Move Qi, relieve pain

relax in hammockRelieving 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.

SherlockBecause 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.

Bladder Meridian

Bladder Meridian pathway shown on the right side of the body. The meridian is also located on the left side.

Relieve back pain with Meridian Massage

Step 1
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.
Step 2
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

Bladder Points to relieve pain between the shoulder blades

Bladder Points to relieve pain between the shoulder blades.

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.

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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. Salma on June 5, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Hi Cindy
    I suffer upper respiratory infection easily with bad sines I hope any of this meridian you recommend would work for me. Thank you

  2. Shauna Stephens on February 25, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Hi Cindy, I absolutely love your acupressure videos, they are clear, concise, and so well explained! Makes it so easy to find them! I have a damaged CNS from a medication I was on, now into 44 month of pain & agony. I’m looking for acupressure points that will help with muscle cramps in thoracic from T7-8 area up, the hitchhiker muscle in mid-back, IT band/hips, and the best ones for leg cramps/nerve pain. It takes a lot of searching to find some, I’ve tried, and just don’t feel like they are helping that much. Since I have limited mobility with cramping, if you have hand ones, that would help greatly! Thanks so much!

    • Cindy Black on February 26, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Shuana,
      Thank you so much for your positive feedback – I really appreciate all that wrote 🙂
      I would use the Back Shu Points >>
      Before and after having the Back Shu Points activated, use the Master Point combination specific to back pain >>
      And, for your on-going return to vitality, I would suggest the Master Point combinations of the 8 Extraordinary Vessels – have someone maintain quiet contact with 1 or 2 combinations per session. They are very powerful and it is worth taking the time to experience them one at time in order to know which are having the best results for you.
      These points will require that another person works with you – I know others who bring these point explanations to their Massage Therapist so they can work with them.
      I hope this helps,

  3. Lisa on January 15, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Would love to learn more in a class environment

    • Cindy Black on January 15, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      I love teaching in-person!
      if you are able to gather students, I’m happy to come over to your place and teach 🙂

  4. Lisa on January 15, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    Would yoy come to Australia for workshops?lisa

    • Cindy Black on January 15, 2018 at 5:55 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      Yes, I would love to – want to set something up?
      – Cindy

  5. ESTER SALIBAY on November 19, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you very much my friend Cindy, itś of great use for me.

  6. Rajeswari on November 18, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Thank you very much Madam. Really all your messages are very useful to me for my self treatment and getting a lot of relief

  7. Chandra on November 17, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Thank You, Cindy — this approach is so clear !
    Do you have some idea of relief for post op (Rt hip replacement) decreased ~lack of sensation along inner thigh+calf –maybe the Saphenous nerve …also at suture site.

  8. donna on November 17, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I always love your emails. So helpful and always come just at the right time.
    Thank You

    • Cindy Black on November 17, 2017 at 11:34 am

      🙂 You are welcome. Thanks for saying hello!

  9. Maria on November 17, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Thank you,Cindy!for me is very interested what you do and can learn from you!

    • Cindy Black on November 17, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Hi Maria,
      I’m glad you found Big Tree! There are many learning resources for you here, and you can see courses at

  10. Evelyn on November 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Golden Information!
    Thank you for your generous Being!

  11. Lorraine Jester on November 16, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Cindy, This is a good way to make things clearer. Do you have any meridians for releaving pain in low back, groins and both legs at the sites for replaced hip replacements?

  12. Selina on November 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you!

  13. Genesis M.Roy, LMT, ISHA on November 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you, Cindy, … the colder weather approaching … definitely, I am in need to keep the Qi moving …

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