Thursday, 6 February 2014

Understanding Meridians in Relation to Reflexology, Explained

Understanding Meridians in relation to Reflexology, energy lines that run through the body
energy lines that run
 through the body
Reflexology is closely linked to acupuncture in that it is believed that all the major organs of the body are connected through a system of energy lines called meridians, with the main lines running through the feet and hands, and which are believed to follow the lines of major nerves.

In Chinese philosophy an energy line can become blocked, causing pain or dysfunction in various body parts connected along the line.

Reflexology can help to release these blockages by the contact stimulation on the feet with the meridians, thereby encouraging the free-flow of energy throughout the body and bringing the bodily functions back into harmony.

In acupuncture there are over 500 points along the meridians. These points are stimulated by needles in a particular sequence depending on the action required.  Reflexology doesn’t concern itself with individual points as in acupuncture, but rather the meridians are used as an aid to understanding the path of disease.

This meridian energy or life force is also known as ch'i or Qi and circulates throughout the body in a similar way to the blood, nerve and lymphatic circuits.  With experience, the flow of energy can be felt in the body – patients have exclaimed at feeling waves of energy run up through their bodies while their feet are being worked on with Reflexology.

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12 Main Meridians in Relation to Reflexology

There are 12 main meridians which run through the hands and feet – 6 in the feet and 6 in the hands.  In a sense there is only one single meridian, as all the meridians interconnect with each other, thus there is one continuous flow of energy.  However, it is easier to describe different meridians, according to their positions and functions.

The 12 main meridians are paired, that is they appear on both sides of the body, in effect giving 24 separate pathways.  Stimulating any one will affect the others.  Each meridian is connected and related to a specific organ from which it gets its name, and each is also connected to a partner meridian whose organ it has a specific mutual relationship with.

6 Main Meridians in the Feet

The 6 main meridians found in the feet penetrate the:
6 main meridians found in the feet, energy lines in the feet that can be stimulated with reflexology
6 main meridians
 in the feet

        • Liver
        • Spleen/pancreas
        • Stomach
        • Gall bladder
        • Bladder
        • Kidney

6 Main Meridians in the Hands

The 6 main meridians found in the hands penetrate the:
6 main meridians in the hands, energy lines in the hands that can be stimulated with reflexology
6 main meridians
in the hands

    • Lungs
    • Large intestine
    • Pericardium
    • Triple Heater
    • Small intestine
    • Heart

With Reflexology, the meridians found in the hands are indirectly stimulated when the meridians in the feet are worked on.  That is, the organs relating to the meridians in the hands are found along the meridians that run through the feet, e.g. the lung meridian is found in the hands, but the lung organ itself is penetrated by the stomach meridian (which runs through the feet).  Therefore, a congestion in the lung could be indirectly helped by stimulating the stomach meridian.

It follows then that observing which areas of the body lie along a particular meridian can serve as a useful diagnostic tool.  For example, if a condition with a specific organ does not improve satisfactorily through treatment of the specific reflex area, then it is useful to observe the meridian that traverses that particular part of the body and treat the reflex area of the organ related to that meridian.  Looking at a partner meridian could also be helpful.

When you look at the meridians in this way, it is easy to see that although one may perceive a problem or pain with a particular organ or body part, the dysfunction could actually be in a different organ or body part situated along the meridian.  It is also easy to see how dysfunction in one part could affect another, and how a blockage in a particular energy line could eventually cause pain or dysfunction to all body parts along the line.

In reflexology, the meridians are automatically stimulated as you massage the reflex areas / reflexology zones on the feet, however the meridians are most easily accessible through the toes.  Stimulating an energy line will help to release the free-flow of energy along the whole path, stimulating all the organs and body parts along the way.

N.B.  Reflexologists seek to work in conjunction with the medical profession.  They do not diagnose/treat specific diseases, rather they help to stimulate the body’s own healing energies.  It is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care professional if you have any concerns regarding your health.

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