Traditional Chinese Medicine – 14 Main Meridians and Acupuncture Point Charts


As we have discussed in the precious article, Jingluos are the energy pathways inside our body. Jingluos are Jings and Luos. Jings are meridians, they run longitudinally along the body, Luos are networks, they are the branches and sub branches. Since Jings are mostly discussed for general information, as a convenient term, we use meridians when we talk about Jingluos.

There are twelve main meridians (Jings). Each one belongs to one of the organs as their names indicated. They are: the heart, pericardium, lungs, stomach, spleen, kidneys, liver, large intestine, small intestine, bladder, gall bladder, and SanJiao. In Chinese medicine, Sanjiao is the container for all the organs. The names of them are very significant. Each contains four pieces of information: where, the nature (Yin or Yang), how much Yin or Yang, and which organ each belongs to. The twelve main meridians exist in pairs, symmetric about the centerline of the body. They are:

1. Tai Yin lung meridian of the hands

2. Yang Ming large intestine meridian of the hands

3. Yang Ming stomach meridian of the feet

4. Tai Yin spleen meridian of the feet

5. Shao Yin heart meridian of the hands

6. Tai Yang small intestine meridian of the hands

7. Tai Yang bladder meridian of the feet

8. Shao Yin kidney meridian of the feet

9. Jue Yin pericardium meridian of the hands

10. Shao Yang Sanjiao meridian of the hands

11. Shao Yang gallbladder meridian of the feet

12. Jue Yin liver meridian of the feet

13. Conception vessel

14. Governor vessel

(13 and 14 are extraordinary meridians as introduced below)

Hands and Feet indicate the locations. Hand refers to the upper body and runs into the arm and hand. Foot refers to the lower body and runs from the upper body into the leg and foot. The Yin / Yang relationships between them can be complicated. But for common knowledge, we can have a general view like this: the amount of Yin / Yang ranges from large to small: Tai Yin larger than Shao Yin larger than Jue Yin; Yang Ming larger than Tai Yang larger than Shao Yang.

There are eight extraordinary meridians. Unlike the main meridians, they do not belong to any specific organs, but rather play very important roles in connecting the 12 main meridians. They support the main ones to help them realize their functionalities and regulate and balance energy and blood flows.

The centerlines of the body are the locations of the conception vessel and governor vessel. Their roles in regulating the energy flows are so critical that, they are grouped with the other 12 main ones and described as the 14 main meridians.

Each meridian has two hours of the most active time every day (only the 12 main ones). The hours are listed in the chart for each meridian. Theoretically, in most cases, it is best to work on it during its most active time, but this is not practical for those ones with an active time in the middle of the night. Therefore, for daily health care, you can do the work whenever you have the chance. For medical treatment purpose, follow your doctor's advice.

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