What is a Meridian?
A meridian is where Qi flows.
This simple sentence speaks volumes! Qi (pronounced “chee”) is a Chinese word that is translated as “energy” or “breath.” All life depends on Qi and all life arises from Qi. We cannot see Qi directly, yet we are completely dependent on it. Without breath, without Qi, there is no life.
Qi is more than breath. Qi flows throughout the body, not just to the lungs. Where does this invisible Qi flow? It flows within meridians.
A river is good way to understand meridians.
We usually say “water flows in the river.” Pause for a moment and consider that sentence.
What exactly is a river? There is water, and there is a riverbed where the water flows. Riverbeds are places where water flows, and water flows in riverbeds. Which came first?
It is the same idea with meridians. Meridians are where the Qi flows, and Qi flows in meridians.
Meridians run longitudinally in the body along the arms, legs, and down the back, chest and abdomen. There are twelve main meridians. Each named meridian is found on both the left and right side of the body. Even though they have separate names and clearly identified pathways, all of the meridians are connected to form a web of Qi flowing throughout the whole body.
The concept is similar to our blood vessels. The vessels are a web of veins and arteries where blood flows in a continuous loop throughout the entire body.
We cannot see the meridians but we can feel them when we pay close attention.
Meridians are unique to Chinese Medicine. Meridians offer us a concrete avenue for affecting invisible, vital Qi. Meridians are used in acupuncture, acupressure and meridian massage as the basis for locating and treating energetic (Qi) imbalances.