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how many Meridians?

When learning about acupressure you will often hear the word "Meridians" mentioned.

Meridians are invisible energy lines running on the body. Ten of these lines correspond to organ:

  1. Heart
  2. Small Intestines
  3. Lungs
  4. Large Intestines
  5. Liver
  6. Gall Bladder 
  7. Kidneys
  8. Bladder
  9. Spleen/ Pancreas
  10. Stomach 

Another 4 meridians do not correspond to a physical organ, giving us a total of 14 meridians.

  1. Heart Governor 
  2. Triple Heater 
  3. Conception vessel 
  4. Governing vessel
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Acupressure Locations

Positioned on these 14 meridians are acupressure locations. There are over 660 such acupressure points on the body. Not all are used by practitioners.

Acupressure locations and Acupuncture points (known as “Acu” points in Chinese and as “Tsubos” in Japanese) are similar. 

In the Acupressure style, the treatment is mainly concentrated on the back, the shoulders, the neck, the arms, the hands and the scalp. This style of massage is most pleasant and very much appreciated by patients.

Acupressure Locations or Tsubos

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Heart Meridian

Acupressure - The Heart meridian

Active time: 11.00 to 13.00.

A healthy heart meridian will manifest itself by a feeling of joy and happiness.

An imbalance in this meridian may be created by nervous stress and tension as this damages tissue and blood.

The heart meridian is associated with communication and awareness.

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Small Intestines Meridian

Acupressure - The Small Intestines meridian

Active Time: 13.00 to 15.00

A healthy small intestines' meridian will protect the heart energy.

An imbalanced small intestines' meridian may cause low back pain, cramps in the legs, constipation, headaches, menstrual problems and neck and shoulder aches.

The small Intestines' meridian is associated with the “holding on to things” in an emotional point of view.

The small intestines themselves are responsible for converting the food we eat into nutrients for the various tissues.

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Lungs Meridian

Acupressure - The Lung meridian

Active time: 3.00 to 5.00

A healthy lung meridian will mean plenty of oxygen to the whole. This will supply “Chi” to all the organs and favour a positive outlook on life.

Imbalances in this meridian may cause depression, lack of energy and chest problems.

People with problems in this meridian often sigh.

The lungs are responsible for the supply of oxygen to the various organs in the body as well as to the brain. As such, it has a strong influence on the state of mind of a person.

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Large Intestines Meridian

Acupressure - The Large Intestines meridian

Active time: 5.00 to 7.00

Healthy large intestines will help elimination, clear blockages and support the lungs.

Imbalances in this meridian mean the person will not be able to express their feelings, holding on to resentment and negativity. Poor circulation, constipation, skin problems, respiratory disorders, haemorrhoids, pain in the thumbs and back weaknesses may occur.

The large intestines are responsible for the elimination of waste material from the process of digestion.

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Liver Meridian

Acupressure - The Liver meridian

Active time: 1.00 to 3.00

A healthy liver meridian means anger does not build up and is released before it damages health.

Sexual performance is related to this meridian.

Imbalances in this meridian manifest themselves as anger, bad temper, and aggressiveness. Often, the person is unable to release this anger and creates a “pressure cooker” effect – beware when the steam comes out.

The liver performs over 100 functions in the body.

Chinese believe this meridian to be associated with ideas.

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Gall Bladder Meridian

Acupressure - The Gallbladder meridian

Active time: 23.00 to 1.00

A healthy gall bladder meridian means clear ideas and good decisions. 

An imbalance in this meridian means rigid thought patterns, inability to decide, hormonal imbalances, problems with sexual relationships, over meticulousness, insomnia, pain on the right side of the body, joint problems, right shoulder tension.

This organ stores the bile manufactured by the liver. The bile helps the digestion of fatty food.

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Kidney Meridian

Acupressure - The Kidney meridian

Active time: 17.00 to 19.00

A healthy kidney meridian means a clear vision of where we are heading in life.

Imbalances in this meridian means fear, excessive working hours, lack of perseverance, tendency to overdo things and general instability.

Skin problems often occur (eczema, psoriasis or other skin conditions) when this meridian is imbalanced.

Irregular sleeping patterns.

The function of the kidneys is to control the “water works”.

This meridian helps all organs in the body perform their functions.

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Bladder Meridian

Acupressure - The Bladder meridian

Active time: 17.00 to 19.00

A healthy bladder meridian manifests itself by good energy (chi). This is due to the proper elimination of waste from the body (physical and emotional).

The positive emotions associated with the bladder meridian when it is strong are courage, achievement, knowing where one is going.

An imbalance in this meridian is reflected by nervous tension and over reaction to problems.

Lower back problems often occur. Hair growth in the sacral area indicates a weakness in this meridian.

The negative emotions associated with the bladder meridian when it is weak are fear, shyness, not knowing where you are going.

The bladder meridian is connected to the endocrine system. It affects the reproductive system and the uterus in women.

The bladder meridian is the longest meridian in the body. It consists of 67 Tsubos.

Together with Kidney meridian, the Bladder meridian is responsible for purification and regulation. They rid the body of toxin and control the amount of fluid is retained in the body.

The bladder meridian contains special tsubo points known as YU points. YU points are connected to the main organs in the body. A tenderness in one of the Tsubos may indicate an imbalance in the corresponding organ.

The main YU points on the bladder meridian are (see above chart):

13    Many lung problems, including asthma, bronchitis, flu, etc…
14    Tachycardia, hypertension, etc…
15    Heart related problems, including angina pectoris, palpitation, etc…
17    Emotional tensions, nausea, skin allergies
18    Rib pains, liver and gall-bladder illnesses, eye problems
19    as 18 plus back pains
20    Spleen and Pancreas illnesses, diabetes, loss of appetite
21    Stomach illnesses, gastrointestinal problems, dyspepsia, vomiting
22    Diarrhoea, dyspepsia, lower back problem
Related to kidneys, good for re-energizing, nephritis, etc…
25    Large intestines problems including constipation, vomiting, lumbar pain
27    Small intestines problems, swollen legs, enteritis, menstrual problems

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Spleen / Pancreas Meridian

Acupressure - The Spleen/Pancreas meridian

Active time: 9.00 to 11.00

The spleen and pancreas are considered as one organ in Chinese's medicine.

A healthy spleen means a good self-image and excellent creativity.

An imbalance in this meridian will be reflected by a tendency to worry and think too much. To overanalyze everything.

Continuous hunger for food – especially sweet food - is often a problem.

The following problems may occur: 

  • drowsiness 
  • pain in the mid back section 
  • pain in the knees 
  • frozen shoulders. 

Problems in the pancreas may result in high (diabetic) or low sugar problems.

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Stomach Meridian

Acupressure - The Stomach meridian

Active time: 7.00 to 9.00

A healthy stomach meridian will manifest itself by good memory, general thought patterns and ideas.

An imbalance in this meridian will create worry over minor details, frequent yawning, cold feet, tension in the neck and shoulders, belching, hyperactivity and stomach distension.

Obsession about career building, seldom satisfied with outcomes.

This type may often try to acquire knowledge without caring about the hurt they may inflict on others.

The stomach is responsible for our appetite and our eating habits.

It relates to the reproductive system for the female (development of breast and breast-feeding and the ovaries).

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Heart Governor Meridian

Acupressure - The Heart Governor meridian

Active time: 19.00 to 21.00

This meridian is sometimes referred to as the Heart Constrictor or Pericardium.

A healthy heart governor will protect the heart against emotional traumas. It carries the heart’s emotions to our whole being.

Imbalances in this meridian may mean difficulty in relaxing, high or low blood pressure, exhaustion from overworking, insomnia, palpitation, shortness of breath, low sexual drive.

The heart governor is associated with circulation and sex.

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Triple Heater Meridian

Acupressure - The Triple Heater meridian

Active time: 21.00 to 23.00

A healthy triple heater will mean no cold extremities (feet or hands). It is responsible for good control of body heat.

An imbalance in this meridian may cause an inability to interact with others and being overly cautious with our trust of others.

The fists may be constantly clenched, and our body is tensed.

Frequent colds may occur. Skin problems are not uncommon.

This meridian controls the “waterways” of “chi”.

It supplies the body with the blood and energy it requires.

It controls lymphatic flow and peripheral circulation.

It controls the distribution of nutrients from the blood to the periphery of the body.

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Conception Vessel Meridian

Acupressure - The Conception Vessel meridian

Active time: No time associated with this meridian

A healthy conception vessel will be expressed by a happy sexual relationship, good communication and self-confidence.

An imbalance in this meridian may indicate a difficulty in sexual relationship, overly self-protective, difficulty in communicating with others and low self-esteem.

Illness of the reproductive and urinary system may occur (bladder infections, impotence, bed-wetting, menstrual disorders). 

Spiritual unrest.

The conception vessel as its name implies is connected to conception.

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Governing Vessel Meridian

Active time: No time associated with this meridian

A healthy governing vessel means flexible thinking and strong nervous system.

An imbalance in this meridian may mean inflexibility in our thinking and inability to accept opinions from others.

Nervousness, pain in the back, MS, paralysis, anorexia, haemorrhoids, nervous system disorders and mental illnesses.

The governing vessel is primarily connected to the nervous system and flexible interaction with others.

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