Meridians are a network of channels through which the life-force energy known as chi flows through our body. This vital life force or chi, is composed of yin and yang, and flows along a sophisticated network of energy pathways, or highways, circuiting the body. Over 2000 years ago ancient cultures knew of the existence of these energy channels. They were called ‘sen’ in Thailand, ‘nadis’ in India, ‘meridians’, ‘channels’ or ‘vessels’ in China and Japan, and ‘channels’ in Tibet.
Disease is believed to be a blockage in the energy flow of these channels. A range of healing traditions, including acupuncture, acupressure, massage and yoga, are founded on the principle of the existence of energy channels or pathways, known as meridians, or nadis, running around the body in an expansive network.
For centuries life was considered to be a bio-electrical and vibrational energy phenomenon and so health revolved around balancing energy through various means. Life existed because of life force and energy running through and animating the body, ensuring we can move, breathe, digest food, think and even feel.
The free flow of qi throughout our meridian system creates a healthy balance of body, mind, emotions and spirit.
There are 12 main meridians and 2 centre-line meridians.
The Two Centreline Meridians are:
- Conception Vessel (Ren mai)
- Governor Vessel (Du mai)
The 12 Main Meridians are:
- Stomach Meridian
- Spleen Meridian
- Small Intestine Meridian
- Heart Meridian
- Bladder Meridian
- Kidney Meridian
- Pericardium Meridian
- San Jiao / Triple Warmer Meridian
- Gall bladder Meridian
- Liver Meridian
- Lung Meridian
- Large Intestine Meridian
All of these meridians are paired into yin and yang. The two central vessels, Conception (yin) at the front of the body and Governor (yang) on the back of the body are the wellspring of all the yin and yang channels, that is, all the yin channels are supplied yin chi from the Conception Vessel and all the yang meridians are supplied yang chi from the Governor Vessel.
Each of the 12 meridians are associated with an energetic organ system as their names suggest and each organ system is associated with one of the 5 Elements of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.