If you have heard of Chinese medicine, then you have probably heard of meridians.
The meridian theory is one of the fundamental theories of Chinese medicine, like the yin-yang and five-element theory.
Learning about meridians can help us better understand how Chinese medical techniques, such as acupuncture and moxibustion, work to cure disease and how these relate to concepts of Western medicine.
Fundamental Theories in Chinese Medicine:
Fundamental theories in Chinese medicine allow for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and dysfunction. The theories may be used in relation to each other to treat disease through common pathways.
Fundamental theories include:
- Yin-Yang Theory
- Meridian Theory
- Five-Element Theory
- Zang Fu Organ Theory
Interestingly, many concepts of Chinese medicine relate to medical concepts of western medicine. The yin-yang theory, for example, describes the need for a balance between opposing forces or systems for health.
This need for balance is seen throughout the body such as in sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and the relationship between organ structure and function (anatomy and physiology).
Meridians allow for the interconnectedness of the body, its organs, and their function. The meridians are pathways, or channels, through which Qi (or energy) flows in the body. There are twelve major meridians in the body which each link to a specific organ, and also emotion. Meridians integrate throughout the body connecting with each other along the way.
This is why damage, disease, or dysfunction to one part of the body will then inevitably affect the system as a whole. When disease or dysfunction is present, blockages and disruptions of meridian pathways happen, and the flow of Qi becomes compromised. Because of meridian integration, the disrupting Qi in one meridian may affect other meridians including their associated organs and emotions.
Meridians in Acupuncture:
Disease and emotion often affect the flow of Qi through meridian channels. This is why meridians and Qi are often a target for the treatment of disease in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), as in acupuncture.
Acupuncture works to stimulate and release meridians pathways blocked by dysfunction. This is done by inserting fine needles in specific points along the meridians known as acupoints. Through this connection between meridians, acupoints, and their effect on the body as a whole, Chinese medical techniques can therefore treat a wide range of dysfunctions.
Santa Cruz CORE’s acupuncturists often draw on traditional Chinese medicine and techniques to treat their patients. Massage therapy also helps to unblock natural energy, loosening constrictions to let blood and Qi flow more freely throughout your body. You can learn more about meridians and acupuncture from our talented staff!