Have you ever gone for a massage and mentioned you have neck pain, but the massage therapist doesn’t end up spending a whole lot of time massaging the neck?! There are two possibilities for this;

  1. The therapist wasn’t listening to you or;
  2. The therapist was actually working your energy meridians to help alleviate the symptoms you’re feeling.

So now, I bet you’re really wondering “what are these energy meridians you speak of?” I’m no mind reader but I suspect you are still reading so let me take a moment to explain 🙂

A simple definition is that a meridian is an energetic highway within the human body. These meridians allow for energy or Qi (pronounced Chee) to flow and circulate through the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around and practiced for over 3500 years and one of the concepts is that of the meridians or energetic pathways. According to TCM, meridians are responsible for the distribution of energy.

In total there are 14 main meridian pathways through out the body and each one has a corresponding pair or twin pathway. For example there is a pathway that runs up the centre of the body on the front as well as one that runs along the spine. The other 12 run from head to toe through the limbs and body. Each limb has six channels running through them; three are considered Yin in nature and the other three are considered to be Yang in nature. The Yin channels are located on the inside surfaces and the yang along the outside surfaces. So the channels corresponding pairs are Yin and Yang. TCM states that in every living thing there is Yin and Yang. Yin is associated to water, darkness and cold, while Yang associates to fire, daylight and heat. For any living thing to function properly and at its best, there needs to be a balance between Yin and Yang. Cool huh?!

There are other meridians called Extraordinary Meridians that are not associated with the major organ systems and their main purpose is to store Qi and blood. These meridians have a strong association to the immune system and connect the main 12 channels.

So how do we know when there is a blockage within an energy meridian?

It is important to listen to our body and what it’s telling us. Tingling, numbness, feeling fatigue are good indicators, and of course when we feel pain it is the body sounding the alarms that something is not right. We are always the first to know when something doesn’t feel right, when things stop functioning as they once did. And if you are as stubborn as myself, you probably ignore the signs and alarms ringing from within for as long as possible! HAHA BUT if you think about it, nothing in the human body functions independently. So if one thing is off, then it is bound to start affecting more within, so it is best to get yourself sorted out as soon as you can.

According to TCM, figuring out the cause of the pain/tingling/etc. is extremely important in treating the issue. Unblocking relieves blood and Qi stagnancy, balances the energy nourishing your tissues, increasing circulation, and building up deficient organs. Ways that we can heal our body and unblock the meridians is through Ayurveda, Reiki, Massage, Acupuncture and Acupressure, Kinesiology, Reflexology, Qi Gong and so on. Finding a method of healing and detoxing that suits you as an individual and don’t forget to take steps to prevent future issues, ailments, pains. Being proactive by doing things like Yoga, Tai Chi, and Massage help to balance the mind and body as well as help ensure the body operates effectively to create harmony and health within the physical and spiritual bodies.