Main Meridian Channels

Each meridian is responsible to attend to a specific part of the body, to maintain health and homeostasis, and move Qi and/or blood. If congested, like a blocked river, the meridian will cause physical, emotional disease. Problems can arise in the meridians:

  • when there is a lack of energy (Deficiency of Qi),
  • when there is too much energy because of blockages (Stagnation of Qi),
  • when the quality of the energy is imbalanced (too much or too little Yin or Yang energy),
  • when the flow of the energy is inharmonious (ascending when it should be descending or v.v.), and
  • when there is Stasis of Blood. The purpose of Chinese medicine is to maintain the movement of qi, so as to invigorate life. Acupoints treat these issues.

The meridians flow from one to another in a specific time frame and sequence. The flow begins at the Lung at 3-5am and ends at the Liver from 1-3am:

Click chart for larger image


Main Meridians:

Lung (Fei): Hand Tai Yin. 3-5am.

  • governs qi and respiration, responsible for Wei qi (protective qi), regulates water passages/pores/sweat
  • manifests on the skin and body hair; opens to the nose
  • emotion is grief, sadness
  • taste is pungent
  • spirit is the Po (corporeal soul- the soul that goes on after death): deals with reception of life
  • stores phelgm

Large Intestine (Da Chang): Hand Yang Ming. 5-7am.

  • accepts impure food and water, reabsorbs water, makes impure food/water into stool
  • deals with evacuation of life

Stomach (Wei): Foot Yang Ming 7-9am.

  • accepts and contains food and water
  • rots and ripens food/water. Transfers it to small intestine
  • controls descending of Qi
  • origin of body fluids

Spleen (Pi): Foot Tai Yin. 9-11am.

  • governs post-natal qi, creates blood from food, controls blood and keeps it in vessels, controls muscles and limbs, raises qi
  • manifests on the lips; opens to mouth (taste/appetite)
  • emotion is worry/ over-thinking
  • taste is sweet
  • spirit is Yi: thought, capacity to think, memory
  • creates phelgm

Heart (Xin): Heart Shaoyin. 11-1pm.

  • governs blood, blood vessels, and circulation
  • manifests on face/complexion; opens to tongue (speech, talking, laughing)
  • emotion is joy (overjoy/mania)
  • taste is bitter
  • spirit is shen: mind, emotions, consciousness, long-term memory, sleep

Small Intestine (Xiao Chang): Hand Tai Yang. 1-3pm.

  • receives/transforms food; separates clean from dirty
  • responsible for mental clarity and discernment (physical and emotional)

Bladder (Pangguang): Foot Tai Yang. 3-5pm.

  • contains body fluids, excretes urine

Kidney (Shen): Foot Shaoyin. 5-7pm.

  • governs birth, development, reproduction, death
  • ming men life gate regulates fire for all internal organ, functions, and willpower
  • produces marrow, fills up brain, controls bones; responsible for memory, concentration, thinking, physical and mental strength
  • manifests on head hair; opens to ears
  • emotion is fear
  • spirit is Zhi: will power
  • root of original qi

Pericardium: Hand Jueyin. 7-9pm.

  • governs blood
  • houses shen and protects heart
  • influences mental and emotional states, helps influence relationship with others
  • ambassador of/creator of joy and happiness

Triple Warmer (San Jiao): Hand Shaoyang. 9-11pm.

  • governs irrigation of upper, middle, and lower jiaos (breath, digestion, excretion)
  • similar to the lymphatic system

Gallbladder (Dan): Foot Shaoyang. 11-1am.

  • stores and excretes bile for digestion
  • controls sinews; provides qi for movement
  • gives courage and strength to make decisions
  • controls quality of sleep (good sleep vs nightmares)

Liver (Gan): Foot Jueyin. 1-3am.

  • stores and regulates blood; regulates menses
  • maintains free flow of qi
  • controls sinews and tendons: provides blood for movement
  • manifests on nails; opens to eyes
  • emotion is anger
  • spirit: Hun: influences capacity of life planning; if not rooted will have floating feeling or fear before sleep  


The external trajectories of the Basic Meridians
either begin or end on the hands, or feet.

The meridians themselves do not begin or end on the outside of the body, but originate deep within the organs and vital energetic centers (Chakras) of the body. So, by modifying the energy of a point just beneath the surface of the skin, we are modifying the energy deep within the body. 

The acupuncture points are somewhat like amplifiers along a telephone line (meridians) which interact with energy inside as well as outside the body.  

Some can be connected to several meridians and are also major connection points for numerous pathways of energy where energy sinks into and flows out from the body.  

A point itself is like a tiny electrochemical 'organ' which serves as a gateway and storage house for all types of mind-energy, constantly "working" to maintain homeostasis.  

Most classical acupuncture points have been detected with modern GSR devices and radioactive isotopic tracing and proven valid; some stronger or "important" than others.

About 700 vital energetic 'holes' have been detected, and many more are physically apparent (skin pores, hair follicles, sweat glands, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, anus, urethra). 

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