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Meridian Channels

Arm Tai Yin Lung Channel (peak time: 3am ~ 5am)

The Lung Meridian originates in the middle portion of the body, and runs downwards connecting with the large intestine. It then turns and passes through the diaphragm to connect with the lungs. This meridian branches out from the axilla (armpit) and runs down the medial aspect of the upper arm where it crosses the elbow crease. It continues until it passes above the major artery of the wrist, and emerges at the tip of the thumb. Another branch emerges from the back of the wrist and ends at the radial side of the tip of the index finger to connect with the Large Intestine Meridian.

The Lungs govern Qi. They take in clear and expel the turbid air. The Lungs regulate the waterways. Fluid secretion is sweat. The Lungs govern the skin’s surface and body hair. They house the Po. The peak time for the Lungs is from 3~5am.

According to TCM, the lung rules and regulates qi throughout the body and administers respiration (breathing). The lungs also move and adjust the water channels, so disorders of this meridian may be related to disharmony of lung fluid or "water" and respiratory disorders. Symptoms like chest discomfort with a fullness sensation, dyspnea (shortness of breath), cough, and wheezing indicate Lung Meridian disharmony. This disharmony can also lead to pain along the meridian position. For example, a person may feel pain in the shoulder and back or along the anterior border of the medial aspect of the arm.

- Sensitivity, cough, asthma, blocked nose, headache, pains in the shoulders and back, pains in the arms
- Lateral chest pains, oppression, dyspnoea, haemoptysis, sore throat and cold

Meridian Channel of Lungs

Leg Tai Yin Spleen Meridian (peak time: 9am ~ 11am)

The Spleen Meridian begins at the big toe and runs along the inside of the foot crossing the inner ankle. It then travels along the inner side of the lower leg and thigh. Once it enters the abdominal cavity, it internally connects with the spleen and continues upward to reach the Heart Meridian. Externally, the Spleen Meridian continues moving toward the chest and branches out to reach the throat and the root of the tongue. The peak time for the Spleen is 9-11am

The spleen is responsible for the transformation and transportation of different substances, and is the foundation of our after-birth existence. Spleen function is essential in maintaining the digestive power of the body and transforming food into qi and blood. If the Spleen Meridian does not function properly, qi cannot be efficiently transported to the spleen. As a result, symptoms like abdominal distention, loose stools, diarrhea, epigastric pain, flatulence and a heavy sensation in the body occur. In addition, symptoms such as pain at the root of the tongue, swelling of the inner side of the lower limb may also indicate disharmony of the Spleen Meridian.

- Stiffness and pain of the tongue, gastric pain, meteorism, vomiting, jaundice, geneal weakness and feeling heavy
- Localised water retention particulary on the inner portion of the knees, stiffness or pains in the entire vertebral column

Meridian Channel of Spleen

Arm Shao Yin Heart Meridian (Peak time: 11am ~ 1pm)

The Heart Meridian starts from the heart, and divides into three branches. One goes towards the small intestine. The second runs upwards along the throat towards the eyes, and the third branch emerges under the arm and runs along the inner side of the forearm, elbow and upper arm. It then crosses the inner side of the wrist and palm and ends at the inside tip of the little finger, where it connects with the Small Intestine Meridian. The peak time for the Heart is from 11 am–1 pm.

Disharmony of the Heart Meridian leads to pain at the heart position (precordial pain or pain at the sternum). In TCM, the heart rules the blood and the pulse. Without sufficient nourishment, an individual may feel thirsty and have a dry throat. Pain in the inner side of the forearm and heat in the palm may also indicate problems in this meridian.

- Dry throat, pain in the region of the heart of hypochondria, headaches with painful eyes, pains in the back, thirst, jaundice, hot palms

Meridian Channel of Heart

Leg Shao Yin Kidney Meridian (peak time: 5pm ~ 7pm)

The Kidney Meridian starts from the inferior side of the small toe. Crossing the middle of the sole and the arch of the foot, it circles behind the inner ankle and travels along the innermost side of the lower leg and thigh, until it enters the body near the base of the backbone. After connecting with the kidney, it comes out at the pubic bone. Over the abdomen, it runs externally upwards until it reaches the upper part of the chest (the inner side of clavicle). A second branch emerges from the kidney and moves internally upwards and passes through the liver, diaphragm, lungs and throat, finally terminating at the root of the tongue. Another small branch divides from the lung to connect with the heart and the pericardium. The peak time for the Kidneys is from 5-7pm.

Disharmony of Kidney Meridian can manifest as wheezing or coughing because the kidneys "grasp the qi". They also are the "mansion of fire and water," and the "residence of yin and yang". If there is insufficient nourishment and warming of the kidney, symptoms like edema (swelling), constipation, and diarrhea can indicate an imbalance in this meridian. Pain in the groin and pharynx (throat), which are located along the meridian's pathway, also can indicate a problem with the Kidney Meridian.

- Lumbar back pain and at the base of the back, cold feet, haemoptysis, dyspnoea, dry tongue, sore throat, lumbago, oedema, constipation, diarrhoea, motor paralysis and msucle atrophy of the lower limbs, hot plantar side of the foot and pain along the pathway of the meridian

Meridian Channel of Kidneys

Arm Jueyin Pericardium Meridian (peak time: 7pm ~ 9pm)

The Pericardium is also called the "heart protector," and, for clinical purposes, is considered a yin organ paired with the yang organ San Jiao. In general theory, the Pericardium is not distinguished from the Heart. It is also the first line of defence against the Heart from External Pathogenic Influences. The Pericardium has a meridian named for it, which reflects the health of the organ. In terms of the Five Elements, these organs are both associated with the fire element. In treatment, it is often best to approach heart problems via the Pericardium, rather than directly. The peak time for the Pericardium is from 7pm to 9pm.

- Chest fullness, palpitation, irritabiity and agitation, spasm and contracture of the elbow and arm, hot palm and pain along the pathway of the meridian, stiff head and neck

Meridian Channel of Pericardium

Leg Jue Yin Liver Meridian (peak time: 1am ~ 3am)

The Liver Meridian starts from the top of the big toe and goes across the top of the foot. After crossing the inner ankle, it continues to go upwards along the inner side of the lower leg and the thigh, until it reaches the pubic region. It then circulates around the external genitalia and enters the lower abdomen. Afterwards, it goes up the abdomen and reaches the lower chest to connect with the liver and gall bladder. The meridian further travels upwards along the throat and connects with the eyes. Finally it emerges from the forehead to reach the vertex of the head. One of its internal branches originates internally from the eye and moves downwards to the cheek where it curves around the inner surface of the lips. Another branch starts from the liver and passes through the diaphragm to reach the lung where it connects with the Lung Meridian and completes the cycle of the twelve meridians. The peak time for the liver is between 1am ~ 3am.

Disharmony of the Liver Meridian leads to groin pain, chest fullness, urinary incontinence, difficulty urinating, swelling of the lower abdomen and hernias.
- Pulsatile headache, sneezing, blurred vision, tinnitus, lumbar back pain, vomiting, enuresis, urinary retention, hernia, pain in the lower abdomen

Meridian Channel of Liver

Arm Tai Yang Small Intestine Meridian (peak time: 1pm ~ 3pm)

The Small Intestine Meridian starts from the tip of the little finger and crosses the palm and wrist. It runs upwards along the posterior side of the forearm until it reaches the back of shoulder where it ends at the uppermost part of the back (the bottom of the neck). At this position, it first branches off and moves internally through the heart and stomach to reach the small intestine. The second branch travels externally across the neck and cheek until it reaches the outer corner of the eye and then enters the ear. A short branch in the cheek moves upward to the inner corner of the eye where it connects with the Bladder Meridian.

Disharmony of the Small Intestine Meridian presents mainly as symptoms along its pathway such as a swollen chin, stiff neck, sore throat, hearing problems, yellow eyes, and pain along the shoulder, upper arm, elbow and forearm.
- Pain in the inferior abdomen, reduce auitory acuity, stiffness of the back or the neck, easy tear formation, possible disorder of the sub-maxillary glands, pain or stiffness in the shoulders, frequent oral disease

Meridian Channel of Small Intestine

Leg Tai Yang Bladder Meridian (peak time: 3pm ~ 5pm)

The Bladder Meridian starts at the inner side of the eye and goes across the forehead to reach the top of the head where it branches into the brain. The main channel then goes across the back of the head and divides into two branches. One branch crosses the center of the base of the neck and extends downwards parallel to the spine. Once in the lumbar region (bottom of the spine), it branches out to reach the bladder. The other branch crosses the back of the shoulder and runs downward on the outside, which is adjacent and parallel to the inner branch. It continues down until it reaches the buttocks where two branches run across the back of thigh along different pathways that join at the back of the knee. The joint meridian then continues along the back of the lower leg, circles behind the outer ankle, runs along the outside of the foot and terminates on the lateral side of the tip of the small toe, where it connects with the Kidney Meridian.

Disharmony of the Bladder Meridian can lead to problems of TCM bladder dysfunction. It is often related to symptoms caused by external pernicious influences (outside influences that cause disease such as cold, wind, fire, dampness, dryness and summer heat). Because the Tai Yang Meridian is considered the most exterior, it is the first meridian to be invaded if there is any external attack. Therefore, its disharmony can cause symptoms such as difficult urination, incontinence, painful eyes, runny nose, nose bleeding and nasal congestion. Pain in the head, neck, back, groin and buttock areas indicate disharmony in the Bladder Meridian pathway.
- Headache with enck stiffness, bloced nose and painful eyes, frequent tear formation, painful popliteal foosae, disorder of the calves
- Urinary retention, enuresis, pain along the pathway of the meridian

Meridian Channel of Bladder

Arm Shao Yang Triple Heater Meridian (peak time: 9pm ~ 11pm)

The Triple Heater Meridian begins at the outer tip of the ring finger and goes along the back of the hand, wrist, forearm and upper arm, until it reaches the shoulder region where it branches off. One branch travels internally into the chest and passes through the pericardium and diaphragm uniting the upper, middle and lower heater (triple heater). The other branch runs externally up the side of the neck, circles the ear and face, and finally ends at the outer end of the eyebrow where it connects with the Gall Bladder Meridian.

Disharmony of the Triple Heater Meridian leads to symptoms like abdominal distention, edema (swelling), urinary incontinence, difficulty urinating, loss of hearing, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Pain in the pharynx (throat), eyes, cheek, back of the ear, shoulder and the upper arm can occur as these structures are located along this meridian's pathway.
- Pains in the ears or behind the ears, swollen painful throat, stiffness or inflammation of the shoulders, enuresis, dysuria, reduced auditory acuity, ringing in the ears


Meridian Channel of Triple Heater

Leg Shao Yang Gall Bladder Meridian (peak time: 11pm ~ 1am)

The Gall Bladder Meridian starts from the outer corner of the eye and divides into two branches. One branch runs externally and weaves back and forth at the lateral side of the head. After curving behind the ear, it reaches the top of the shoulder and crosses the lateral side of rib cage and abdomen, until it ends up at the side of the hip. The other branch enters the cheek and runs internally downward, through the neck and chest to connect with the gall bladder. It continues moving downwards and comes out in the lower abdomen, where it connects with the other branch at the hip. The hip branch then runs toward the lateral side of the thigh and lower leg. After crossing the ankle, it goes over the foot to reach to the tip of the fourth toe. Another small branch leaves the meridian and terminates at the big toe to connect with the Liver Meridian.

In TCM, the gall bladder is closely related to the liver. Hence, the disharmony of the Gall Bladder Meridian causes symptoms such as a bitter taste in the mouth, dizziness, headache, and pain at the outer angle of the eyelids. Pain along the meridian pathway such as in the axilla (armpit), chest, lower chest, buttocks and the lateral side of the lower limbs can also indicate a disorder of the Gall Bladder Meridian.
- Bitter taste in the mouth, dizziness, headache, infra-maxillary pain, pain at the external angle of the eye
- Pain in limbs, alternating hot and cold feelings, a fall in auditory acuity, ringing in the ears

Meridian Channel of Gall Bladder

Arm Yang Ming Large Intestine Meridian (peak time: 5am ~ 7am)

The Large Intestine Meridian starts from the tip of the index finger and runs between the thumb and the index finger. It then proceeds along the lateral side of the forearm and the anterior side of the upper arm, until it reaches the highest point of the shoulder. From there, it has two branches. One goes internally towards the lungs, diaphragm and large intestine. The other travels externally upwards where it passes the neck and cheek, and enters the lower teeth and gums. It then curves around the upper lip and crosses to the opposite side of the nose.

Disharmony of the Large Intestine Meridian can lead to symptoms of abdominal pain, intestinal cramping, diarrhea, constipation and dysentery. Since it passes through the oral cavity and the nose, symptoms like toothache, a runny nose, nosebleeds, and pain or heat along the meridian pathway can also indicate a disorder in this meridian.
- Abdominal pain, borborygmi, diarrhoea, constipation, dysentery, pains in the throat, sore throat or pharyngitis, dental pains, red eyes, painful neck

Meridian Channel of Large Intestine

Leg Yang Ming Stomach Meridian (peak time: 7am ~ 9am)

The Stomach Meridian starts from the end of the Large Intestine Meridian at the side of the nose, and passes through the inner corner of the eye to emerge from the lower part of the eye. Going downwards, it enters the upper gum and curves around the lips and lower jaw. It then turns upwards, passing in front of the ear, until it reaches the corner of the forehead where it splits into an internal and external branch. The internal branch emerges from the lower jaw, running downwards until it reaches its pertaining organ, the stomach. The external branch crosses the neck, chest, abdomen and groin where it goes further downward along the front of the thigh and the lower leg, until it reaches the top of the foot. Finally, it terminates at the lateral side of the tip of second toe. Another branch emerges from the top of the foot and ends at the big toe to connect with the Spleen Meridian.

Stomach Meridian disorders have symptoms of stomachache, rapid digestion, hunger, nausea and vomiting, or thirst. Other symptoms that relate to disorders along the meridian pathway include abdominal distension, ascites (a fluid build up in the abdomen), sore throat, nosebleeds, or pain in the chest or knee.
- Oedema of the limbs, cold at their extremities
- Pains in the legs, meteorism, borborygmi, stomach pain, vomiting, facial paralysis, sore throat, epistaxis