12 Meridians of Chinese Medicine

Lung meridian

The Lung is one of twelve meridians

Qi flows in meridians

Qi (energy) flows through specific pathways called meridians.
Chinese medicine mapped the pathways of the 12 meridians thousands of years ago. On these pathways, over 350 points (also called acupressure points, acupuncture points, acupoints) were identified. Points are specific locations on meridians where the Qi can be accessed.

What are the 12 Meridians?

The 12 Meridians:

  1. Lung Meridian
  2. Large Intestine Meridian
  3. Stomach Meridian
  4. Spleen Meridian
  5. Heart Meridian
  6. Small Intestine Meridian
  7. Bladder Meridian
  8. Kidney Meridian
  9. Pericardium Meridian
  10. Triple Heater (San Jiao) Meridian
  11. Gallbladder Meridian
  12. Liver Meridian

Internal meridian pathways

Each meridian flows from a specific Organ, as named above. Every meridian has an internal pathway that connects to other Organs and areas of the body.  Eventually, the internal meridian will come to the surface of the skin, where it becomes external.

Internal pathway of the Lung Meridian

The internal pathway is marked using dashed lines.

External meridian pathways

Acupoints are located on the external pathways. These are the familiar lines seen on meridian and point charts. Depending on the meridian, there are 9 to 67 points located on it.

External Lung Meridian Pathway

The external pathway is marked using solid lines.

Meridians are located on both sides of the body

The 12 meridians on one side of the body are mirrored on the other side of the body. Therefore, a meridian on the right arm is also on the left arm, and vice versa. The same is true for meridians and points on the legs, chest, abdomen, back, head, and face.

Learning the 12 meridians

As you can imagine, it takes a little time to learn the map of the meridians and points, not to mention characteristics and uses of each of them! I have created many resources to support your learning.  Below are a few favorites:

  1. Full-size posterPathways and Points of Meridian Massage
    All 12 meridians and 108 acupoints clearly illustrated.
    A must have for any student of meridians! Order the poster
    (Sold and shipped from Aromatics International)
  2. Handy bookMeridian Massage, Opening Pathways to Vitality
    Explore the theory and use of the 12 meridians and the 108 acupoints illustrated on the poster above. The comprehensive text of all things Meridian Massage!  Order the book
  3. Video seriesAll About the 12 Meridians of Chinese Medicine
    Interesting and inspiring videos that explore the characteristics, pathways, and uses of each meridian. Ideal for beginners! Watch videos now


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Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Caryl on January 26, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Thank you again, Cindy, for being so thoughtful in sharing your knowledge of such valuable information. I always look foward to your emails.

    • Cindy Black on January 26, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      You are welcome – I really enjoy my work! 🙂
      Thanks so much for writing, I appreciate your comments and thoughts very much.
      – Cindy

  2. Darlene McCray on December 15, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I’ve followed youand watched several of your webinars. I would like to visit your school and learn more about meridians.

  3. Deepa on October 16, 2017 at 1:24 am

    Informative. Heartfelt thanks for sharing this information which is well explained and easy in understanding. I remember we used to go crazy learning on Meridians. Keep inspiring!!! Loads of luv & hugs. Deepa Sudhakaran – India

  4. Sandra Eriksson on September 17, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Happy to share this valuble information with our Kinesiology students.
    Great references that can be useful to all.
    Thank you.

    • Cindy Black on September 17, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you Sandra 🙂

  5. Evelyn on August 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Dear Cindy!
    You are always so thoughtful and generous with your practice experience. You make this ancient knowledge accesible to modern times with the profound desire that it can become beneficial to more people all over ….!!

    • Cindy Black on August 24, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Evelyn,
      Thank you for writing – you made my day! I love my work 🙂

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