the front and back of the torso, and form a small circle when the tip of the tongue touches the upper palate in the mouth and the anal sphincter is squeezed. Not only does this action complete the balance of Fire (Heart) and Water (Kidneys) energy, it also increases the body's protective Wei Qi.
The Governing and Conception Vessels each have two energy flows on the anterior and posterior vertical midline of the body. Each vessel's pathway is complete, being composed of an ascending energetic flow and a descending energetic flow. The duality of these two medial lines joins at the extremities (the head and perineum), forming one complete circle of energetic current.
The energetic flow of the Conception Vessel corresponds to Yin, negative polarity, the female aspect, and responds to bass tones; while the energetic flow of the Governing Vessel corresponds to Yang, positive polarity, the male aspect, and responds to treble tones.
The Governing Vessel also known as the "Sea of Yang Meridians" controls all the Yang channels. This is apparent from its pathway because it flows up the midline of the back, a Yang area, and in the center of all Yang channels (except the stomach channel which flows in the front).
It controls and governs the back area richest in Guardian Qi (Wei Qi), it is also responsible for the circulation of the body's Guardian Qi to guard against external evil intruders. The circulation of Guardian Qi starts from Fengfu (Gv-lG), and moves down the Governing Vessel to Huiyin (LI-l). It is said that it takes 21 days for the Guardian Qi to flow from Fengfu to Huiyin, and 9 days from Huiyin to the throat, making it a monthly cycle.
According to Chinese medical science, Guardian Qi is Yang Qi and therefore represents the "Fire" of the body. Its quick and ubiquitous circulation keeps the fire going in the body and controls the loss of body heat. Guardian Qi is also inextricably linked with the fluids that flow outside the channels, in the skin and flesh. Consequently, through the breathing (under control of the lungs), Guardian Qi is responsible for the opening and the closing of the pores, and also controls sweating.
The Governing vessel is also responsible for nourishing the five ancestral organs, which include the brain and spinal cord. This is one of the ways in which the kidneys "control" the brain, as is said in Chinese medicine.
The Governing Vessel Meridian is yang in nature and starts from the uterus, runs down to the central region of the pelvis around the genitals and into the external orifice of the urethra in women and around the penis in men.
It passes by the anus, moves upward from inside the coccyx and sacrum and enters the brain.
The external portion runs to the lower end of the nose bridge and ends at the gum.
Governing Vessel Meridian Branches:
* The first branch runs side by side with thekidney meridian, enters the spine from the coccyx and sacrum region and links with the kidney.
* The second branch runs side by side with the bladder meridian, ascends from the corner of the eye, reaches the vertex (upper most part of the head) and links with the brain. Then it runs downward the neck beside the spine.
* The third branch arises directly from the uterus and through the umbilicus, then passes through the heart, enters the throat, comes to the mandible, runs around the lips and ends below the eyes.
The Conception Vessel also known as the "Sea of Yin Meridians"
controls all the Yin channels. It has a major role in Qi circulation, monitoring and directing all of the Yin channels (plus the stomach channel).
The Conception Vessel is connected to the Thrusting and Yin Linking vessels, and is able to increase the Yin energy of the body. This vessel nourishes the uterus (one of the five ancestral organs) and the whole genital system. It is said in the Nei Jing that the Conception and Thrusting vessels contain both blood and essence (Jing), and both flow up to the face and around the mouth. They contain more blood than essence in men, and thus promote the growth of the beard and body hair. Because women lose blood with their menstruation, they contain proportionately less blood and hence, no beard or body hair.
It was described in the Su Wen that both the Conception and Thrusting vessels control the life cycles every 7 years for women and every 8 years for men. It is the changes taking place in these vessels at those intervals that promote the major alterations in our lives.
In addition, the Conception vessel also controls the distribution and "dispersion" of Guardian Qi all over the abdomen and thorax via numerous small Qi branches (Luo). This vessel also plays an important role in the distribution of body fluids in the abdomen.
It starts from the inside of the lower abdomen and comes out from the perineum.
It goes anteriorly to the pubic region and ascends along the interior side of the abdomen, passes through Guanyuan(CV4) and reaches the throat.
Ascending further, it curves around the lips, passes through the cheek and enters the infraorbital region Chengqi(ST1).