Meridian Therapy Energy Exercises for Wellness

Meridian therapy techniques restore energy flow through the 12 body meridians. They work in a variety of ways to release blockages and restore balance in mind and body. Restored energy flow benefits physical and mental health in many ways, including pain relief and improved learning abilities.

For thousands of years, acupuncture was the mainstay meridian therapy for healing and energy balancing in the East. Martial arts such as tai chi and chi gong evolved as practices and energy exercises that move chi through the meridians and the body's energy system.

Thanks to an abundance of anecdotal evidence and modern research showing their effectiveness and safety, these meridian therapies have gained some acceptance in the West. Acupuncture is even allowed under some insurance policies.

With that acceptance came more knowledge and the development of new techniques.

Newer methods rely primarily on touch, movement and energy exercises instead of needles. They are easier to learn and use. Examples are Touch for Health, Brain Gym and meridian tapping techniques such as EFT.

The 12 Body Meridians

If you are going to use meridian therapy techniques, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the 12 main body meridians and how they work.

According to TCM, meridian energy travels in pathways through the body. This chi flows continuously from one channel to another. When the flow gets compromised in some way, vitality diminishes. Corresponding tissues or organs may not function properly.

Energy pathways travel along the arms and legs and/or through the body. They are the lung, pericardium, triple warmer,large intestine, bladder, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, kidney, gall bladder, and liver meridians. Their names correspond to their biological functions, not necessarily physical organs themselves. This can be a bit confusing.

Eight extra meridians function as energy storage vessels. Two that are commonly known are the central and governing meridians. The central meridian runs up the front of the body to the lower lip. The governing vessel runs up the back of the body and over the head to the upper lip.

This chart illustrating nine body meridians is from the book Touch For Health: The Complete Edition by John Thie. The little triangles show the starting points.

meridian therapy chart

Meridian Therapy Energy Exercises

Do the following meridian therapy techniques for yourself or someone else. Practiced regularly, they will help keep your energetic flow in balance.

Meridian tracing

Trace your meridians according to the natural direction of flow to give yourself a little "energy massage".  To do this energy exercise, use your hand to trace from the triangle all the way to the end of the line. If you can't reach a spot, that's okay. See it in your imagination. Switch hands when you need to. You may go over your clothes or an inch or so above your skin. Lightly smooth your skin in a long stroke along each line. You may feel a tingling or pressure in your hand. Your body may feel tingly or energized. Always trace  in the direction that strengthens flow. Going in the opposite direction is weakening. Follow along with the video and use the chart above.

Zip Up your energy

This popular energy exercise, one of many from Donna Eden's Energy Medicine book, strengthens the central meridian. The zip up helps protect you from negativity and gives you a nice little "pick-me-up" when feeling tired and foggy. First, rest one hand below your navel and with the other tap or rub under your collarbone a few inches from the center of your chest (the K-27points). Switch hands and repeat on the other side. 

Then, place your hand at your pubic bone directly in the center of the front of your body. Take a deep breath and bring one hand up to the cleft of your chin and touch your lower lip. On the next in-breath, repeat with the other hand. Repeat three times. This can also be done with the hands an inch or so off the body. You may have seen martial artists swipe downward in front of their opponent's body to weaken the central meridian. You can experiment with this yourself if you know how to muscle test. A downward swipe should get a weak response and an upward swipe a positive one. Just be sure to zip up when you are finished playing. 

Space and Earth Buttons

Try these two Brain Gym exercises.  As a bonus, both of these meridian energy exercises are said to improve reading skills. 

  • Space buttons - One hand rests above the upper lip while the other lays on the lower backbone. This activates the brain for relaxation and concentration, eye contact in communication and may improve motivation and interest. Take a few deep breaths while holding the pose. You can also move your eyes from a near to far focus and back again. Reverse hands and repeat. 
  • Earth buttons - Place the fingers of one hand right below the lower lip and the other hand on the pubic bone. Take a few deep breaths and move the eyes slowly all the way down and up and back again. This exercise gives the sensation of a better connection between the upper and lower parts of the body, helping you feel more stable and centered. Reverse hands and repeat.

Qigong Bouncing

Bouncing promotes energy flow and stimulates the lymphatic system.

In a standing position, place your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly. Keep your back and head straight, eyes forward, arms relaxed at your sides. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth as you bounce gently from the knees for 1-2 minutes. Keep you feet planted on the floor. Then, while still bouncing, raise your arms straight above your head. Relax your wrists completely and let your hands flop up and down with each bounce. Continue one more minute. 

Ear Massage

The ears have numerous acupressure points on them that link to the body's energy channels. Use firm, gentle pressure to rub the inside of your outer ear and around your ears with one finger or more. Grasp your earlobe between your thumb and forefinger and massage gently. With the same fingers, uncurl and massage your ear fold from front to back a few times. 

Curl your fingers over your ears with the pads firmly planted on the skull just above the top folds and thumbs touching the skull and back of the ears. Your palms can rest on the side of your face and jaw. Close your eyes. Hold this position for as long as you like to calm Triple Warmer and relax your mind.  

Tap Your Tailbone

The tailbone tap opens energy channels in the lower half of your body and stimulates cerebral spinal fluid. You can do this meridian exercise standing, sitting, or in child's pose. Lean forward so that your spine is curved. With loose fists, gently tap your tailbone and sacrum area with alternating fists for a couple of minutes. You can also tap your buttocks and on the muscles on both sides of your spine as far up as you can reach for a little massage and to stimulate blood flow.

Make a daily practice of a few of these meridian therapy energy exercises to help your body meridians maintain a healthy balanced flow, which in turn will enhance your state of wellness and feelings of well-being.

Meridian Therapy for Emotional Wellness

Several techniques for healing emotional and mental trauma, negative feelings and distress have gained in popularity over the last 20 years, and rightly so. Methods such as the Emotional Freedom Technique and the Tapas Acupressure Technique work with the mind body connection to release energy blockages caused when troubling memories are stored in the body or energy system. Sometimes, after only a few minutes of tapping, you can literally feel your body buzzing with energy. 

Read More about these meridian therapy techniques here:

For specific health issues, try acupressure or acupuncture in addition to these general body meridian therapy exercises. Click here for more tips for working with these energy channels and a chart showing the relationships between body meridians and disease.

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