12 Meridians of Chinese Medicine
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:
- Lung Meridian
- Large Intestine Meridian
- Stomach Meridian
- Spleen Meridian
- Heart Meridian
- Small Intestine Meridian
- Bladder Meridian
- Kidney Meridian
- Pericardium Meridian
- Triple Heater (San Jiao) Meridian
- Gallbladder Meridian
- 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.
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.
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:
- Full-size poster – Pathways 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)
- Handy book – Meridian 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
- Video series – All 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