Move Qi, relieve pain
Relieving pain can be that simple.
Qi (energy) is the basis of the physical structures of the body. When the Qi is plentiful and flowing, we experience ease of movement. Abundant and flowing Qi manifests as supple and toned muscles and flexible joints.
Qi flows through pathways called meridians.
Because Qi is energy, it is challenging to observe.
Similarly, the meridian lines are also energetic, and therefore out what is readily perceptible by our five senses.
We know that blood flows through hundreds of miles of blood vessels in an organized manner: from the heart, out to all areas of the body, and back to the heart. Blood is easy to see, but not so easy to feel moving through our vessels.
Qi also moves within an organized web of meridians.
Just like blood, every cell in our body requires Qi. Qi is hard to see but easier to feel than blood. For instance, in a moment of anger, you can feel a rush of energy (Qi) moving upwards. In contrast, in a moment of sadness, you can feel the pull of Qi downwards. In anger, the Qi is rushing upwards, and our physical body is propelled upright, perhaps even yelling.
The energetic roots of pain
In many cases, physical pain is due to slow or blocked Qi flow.
Qi is slowed down by a blockage in the meridian. This energetic pattern is called “Qi Stagnation.” As the Qi builds up behind the blockage, energetic pressure builds and we may experience pain in the area of the blockage, or anywhere along that particular meridian.
For example, pain between the shoulder blades.
Have a look at the picture below of the Bladder Meridian. Notice how it is located between the shoulder blades and continues down the legs to the feet.
Relieve back pain with Meridian Massage
Gently massage the whole length of the Bladder Meridian, from upper back, down the back of the legs, along the outer foot, and the 5th toe (the Bladder Meridian ends at the nail bed of the 5th toe).
Now we have touched into the whole meridian and hopefully encouraged the Qi to flow a little more.
Next, we massage acupoints on the Bladder Meridian (referred to as “Bladder points”) to amplify the flow of Qi and clear blockages from the meridian. The Bladder Meridian has 67 points. We only need to activate a few of these to clear blockages and encourage the flow of Qi. I use a couple of local points (points at the area of pain), and a few distal points (points away from the pain).
In this case, I would gently massage the following Bladder points:
Local points: BL 13, BL 14, BL 15
Distal points: BL 36, BL 57, BL 60
Meridians and points are on both sides of the body
Although the pain is often on one side, I massage the meridians and points on both sides of the body.
As the energetic blockages let go, and the Qi returns to harmonious flow, the pain dissipates. Qi Stagnation is the root of many conditions of muscle tension and pain. By combining the Meridian Massage Approach with your other hands-on skills, you can relieve stubborn patterns of pain.