Meridians



In old and even some modern books of traditional character we come across the term Jingluo which is sometimes translated as “vessels and arteries”.

In ZHONGYIXUE-GAIYAO Jing and Luo are characterised as the routes running inside and on the surface of the human body (Meridians), through which, Qi and Blood circulate. All the lines running straightly are called Jing. The expression Luo means a network, i.e. a network of all the lines, long and short, coming out of the Jing and spreading all over the body.

Jing and Luo connect the upper part with the lower part, the surface with the inside and the frontal part with the back part of the body. According to the old way of division the following routes are classified among the Jing Luo:

I. Jing: the Twelve Meridians (Shi Er Jing), Eight Extra Meridians (Ba Mai).

II. Luo: Branches of the Twelve Meridians (Shi Er Jing Bie), Vessels of the Twelve Meridians (Shi Er Jing Jin), the Fifteen Luo Points (Shi Wu Bie Luo) and the Sun Luo Points (Sun Luo), which are the branches of the Fifteen Luo Points.

Acupuncture meridians – Jing

The Twelve Meridians

Meridians of human body

Meridian system of human body

The Twelve Meridians (Shi Er Jing) are sometimes called the True Meridians (Zhen Jing). These twelve main routes run all over the body, having direct connection with the twelve organs, combining Yang with Yin, the surface with the inside.

There exist the following routes:

  1. Lung Meridian (Shou Tai Yin Fei Jing). It begins below the clavicle, at L 1, goes over the shoulder and descends along the anterior and outer surface of the arm and ends at the end of the thumb at L 11.
  2. Large Intestine Meridian (Shou Yang Ming Da Chang Jing). It begins on the index finger at Li 1, ascends along the posterior and outer surface of the arm, goes over shoulder and neck and ends at the nose at Li 20.
  3. Stomach Meridian (Zu Yang Ming Wei Jing). It begins below the eye-ball at S 1, goes over the face, neck chest, and abdomen and descends along the posterior and outer surface of the leg and terminates at the tip of the second toe at S 45.
  4. Spleen Meridian (Zu Tai Yin Pi Jing). It begins on the big toe at Sp 1 ascends along the anterior and outer surface of the leg, goes over abdomen and chest between the second and the third rib and then down between the sixth and the seventh rib at Sp 21.
  5. Heart Meridian (Shou Shao Yin Xin Jing). It begins in the armpit at H 1, descends along the anterior and inner surface of the arm and terminates at the tip of the little finger at H 9.
  6. Small Intestine Meridian (Shou Tai Yang Xiao Chang Jing). It begins at the tip of the little finger at Si 1, ascends along the posterior and inner surface of the arm, goes over the dorsal side of the shoulder and scapula, over the neck and face and terminates near the ear at Si 19.
  7. Bladder Meridian (Zu Tai Yang Pang Guang Jing). It begins near the inner canthus at B 1, goes over head at B 10 it divides into two lines running parallelly down the back till the buttock, then it descends along the posterior and outer surface of the leg and ends at the tip of the little toe at B 6.
  8. Kidney Meridian (Zu Shao Yin Shen Jing). It begins in the middle of the sole at K 1, ascends along the anterior and inner surface of the leg goes over abdomen and chest and terminates below the first rib at K 27.
  9. Circulation-Sex Meridian (Shou Jue Yin Xin Bao Jing). It begins below the fourth rib at Cx 1 and descends along the anterior surface of the arm and terminates at the tip of the middle finger at Cx 9.
  10. Triple Warmer Meridian (Shou Shao Yang San Jiao Jing). It begins on the.fourth finger; ascends along the posterior surface of the arm, goes over shoulder, neck, along the ear and terminates at the external corner of the eye at T 23.
  11. Gall Bladder Meridian (Zu Shao Yang Dan Jing). It begins at the external corner of the eye G 1, goes over the head and shoulder and goes down the body and descends along the posterior surface of the leg and ends on the fourth toe at G 44.
  12. Liver Meridian (Zu Jue Yin Gan Jing). It begins on the big toe at Liv 1, ascends along the anterior surface of the leg, goes over the abdomen and ends below the nipple at Liv 14.

The Eight Extra Meridians

The Eight Extra Meridians (Qi Jing Ba Mai) comprise the following routes:

  1. Du Mai (Governing Vessel). It begins at the apex of the sacrum at Gv 1. runs across the back, head and face and terminates in the mouth below the upper lip at Gv 28.
  2. Ren Mai (Conception Vessel). It begins in the middle of the perineum at Cv 1, runs acros the chest and terminates below the lower lip at Cv 24.
  3. Chong Mai. It begins in the lower abdomen, goes over the abdomen and neck and terminates near the lip and in the other direction ascends internally along the spine.
  4. Dai Mai. It begins below the ribs, descends to the point daimai G 26 and winds all round the waist.
  5. Yin Jiao Mai. It begins at the point zhaohai K 6, runs across the inner ankle, ascends along the inner surface of the leg, comes near to the genitalia, ascends along the chest, enters the point quepen S 12, goes up the throat and reaches the inner canthus of the eye where it combines with Yang Jiao Mai.
  6. Yang Jiao Mai. It begins laterally from the heel, runs along the external ankle, ascends along the outer surface of the leg and lateral side of the back across the shoulder, neck and face, enters the point jingming B 1 and combines with Yin Jiao Mai and combines with the Gall Bladder Meridian at the point fengchi G 20.
  7. Yin Wei Mai. Itstarts on the internal surface of the leg (zhubin K 9), ascends into the abdomen, meets the Spleen Meridian, goes over the chest and meets the Conception Vessel on the neck.
  8. Yang Wei Mai. It begins at the heel, goes up the external ank1e, goes along the Gall Bladder Meridian, runs across the hip, ascends the lateral side of the back, runs across the shoulder, reaches the forehead, then goes to the back of the head and meets the Governing Vessel. The Conception Vessel and the Governing Vessel have their own points, while the other six meridians and the Luo utilise the points of the Fourteen Meridians.

Meridians in Traditional Chinese medicine

Acupuncture meridians – Luo

Branches of the Twelve Meridians

Branches of the Twelve Meridians (Shi Er Jing Bie). These routes exist deep in the body. They manifest the relations between Yang and Yin, the surface and the inside. The branches of the Yang meridians come together and are intersected by those of the Yin meridians. In the case the Yin meridian becomes ill, the Yang meridian is used for treatment and vice versa. Most of the Yin meridians do not lead into the head, but by means of the Yang meridians they can reach the head. There is one difference between the Yang and the Yin meridians. The Yang meridians after branching out from the original meridians come again, while the Yin meridians do not come back but combine with some other Yang meridian.

Vessels of the Twelve Meridians

Vessels of the Twelve Meridians (Shi Er Jing Jin). These routes manifest the function of the Twelve Meridians in the muscles. They run on the surface and do not enter the organs. They originate at the end of the limbs, wind round the wrist, elbow, axilla, shoulder, ankle, knee, hips, go over the chest and abdomen and end on the head.

The Fifteen Luo Points

The Fifteen Luo Points (Shi Wu Luo Mai). The Luo Points exist on the surface of the body. They consist of the twelve points taken from the Twelve.Meridians, of one point from the Conception Vessel, of one point from the Governing Vessel and the dabao point Sp 21. Their main function is to maintain the two routes, the superficial and the deep one. The maintenance of the normal physiological functions depends on the connection between Jing and Luo. Thus through them the disease of an internal organ can be manifested on the body. There exist the following Luo Points:

lieque L 7 tongli H 5 neiguan Cx 6 zhiheng Si 7
pianli Li 6 waiguan T5 feiyang B 58 guangming G37
fenglong S 40 gongsun Sp 4 dazhong K 4 ligou Liv 5
jiuwei Cv 15 changqiang Gv 1 dabao Sp 21

Such a classification of the routes can be found in more traditional books on acupuncture and moxibustion; whereas modern works describe the 14 routes, i.e. the classical Twelve Meridians, the Governing Vessel and the Conception Vessel taken out from the Eight Extra Meridians and besides each author gives a different number of efficacious points lying outside of the routes. Zhu Lian ignores completely the traditional division into the meridians and describes the points arranged according to individual regions on the body. It remains a question whether the traditional routes have any meaning at all. They were probably developed much later as connecting lines for already existing points. Originally there were only the Twelve Meridians, points discovered later were classified into the Eight Extra Meridians. During the Yuan dynasty Governing Vessel and Conception Vessel were taken out, and added to the Twelve Meridians and called The Fourteen Meridians (Shi Si Jing). All other efficacious points lying outside the Fourteen Meridians were called the Extra Points (Jing Wai Qi Xue).

I am using the traditional division, i.e. the Fourteen Meridians and the Extra Points, because I think that this division, although perhaps without any scientific basis, may serve at least as a mnemonic aid. The following chart shows a comparison between the old and new way of the traditional division.