meridians of the body

The 12 Meridians of the Body, Explained

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You’re in pain and a good friend suggests you go have needles stuck in your body! It may sound painful, but millions of people seek pain relief through acupuncture each year.

Acupuncture works with the body’s meridians to stimulate the central nervous system. It releases chemicals and promotes the body’s natural healing abilities.

In this article, we’ll discuss the meridians of the body and how they work in acupuncture.

What’s a Meridian?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) defines meridians as the energetic pathways that run through your body. These meridians act as highways for energy – called Qi.

The body is home to 12 meridians, and it’s along these paths that the acupuncturist inserts thin needles. There are two energies – the Yin and the Yang. The energy of Yin moves outward while Yang energy moves in toward the core.

Imbalances in energy lead to poor health. One of the benefits of acupuncture is that it helps rebalance Qi.

The 12 Meridians

There are 12 major meridians in the body. These are:

  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Stomach
  • Kidneys
  • Large intestine
  • Small intestine
  • Liver
  • Bladder
  • Gallbladder
  • Spleen
  • Pericardium
  • Triple-Burner

Each meridian works with the other meridians in the body but also has a specific function. The acupuncturist manipulates the needles to unblock the meridian pathways.

Specific Meridian Functions

In TCM, the heart is the king of all the organs, commanding emotions as well as the other organs.

The lungs are also primary in importance and work with the heart to circulate blood and control energy. Lungs are primary in the fight against disease.

Digestion begins in the stomach and the stomach meridian controls elemental balance.

The kidneys are one of the most essential organs, and they store vital life energies. They also help regulate the brain in memory formation.

Eliminating solid waste from the body is the job of the large intestine. Qi imbalances here result in abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and depression.

The small intestine works closely with the large intestine. It absorbs water and filters impurities from food. This meridian also works with the heart.

Transforming nutrients into substances the body uses for energy is the work of the liver. It also works to detoxify the blood. Hypertension is a sign of imbalances in the liver.

Although the bladder’s main job is to eliminate liquid waste, it also balances the autonomous nervous system. Lower back pain or back weakness are signs of imbalances here.

The gallbladder aids in digestion and clears lactic acid from the lymphatic system. Imbalances here cause muscle stiffness, insomnia, poor judgment, and indecision.

The spleen regulates the amount of blood in circulation. It also works with the lung meridian generating energy.

The protective sac around the heart is the pericardium. This meridian isn’t associated with an organ but protects the emotional, mental, and spiritual energies.

The triple-burner meridian assists in digestion, waste processing, and metabolism.

The Meridians of the Body

These are the essential meridians of the body through which your Qi runs. Acupuncture helps balance your meridians and keeps your body in great working condition.

Acupuncture is a natural way to keep your body in a healthy state. Are you ready to try acupuncture and learn more about Qi and the meridians? Book an appointment today!

Meet Our Expert: Deborah Farley

Deborah FarleyFounder of Acupuncture Works,LLC in Lynchburg Virginia. Deborah is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine as a Licensed Acupuncturist (L. Ac.).

She is also licensed by the State of Florida as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM). Deborah is a Diplomate of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

She graduated from the East West College of Natural Medicine with a Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine and a Bachelor’s Degree of Professional Health Sciences.

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