We’ve discussed Chakras and your Subtle Body, and how balancing one’s life energy (sometimes referred to as ‘Chi/Qi’ or ‘Prana’) can improve mental, physical and emotional health. While chakras are the body’s energy centers, meridians are energy paths that flow through these centers.
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that there’s a network of meridians (20 in total) throughout the human body –in fact, think of them delivering energy the way blood vessels distribute blood.
There are 12 Principal Meridians, 6 of which are ‘Yin’ and 6 are ‘Yang’ groups, which work together to help the body and its organs function. When Yin and Yang forces are balanced and in harmony, so is your Chi. Chi must be able to flow freely throughout the body.
The remaining 8 Meridians, known as extraordinary meridians, are considered the energy-storage vessels of the body.
When a chakra or a meridian is imbalanced or blocked, so is Chi, which in turn affects a person’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state of health.
Here are 4 ways to use meridians to improve your health and balance your energy.
- Acupuncture involves locating points along the meridians and stimulating them (typically with fine needles) to balance Chi and bring relief to the affected area. There are more than 400 points located around the body.
- Qigong (Chee Gung, Chi Kung) is another ancient Chinese practice – more than 4,000 years old – that uses meridians, specifically the 8 extraordinary meridians, to balance energy, heal the body and calm the mind.
Qigong translates to ‘cultivating energy’, and integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention, according to the National Qigong Association. The postures and flowing movements associated with Qigong are medical, spiritual or martial, and manipulate Chi by increasing it, circulating it or utilizing it to heal.
Check out The Qigong Institute for an introduction to some of the movements and meditations people practice to increase and balance their energy.
- Meridians relate to mental health, too, as each channel is associated with specific feelings and emotions. Meridian Tapping is a technique that involves placing pressure or tapping on the pulse points related to those negative emotions, while recognizing (out loud) the root causes of those feelings, releasing them, and finally, making empowering statements.
A very detailed diagram and instruction sheet for this tap-and-release technique is outlined here, at Angries Out.
- Tracing the meridians is another way to restore and revitalize energy. Hands carry energy and tracing them along the meridian pathways can improve your energy flow and release toxic stress. Health in Your Hands has a terrific chart that outlines each path the hands can use to help Chi flow freely. It’s a simple way to connect with your body and mind, and boost your energy.