The Meridian System

The meridian system allows us to understand why many disease symptoms appear in certain body parts when the originating cause is a weak or inflamed organ in another location. The previous diagrams show only the surface courses of the meridians; inside the body each one is connected to its associated organ. In this way the deranged energy pattern of an organ is easily transmitted to other body parts along the course of the meridian.

Diseases of the ear, migraine and hip problems can now be seen energy-wise to be associated with the gall-bladder. Arthritis of the hip, therefore, is often a gall-bladder problem, while arthritis of the shoulders may have its cause in the intestines. Gout, affecting the big toes, stems from the liver, while swollen ankles are related to the kidneys. 

Furthermore, each organ-meridian system has a two-hour period of maximum activity, and a period of minimum activity 12 hours later. An inflamed organ is often more painful during its active period, while a weak system should not be stressed during low periods.

In acupuncture books you may find different names for two of the meridians. The circulation meridian is also called the pericardium meridian, while the gland meridian may be called the triple-warmer meridian.

While pulse diagnosis is the expert Chinese way of determining the energy balance of the meridians, you may often be able to judge by the kind of diseases or symptoms present. Generally, overacidity, pain and inflammation along the course of a meridian or in its target organ calls for sedation, while coldness and weakness calls for stimulation.

 According to Chinese teachings, some interesting characteristics are associated with the meridians of the kidneys and liver. Weak kidney meridians are indicated by a lack of will and sexual impulse, and furthermore by negativity, unease, timidity and impatience. In the case of an overactive kidney meridian, on the other hand, the energy level is abnormally high and you cannot stop working.

The liver is similar. A weak meridian shows itself in dizziness, a clumsy walk, easily tiring eyes and a short temper. An overactive liver meridian causes excessive excitability, crying moods and a compulsion to continue working.

According to Chinese traditions, the main organs and their meridians are also associated with different emotions. An excessive amount of these emotions can damage the associated organs, while a disease of these organs may, in time, lead to excessive displays of these emotions.

Accordingly, anger is associated with the liver; excessive laughter and gayness, but also fright, with the heart; worry and emotional tension with the spleen and pancreas; grief, sorrow and negativity with the lungs; and fear and timidity with weak kidneys.

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