Have you struggled with finding and sticking to an exercise routine? Or do you find it hard to get yourself to the gym often? Lighter alternatives such as meridian exercises may be the simplest option for you to stay healthy and keep your body moving. In this article, we will discuss the meridians of the body and how they can help with leading a healthy lifestyle, improving overall meridian health
, and alleviating pain.
Meridian Health: An Informational Breakdown
Derived from Chinese Medicine, meridians are the pathways within the body through which your chi energy travels. Chi energy
is the energy that exists within us all and is directly related to the development of illness and diseases.
If your body is deficient or imbalanced in chi, you become unguarded against possible illness. In a balanced body, chi flows from one meridian to another on a constant basis. The objective of the meridian health system and meridian exercises is to restore balance and circulation within your body. The belief is that a restoration of balance through this practice will ultimately restore overall health and well-being.
The Twelve Meridians
There are 12 major meridian channels throughout the body. Each meridian is associated with a different organ and has its own directional flow.
The 12 major meridians are broken down into six ‘yin’ meridians and 6 ‘yang’ meridians, which are said to be complementary opposites to create balance. The yin flows through the inner part of the body, while the yang flows through the outer parts of the body.
Meridians are named according to the organ that they communicate with rather than the position they hold within the body. For instance, the arm holds the lung, heart, small intestine, pericardium, triple burner, and large intestine meridians. The leg holds the stomach, bladder, kidney, gallbladder, spleen, and liver meridian. As you can see in the diagram, the urinary bladder meridian and the stomach meridian have the longest flow, reaching from head to toe.
Meridian Exercises: The Basics
Meridian exercises are made up of various routines that include a combination of repetitive movements, stretches, and acupressure stimulation. The techniques work in different ways to free blockages within the meridian pathways that may be hindering energy from flowing through the body.
The restoration of this proper flow benefits your physical and mental health. Though it originates in ancient Chinese Medicine, meridian therapy and exercise has moved its way to western cultures due to the validation of its effectiveness. Meridian practices are now being merged with yoga and pilates
to center movements around energy flow.
Benefits of Meridian Exercises
The various techniques of meridian exercises have proven to be beneficial in both physical and mental health. They have been known to decrease headaches, stress, common cold symptoms, high blood pressure, diabetes, and digestive issues. In addition to helping your chi flow freely, these exercises also help with increasing flexibility, physical balance, and circulation. Some studies
show that meridian exercises have evidence-based positive results with people who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health impairments.
Common Meridian Exercises
Best for all meridians
Tapping along the meridian lines of your body can release blockages and bring more energy and blood to the associated organs. Make sure your body is in a relaxed position. Tap on and around the area source of pain. For example, if you have stomach pain, tap along the stomach meridian. You can do this with the tips of your fingers or the palm of your hand.
Best for all meridians
Your joints can become a vacuum for stuck energy—especially if you don’t move them enough. Rotating your joints aids in pain relief and decreases stiffness. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth as you rotate to release the stagnant energy in your meridians. Simply rotate whichever joint is causing you pain, making sure that you rotate the joint equally both clockwise and counter clockwise direction for balance.
Sleeping Tiger Posture
Best for Kidney, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Liver, Lung meridians
This exercise helps with accumulating energy and releasing pain in the back, neck, head, hip and knee areas. Start by lying on your back and bringing your legs and arms into the air while bending your knees into a 90 degree angle. Your legs should be a fist-width apart in the air. Keep your elbows straight and bend your wrists 90 degrees. During this position, you want to focus on accumulating energy in your lower abdomen. Hold this position for 5-10 minutes.
Best for Kidney, Stomach, Large Intestine meridians
Keeping your core energy flowing will ultimately impact the pain levels throughout the rest of your body. You can complete this exercise while in many different positions such as lying down, sitting, or even standing. Allow the tips of your thumbs to meet at your belly button to form a triangle with your fingers touching below. Use your lower abdominal muscles to pull the belly button in towards your back, then push out. Do this as many times as you can, with a goal of 100.
There are many meridian exercise techniques out there to help you release blockages in your body. If you hate going to the gym and don’t want to do anything that may ultimately worsen your pain or cause additional muscle tension, try doing meridian exercises to circulate your energy effectively. Meridian exercises have, after all, been used for thousands of years to help people balance their energy and relieve pain and other symptoms of illnesses.
If you want to experience and learn more about meridian exercises, check out our Basic Meridian Healing Online Course
led by meridian expert Chung Suk. This online certification course takes you through the 12 primary meridians and how to reenergize, balance, and them for a healthier and more stress-free life.