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This is a quick introduction to body meridians. I am not claiming to be an expert, nor do I understand all the technical aspects. I do, however, have a little knowledge about this subject.
How much do we need to understand before we utilize something? How many of us understand all the in’s and out’s of computers?
All the stuff you see on the screen right now…when you click a button to ‘tell the computer’ what to do…in its basic form, is reduced to nothing but zeros and ones. Can you understand that? Do you believe that? Can you comprehend it? I can’t. Does it matter? Will you still use your computer? I am going to use mine.
What are Body Meridians?
Meridians are comprised of pathways for energy to pass through certain points in the body. The energy that travels these pathways is called qi. This qi circulates around these meridians in a give and take relationship.
Number of Meridians
In what is called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are two main sources of energy flow in the body. They are called the conception and governing vessels. The conception vessel is the main source of the Yin energy. The governing vessel is the main source of the Yang energy. These two vessels work together like a circuit. Like any circuit, there needs to be no interruption in the ‘wiring’ in order for things to run smoothly.
On the next level down, in simple wording, there are twelve other meridians. Combined, they consist of a virtual superhighway that energy travels on to reach its destinations. The destinations being different organs in the body.
Where we live, there is a road labeled Galveston Road. We don’t live near Galveston, but the road leads to Galveston. There are 12 different meridians in the body. Each one is given the name based on the area of the body it affects, not its location. (This is what gets confusing to some people, sometimes.)
There are also six other extraordinary meridians, each with their own name and purpose, but I want to stick with the very basics here.
Yin and Yang
Each one of these meridians mimic the yin yang circulation that the two main vessels perform.
- Large Intestines
- Small Intestine
- Triple Burner
If our body was a CB radio, then the organs would be the parts you would see if you took the back off the radio. The nervous system would be the wiring needed in order for the radio to turn on. But two things will decide whether or not you will be able to communicate with your friend. The first one is power. Let’s say this is the energy flowing through the wires. It is what is needed for the radio to work. But just because it works, doesn’t mean any communication is taking place. Because you would also need a clear unobstructed signal from the other radio. That signal would be the meridians in this case. You can even take it a step further and say when you are talking, the waves are going in one direction, Yin. When your friend replies, the waves are going in the opposite direction, Yang. Communication is happening only when all parts are working.
The advantage in knowing there is a working relationship between yin and yang is that it offers more insight. If I was having health problems in one area, sometimes the counterpart might need to assist. Sometimes it is the actual problem.
Yin Yang also goes by Zang Fu, as well as other names. The Yin is Zang, Front Channel, or Ren Mai. The Yang is Fu, Back Channel, or Du Mai. There may be more names that I am unfamiliar with.
Each of the principal meridians have a series of ‘stop lights’ along their pathway. These stop lights are the meridian points, also called acupoints. The number of these points per each meridian varies from 9 points to 67 points. According to Google, the body has a total of 361 of these points.
Traffic (energy) flows freely when we have all green lights. But, if one of these spots become a red light, the energy gets stopped, blocked, or slowed down. Like when the traffic light fails and starts blinking. Everyone has to stop and go. Traffic can get backed up quite quickly. This is when an acupuncture needle or acupressure is used to manually switch the light green again to get the traffic moving. (I personally have found magnets, essential oils, and another technique to work as well.)
And like all road systems, some traffic lights see more traffic or are more critical to keep operational. So, each meridian usually has the main go to point to try to start fixing unknown problems. If they aren’t resolved there, then they will start checking the other ‘stop lights.’
Each one of these meridian points have a specific location on the body. They also have a number designated to it, along with a name. Sometimes more than one name, just like the energy that travels through them has various names depending on the culture.
Energy is everywhere.
Qi is energy in these pathways.
Why is This Helpful to Know?
Most of us grew up knowing and understanding that the body had many organs working together in order to function as a whole body. Well, this is just a way of leveling up and realizing there are even more parts of this amazing body we have yet to understand. With every little bit we learn, it helps us to be able to utilize our bodies even better for the short while we are still here on earth.
Each meridian ‘acts’ a certain way. It has certain characteristics, certain nutritional needs, and certain times of the day when it is most and least active.
The meridian clock I am going to talk about is also referred to as the Chinese medicine clock.
Let’s say that this superhighway system is like our road system. Sometimes during certain times of the day, we tend to prefer the longer route in order to avoid the congestion that rush hour can bring on. Well, these meridians in the body have a schedule too. They follow it rather closely. Granted, some days the traffic may linger longer than others or start getting busy a little sooner than expected. But overall, the meridian clock is a good guideline to follow.
The meridian clock looks like this.
Each meridian has a two-hour window of opportunity to be in the limelight every day. This is when it is the center of attention and being looked over and fixed. His two-hour window is piggy backed by his counterpart.
To read the meridian clock, 1 is for 1:00 a.m. The liver meridian clock is from 1:00-3:00 a.m. Next comes the lung meridian clock. And so on and so forth.
When you get to 13, it is now in military time. Just subtract 12, and you will have the standard p.m. time. For 13, that would be 1:00 p.m., for 15, that would be 3:00 p.m., etc.
The San Jiao is also referred to as the triple warmer and triple burner. Broadly speaking, it has to do with a group of organs that control your immune system.
Not all meridian clocks show this, but it is handy to know the pairs. A white (Yang) is always paired with the dark (Yin) that is next to it.
Narrowing Down the Problem
By combining the time of day symptoms occur with the severity of those symptoms, a person can pin down what parts of the body are causing the problems.
Time of Day
Because of this meridian clock, a person is able to track their day. To look for patterns. For example, if I wake up every night between 1:00 and 3:00, it could be my liver either has problems or is working hard on trying to detox another area of my body. If I wake between 3:00 and 5:00, it could be my lungs. If I have a hard time getting out of bed before 7:00 a.m., is it lack of sleep or is my body trying to spend all its energy fixing my large intestines?
Just being aware that there is a set meridian clock that my body follows and noticing how my day and evenings progress give me insight into my health. I could always tell you, give or take 5 minutes, when 6:00 p.m. was. I could do this for over a decade. But now that my health is improving, 6:00 p.m. sneaks up on me and runs away before I even know it is there. Interesting. Awesome!
Another way to pinpoint a possible problem is that each meridian has specific physical and physiological symptoms when there is an imbalance. Some of these symptoms may overlap with different meridians. Recognizing which symptoms are related to which meridians help narrow it down from the original 14 (12 meridians and 2 vessels).
These symptoms will tend to amplify themselves during their meridian clock time window if that time window is particularly lacking energy flow. So, if there is an overlap of symptoms, what time of the day are the symptoms most intense?
Fixing the Problem
Not only did this information help me narrow down the problem, it also helped me fix the problem more effectively.
By being aware of the meridians in my body that are associated with the health challenges I was facing, it enabled me to better target my healing. For example, if I had stomach problems and I was recommended to use a particular essential oil to alleviate those problems. It would speed the healing up if I not only placed it on the location of my stomach, but also on the location of my stomach meridian. (For me, I needed to have a period of time ranging from 20 minutes to 25 hours apart before applying to the second location.) But, by alternating back and forth between the organ and its meridian until I was strong enough to target both areas at once helped immensely.
Sometimes I might be aware of a nutrient deficiency, or be unable to raise its levels in spite of my diet. By locating what meridians needed those nutrients the most, I could be proactive with those organs to avoid adding another problem.
For example, we often associate vitamin D with strong bones. I also needed to remember if I have a vitamin D deficiency, this may start affecting my large and small intestines meridians and organs. (Which it had.) If I was proactive here, I could potentially have avoided adding those problems to my current situation.
It can also work the other way as well. If by looking at the weak meridian’s nutritional needs, I could use that helpful information to get the meridian back online again more quickly.
Understanding the different nutritional needs for different organs and meridians was also beneficial to me when I started doing what I call AFTER™ , Altering Fields to Enable Recovery.
Yin signifies black, shade & rest.
Yang signifies white, sunny & movement.
Both are needed.
How Does That Help Me with AFTER™?
Let me explain. Acupuncture (turning on the light green) worked amazingly for me for some time. But, because of an underlying problem I wasn’t aware of, it also caused me to have adverse reactions. (I used acupuncture for about five years. Very regularly for the last three of those five years.) But then I did have a BAD reaction to the last one I had.
I now understand what caused the bad reaction. A green light was not called for. The bridge was out. Maybe the stop light was red because the bridge was out? It was the only way my body could protect itself. Turning the light green before the problem was fixed (before the bridge was mended) caused an even bigger problem.
I learned that the light would turn green on its own once the bridge was fixed. What was the broken bridge? My DISH©.
DISH©: Defensive Individual Shield Hypothesis
DISH© is a concept and term I came up with. It has two jobs.
- Shield the Body
- Sort what the Body Encounters
When DISH© is doing its job, I am winning against my health challenges. When it is NOT doing its job, I am losing.
♦♦ It’s that simple. ♦♦
(When it failed to sort, it failed to hold onto the nutrients I desperately needed.)
What is DISH© and AFTER™?
AFTER™ (Altering Fields to Enable Recovery) is the procedure I figured out when I had hit a wall with my acupuncture efforts. Actually, I had hit a wall with all my efforts. I was told by my doctor that I had about one more year left to live and that there was no known cure. Very long story and too much information to put here.
I had been dabbling with nutrition, supplements, chiropractors, and acupuncture for about two years. Upon hearing my verdict, I jumped with both feet into Traditional Medicine for another three years. When I had gotten as far as I could with that and could still see the light at the end of the tunnel was actually a train coming at me, I had to think outside of the box of traditional medicine too. You can read about what I figured out on my website, here.
But in a nutshell, DISH©, Defensive Individual Shield Hypothesis is what I came up with for understanding what was wrong with me. My DISH© was broken. (Explanation on the Possible Problem page.) It caused unforeseen health challenges. AFTER™ fixed those problems. (Explanation on the Is It Fixable page.)
The main problem with my broken DISH© was that when I would turn these stoplights green (have an acupuncture treatment) my body would reject the nutrients I needed.
I do not think this happens to everyone, only those with a broken DISH©.
Having a Broken DISH©
It seemed like no matter what protocol or procedure or medication out there that anybody else could use, I could not. It didn’t work. It seemed to never work. It was frustrating. Alienating. Despairing.
But when I realized the DISH© concept and applied AFTER™ to fix it. I was then able to reach up to ground zero to where those previous procedures and protocols would now work.
AFTER™ is a way of adjusting my immediate environment by holding different essential oils, remedies, medications, objects in my environment, etc. to form ‘batches’. These batches helped reprogram my body to know what to do with what I came into contact with on a daily basis.
By holding those objects, I was creating an artificial DISH© and manually doing what my body should have been doing. I was able to stop rejecting my needed nutrients and hormones. I was able to regain my health.
Another Way with the Same Information
If I assumed the body wanted to be well, but it was blocked at a particular point, maybe it was trying to protect me. Maybe it needed to be blocked because of the consequences of opening it. If I was in a burning building and a door was stuck, would I force it open? What if the door was stuck because the fire on the other side was pushing too much air pressure on the door? Keep the door shut!
When my DISH© broke, my body received false information. It combined the nutrients I needed with something that was hurting my body. So, my body was rejecting the good with the bad. I needed to help my body manually to do what it was supposed to be doing in the first place. It was like priming an old water well by hand. Eventually it would get flowing again. Eventually, it didn’t have to be manually done anymore.
Knowing which organs needed which nutrients and by taping those nutrients on the effected areas, I made progress. I slowly and steadily regained my health. The more I studied this concept, the more I figured out, the faster it seemed to go.
It was not a quick fix. Because of my parents’ Camp Lejeune Water Contamination (Click here.) when they became pregnant with me…it seemed like everything was broken on me. So, yes, it has taken time. A long time. But I am still here. I am almost a decade past my expiration date.
If it takes 7-10 years in order for the body to completely regenerate, anything sooner should be a plus. I’ve only understood AFTER™ for about five years now. So, I guess that makes me ahead of the game still.
My broken DISH© was my problem.
AFTER™ is my solution.
Though I cannot remember or tell you the details of each meridian or their points, I can still benefit from the many charts and sources of information out there. I daily benefit from following the meridian clock when taking my supplements or planning my day.
For me, every small amount of information I can put in my health toolbox to help me along my recovering journey, the better. Information about body meridians have been a very necessary tool for me.
And for those of you who were wondering, in the last half century scientists have been able to verify these meridians exist. About ten years ago, this discovered body system was renamed the primo vascular system.