What are Meridians?

What are meridians and how do they work?

In my private medical practice people ask me all the time "What are meridians? and how do they work?" According to ancient medical systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine our bodies have an energetic or subtle body. This subtle body is made up of meridians, nadis, or channels. These channels act as pathways where Qi, Prana and blood flows. They vary in size and importance and they comprise an invisible lattice that connects all organs and transmits information related to every process in the body and mind.

The meridian system can be compared to a complex system of waterways. There are the main channels and those channels slowly move into smaller and finer more internal pathways. The process of naming and dividing the meridians is at times limiting as all of the channels flow from one another without disconnection. Meridians are related to elements in the body, corresponding organs, and emotional states.

Acupuncture points are located at small depressions called “gates” along the meridians. Through accessing these points an acupuncturist is able to effect the flow of Qi and blood and is able to communicate with internal organ networks. Herbal medicine also effects the meridian system. Each plant or herb enters specific meridians leading to specific therapeutic results.

The meridians are thought to be held in the connective tissue where electrical impulses are carried though the moisture content of the given tissue. The flow of Qi however, permeates every corner of our being including fluids, blood, organs, and bone.

Meridian theory states that a disorder within a meridian will affect other areas along that same channel. For example an issue with the liver may show up along the channel with red eyes. But it’s important to remember that while a disease in a particular organ can manifest as a  problem in its corresponding channel, a channel can also have a blockage or deficiency without any involvement of the physical organ itself. The most obvious example of this is a physical injury to a muscle or bone that does not have any correlation with a deeper internal organ imbalance.

So that's a little bit about meridians! Make sure to leave your questions in the comments below. Thank you for watching and see you in the next Chinese Medicine Basics.