A Primer on Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Body Meridians

When you are alert and focused and you feel physically empowered, you speak of feeling energized. When you are energetic as opposed to lethargic, your mind, emotional state and physical body all seem to be wide-awake and ready for action. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) this is because there is an identifiable pathway through your body where your life force energy or qi flows.

If you experience a lot of stress at work or you are not very active you can disrupt this healthy energy flow. Breathing impure air or living in a clutter-filled environment can also block or otherwise disrupt the healthy flowing of your vital energy. This happens at specific meridian points identified by TCM. The use of acupuncture and other Chinese medicinal practices keeps your meridians or energy highways open and flowing freely, and this leads to the most fulfillment and overall wellness.

The 12 Energy Meridians in TCM

Different Asian energy healing methods may identify fewer or more than the 12 energy channels usually recognized by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. In many cases, TCM describes qi energy as flowing from your chest along 3 Yin channels located inside your body near your lungs, pericardium and heart. There are 3 Yang meridians which flow to your head.

An additional 6 meridians are located near the stomach and bladder, the spleen, the large and small intestines, and the kidney. All these energy highways connect with major parts of your physical body, like your feet, legs and head. If you can imagine an interconnected network of highways, you can visualize how a backup in one energy meridian can cause problems throughout the body.

What Are the Extraordinary Meridians?

In addition to the 12 energy channels recognized by traditional Chinese medicine, there are “extraordinary meridians”. These helps to further improve a healthy flow of life force energy by monitoring the movement of qi through the 12 major pathways. They also improve overall well-being by boosting the health of your kidneys, influencing healthy blood flow and circulation, and improving the health of your immune system so your energy flows freely and naturally.

Western medicine is not always quick to agree with natural or alternative healing practices which have archaic origins. This is unfortunate, because the belief that a life force energy moves through all living beings can profoundly affect your health. Speak to a certified TCM specialist about cleansing your energy meridians if more traditional and accepted healing practices have not given you the results you are looking for.


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