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What is the Meridian Theory?

August 17, 2023 by Admin
Health and well being through natural, holistic methods continues to be sought by many. Meridian Theory can be used to help achieve wellness.

Treatments like acupuncture and herbal medicine continue to grow in popularity among seekers who want optimal, natural health and wellness remedies outside of the conventional medicine world. While you may know that acupuncture and herbal therapies have roots in ancient Chinese medicine, you might be surprised to learn that the Meridian Theory is central to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and many of its guiding methods and philosophy. At Dejia Harmony, we work to blend these holistic, ancient approaches with modern herbal remedies. 

For those unfamiliar with TCM, the meridian theory may seem complex – so we will break it down in this blog to help you better understand Meridians and how they impact wellness. 

An Overview of the Meridian Theory

The Meridian Theory suggests that a network of channels or “meridians” exists within the human body, creating pathways for the flow of Qi, or life energy. Essentially, it is a network of invisible vital energy pathways that run through the body. This network is connected to the body’s organs, systems, and functions. According to TCM, there are 12 primary meridians, which correspond to the body’s primary organs, and eight extraordinary meridians that serve as reservoirs for Qi and blood and regulate the flow in the other channels. Understanding the meridians, and Meridian Theory can help natural health and wellness efforts.

A smooth, harmonious flow of Qi is seen as a sign of health, while any obstruction, insufficiency, or imbalance in the Qi can lead to illness or discomfort. The goal of TCM practitioners is to diagnose and correct these imbalances, ensuring the healthy circulation of Qi and the overall well-being of the individual.

The Role of Meridians and Qi

Meridians serve as the pathways for Qi and blood throughout the body, connecting various parts of our anatomy. They represent a complex and intricate web linking our organs, tissues, blood vessels, nerves, cells, and thoughts – basically our entire being.

Qi is the vital energy that permeates everything, from the smallest cell to the largest organ in the body. It is the energy that enables the body to function and drives all our physical and mental processes. According to TCM, when Qi and blood flow freely along the meridians, the body can maintain a state of health and balance.

What Are the Primary Organs in TCM and Meridian Theory?

In ancient Chinese medicine, the primary organs are also referred to as the “Zang-Fu” organs. Zang organs, or Yin organs, are responsible for storing and regulating Qi, blood, and body fluids. Fu organs, or Yang organs, are responsible for digestion, absorption, and elimination. 

Zang Organs

  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Lung
  • Kidney

Fu Organs

  • Small intestine
  • Gallbladder
  • Stomach
  • Large intestine
  • Bladder

The 12 Primary Meridians and Their Functions

  1. The lung meridian is connected to the respiratory system and plays a role in the circulation of Qi. It is associated with the immune system. The lung meridian is also connected to skin health and promotes sweat production to regulate body temperature.
  2. The large intestine meridian is connected to the elimination of waste and regulation of fluids in the body. It is also associated with the release of emotional stress and attachments, emphasizing the concept of letting go both physically and emotionally.
  3. The stomach meridian is connected to digestion and the transformation of food into nutrients. It promotes healthy digestion and supports the nourishment of the body.
  4. The spleen meridian is involved in digestion, nutrient absorption, and the production of Qi and blood. It supports the body’s job of transforming food into energy and transporting nutrients throughout the body.
  5. The heart meridian is connected to the circulation, mental activities, and the expression of emotions. 
  6. The small intestine meridian assists in the body’s ability to absorb and distribute nutrients and fluids. 
  7. The bladder meridian is connected to the excretion of waste and the regulation of water metabolism. It helps maintain fluid balance, supports urinary function, and plays a role in the body’s overall detoxification processes.
  8. The kidney meridian is associated with the regulation of water metabolism, reproduction, and the storage of Jing. Jing is considered a vital essence and is believed to be inherited and responsible for growth, development, and reproduction.
  9. The pericardium meridian is involved in heart functions and the regulation of emotions.
  10. The triple burner meridian is not linked to a specific organ. Still, it is related to three functional areas in the body—the upper burner (associated with respiration), the middle burner (related to digestion), and the lower burner (associated with excretion).
  11. The gallbladder meridian is involved in the regulation of digestion, decision-making, and the storage and release of bile. 
  12. The liver meridian is connected to the smooth flow of Qi, blood storage, and emotional balance. It is vital in regulating emotions, maintaining hormonal balance, and supporting the overall health of the body and mind.
Acupuncture is a practical application of the Meridian Theory

Practical Applications of the Meridian Theory

The Meridian Theory is put to practical use by TCM practitioners to help their patients seek optimal health and wellness through naturopathic modalities such as acupuncture and acupressure. 

Acupuncture and Acupressure

These are probably the most widely known applications of the Meridian Theory – TCM practitioners use acupuncture needles or their hands to stimulate specific points along the meridians to restore the balance and flow of Qi. Many modern physicians even recommend acupuncture and acupressure to accompany Western medical therapies.


Moxibustion involves the burning of a herb called mugwort on or near the skin at specific acupoints. The heat generated from the burning mugwort is used to stimulate these points, promoting the flow of Qi and blood. Moxibustion is often used in combination with acupuncture and is believed to have various therapeutic effects like warming the body, alleviating pain, and strengthening the immune system.

Qi Gong and Tai Chi

These ancient practices combine movement, meditation, and breathwork to cultivate and balance Qi. Practitioners use specific postures and movements to stimulate meridian flow and promote overall well-being.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal remedies are often used in TCM to support and regulate the flow of Qi and blood. Many herbal combinations can be used by anyone looking to promote health and wellbeing — remedies including our Aqua Herbal Wellness Water and Respiratory Detox Supplement.

Energy Channeling

We are all at our best when we can tap into an abundance of energy—and when that energy follows a smooth, undisrupted path through our bodies. Our Energy Channel Board helps restore balance to the 12 principal meridians in the body. By actively engaging in a series of carefully designed exercises using Dejia Harmony’s one-of-a-kind Energy Channel Board, you can aid your body in restoring and maintaining peak levels of energy flow.

Meridian Theory in the Modern World

The Meridian Theory provides a framework for understanding health and disease in a unique, holistic way. Despite cultural and philosophical differences, the ultimate goal of both TCM and Western medicine is the same – to promote health and alleviate suffering. Whether you are seeking health and wellness through alternative health methods, or hoping to complement therapies of conventional medicine, we are here to help at Dejia Harmony. Our goal is to help you become the guardian of your own health.

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