As we near the end of our year-long journey through the Meridians, the season of Autumn is the perfect time to talk about Large Intestine Meridian. Just as the trees let go of their leaves this season, our Large Intestine Meridian (LI) is also about letting go and releasing that which we no longer need.
The Large Intestine organ has a huge role to play in the digestive process by storing, and then releasing and eliminating waste. It is also extremely important in the metabolism of water. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Lung and LI Meridians make up the Metal Element, and LI assists the lungs in controlling the skin’s pores and perspiration.
When LI is imbalanced, we can experience digestive issues, abdominal pain, and even issues with the mouth, teeth, nose and throat. Because LI is all about detoxifying and cleansing the body of things we do not need, skin issues can also be associated with an imbalance in this Meridian, as well as inflammation and a lack of energy.
LI is not only about releasing physical toxins from the body, though. When it is not working optimally, we can feel a toxicity in the mental, emotional and spiritual areas of our lives. Emotionally, we can feel depression, grief, irritability, discouragement, and a sense of emptiness. We can also act stubbornly, be dismissive toward others, feel a need to be right all the time, resist change, and feel a sense that we need to control and hold onto things that may not be healthy for us.
Stomach Meridian, the next stop on our yearlong Meridian journey, plays an important digestive role in our lives, but also is an important part of our emotional well-being. If you have ever had the feeling of knots in your stomach, you have felt the manifestation of stomach’s emotional aspect when imbalanced: worry.
The Stomach organ’s job is to digest foods and fluids and move them along the digestive tract. An imbalance in the organ or the Stomach Meridian (ST) can show up as a result of any type of reversal of the downward flow of digestion, such as acid reflux, hiccups, or vomiting. We can also feel discomfort such as bloating and cramping.
Just as the organ is responsible for digestion of food, ST is also responsible for the digestion and assimilation of ideas and the absorption of information. An imbalance in ST can result in excessive worry, and feelings of gloom and fear. We can also become stagnate and resist change, feel a sense of anxiety, and doubt ourselves.
A balanced ST can help us honor and nurture ourselves, trust in the larger picture, feel a sense of healthy compassion for ourselves and others, and have feelings of openness, caring, and fairness. Luckily there are some ways to balance ST using Eden Energy Medicine techniques.
The Stomach Thump, or Grounding Thump, is one way to balance ST and can help us feel more grounded. Simply tap on your cheekbones with your fingertips. To ground even more and even help to alleviate nausea, instead of tapping, place your thumbs right below your cheekbones and press in and up with deep pressure.
Stomach 36 is an acupoint that can help balance ST energy. It can also help strengthen the immune system, alleviate digestive issues, and balance our overall energy. It is about four finger widths down from the bottom of your knee on the outside area of your shin bone. Work this point on both sides of the body by massaging it or simply holding it with a little bit of pressure (see diagram).
As we continue our yearlong journey through the Meridians (energy pathways in the body), this month brings us to the Spleen Meridian. The Spleen Meridian (SP), according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, has a tremendous role to play in the area of metabolism. It not only metabolizes our food, but also helps to process our emotions, thoughts, and experiences.
The Spleen, as an energy system, is also associated with the Pancreas, and together these two organs help to breakdown food and worn out tissue, such as red blood cells. An imbalanced SP can lead to digestion issues, exhaustion, stress, and even chronic fatigue because of the role it plays in helping to keep our immune system functioning optimally. Emotionally, we can feel worry, have an inability to understand our experiences and recognize the good in them, and over-think things. We can also have trouble concentrating, be overly concerned with how others view us, and can have low self-esteem.
However, when we use techniques to balance SP (like the Eden Energy Medicine exercises listed below), we can feel a fairness toward ourselves and others, be open to our experiences and view them in a positive way, and are open to the possibilities ahead of us. In essence, we can experience compassion and joy toward ourselves and others when SP is balanced.
The Spleen Radiant Circuit Activation exercise can help to boost SP as well as an energy system associated with keeping us in a joy filled place. Place your thumb, first and middle fingers in a cluster together (called a 3-finger notch) at the center of your chest and with the other hand, place a three-finger notch on any side of your body toward the bottom of the ribcage, about four inches from the armpit. Hold these points and take deep breaths for as long as it feels good (see diagram).
We are in the heat of summer, and that means that the Fire Element is in full swing. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Fire Element is associated with Summer, and also connected with the Heart Meridian. Meridians are energy pathways in our body and when we balance them, we can achieve emotional and physical well-being and good health.
Heart is often called “The Emperor” in TCM because it rules over all of our organs. It is responsible for the circulation of blood, and is associated with laughter, enthusiasm, and love. When the Heart Meridian (HT) is out of balance, we can experience shortness of breath, palpitations, tiredness, cold sweats, and restless sleep or insomnia, among other things.
Heart is also the ruler of our emotions. When we experience intense feelings, they go to HT and it sets the mood for the other organs in the body. An imbalance can find us feeling sad or depressed, anxious, or even experiencing erratic behavior. We can also become overwhelmed with pain or grief. However, a balanced HT offers us tranquility, optimism, a zest for life, joy, and love for ourselves and for others.
Working with the Heart Meridian’s Source Point is one way to balance it. Simply press on or massage HT 7, located on the palm side of the hand at the wrist crease, in line with the pinky finger. Balancing this point can aid with issues related to sleep, blood pressure, and help us feel more connected and less anxious.
Tracing the pathway of Heart Meridian is another way to balance it. Place your right hand under your left armpit and trace straight down the inside of your arm in line with your little finger, and then off of your little finger. Do the same thing on the other side. I like to pull with pressure and twist my little fingers to really activate Heart energy.
Do you have a hard time making decisions or do you ever question decisions that you have already made? If so, working with the Small Intestine Meridian (SI) might be one way to make those decisions a little easier to make.
The Small Intestine organ is an important part of the digestive system and makes constant decisions about what nutrients the body needs and what should be separated and eliminated. An unhealthy Small Intestine can affect the decisions it makes, which can result in poor absorption of nutrients that are important for our health.
Just like the Small Intestine organ, the Small Intestine Meridian (Meridians are energy pathways in the body) is all about decision making. A balanced SI allows us to be decisive and discern what is important and what is not. However, an imbalanced SI can lead to panic or the inability to make decisions, feeling divided and pulled in many directions, irritability, and indecisiveness about our life’s direction. Physically, we can experience among other things cramping, bloating, poor circulation and digestion, weakness in the legs, and sore or stiff shoulders. Luckily, there are some ways to bring SI into balance using Eden Method techniques and Traditional Chinese Medicine wisdom.
The Small Intestine Meridian, along with a few other Meridians, is part of an element called the Fire Element. The Fire Element is associated with the season of Summer, so the following exercise is a great one to do throughout the season. Place your hand on your forehead being sure to cover the area above each of your eyebrows, and place your other hand on the back of your head directly behind your eyebrows. Breath into this a few times as you hold these two areas with a light touch.
Small Intestine Meridian runs on both sides of our body from our little finger, up our arm and neck and ends near the ear. You can massage or press on points along the meridian to balance them and the meridian itself. The eleventh point on Small Intestine (aptly called SI-11) is located in the middle of our shoulder blade (see graphic) and is an extremely powerful point that can clear mental congestion and bring awareness to what we want out of life. It can also help to relieve anxiety so that we can discover what is ours to do.
Another point that can help balance SI energy is SI-4. It is located on the outside area near the wrist on the back of the hand in line with the pinky finger. This point is the Source Point for SI, which means that it directly helps the SI organ when you work with it. It is also indicated as a good point to work with if you have diabetes, tinnitus, or pain in the wrist. With any of these points, work them on both sides of the body, and please don’t get hung up on exact location. Just have the intention that you are on the point as you work with it. You can sometimes feel a soreness as you work with them and that is one way to tell you are in the right spot.
Working with our Neurolymphatic Points helps to release toxins from our body and can balance the associated Meridian. Deeply massage and rub the points underneath the ribs (see graphic) to work with the Small Intestine Meridian.
Summer is upon us, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), that means the Fire Element is also in full swing. Triple Warmer Meridian is one of four meridians (energy pathways in the body) associated with the Fire Element, and while Triple Warmer protects us from our outside environment, his sister Pericardium or Circulation/Sex Meridian, (C/S) protects our inner world including our heart.
Sometimes called the “King’s Bodyguard,” the job of the C/S Meridian is to keep our heart safe, physically and emotionally. The pericardium is the area surrounding the heart, protecting it, and removing excess energy from it. It is associated with the hormones and chemical messages related to reproduction and relates to the muscular function of the heart and blood vessels.
Emotionally, an unbalanced C/S Meridian can make it hard for us to open our heart to others and can impact our experiences with intimacy and love. We can become overwhelmed with our choices and the demands placed on us, and neglect our desires and what our heart truly needs. When it is in balance, however, C/S prioritizes the joy of the heart, and we are true to ourselves. We can then make good decisions that support our heart’s needs, whether those decisions have to do with our relationship with others or ourselves. Self-acceptance, resilience, radiance, joy, and openness are all supported by a balanced C/S.
Taking Down the Flame is one exercise that can balance C/S, as well as the other Fire Element Meridians. Take a deep breath in and bring your fingers and thumbs together in a pyramid type position above your head. Rest your thumbs on the top of your head and exhale. Inhale and on an exhale, bring your thumbs to the middle of your forehead. Inhale and on the next exhale, bring your thumbs to your heart area. Inhale and on the exhale, bring your thumbs to your naval and flatten your hands. Inhale, and on the next exhale, sweep the energy down and off of your legs. If you really want to add even more balance to this exercise, you can exhale each time with the “Haaaaaa” sound.
The Source Point of C/S (C/S 7) balances energy within the Meridian but also supports the pericardium itself. I have even used this point to successfully stop hiccups. Working with C/S 7 can also help balance emotions related to a relationship and help you to access the heart’s joy and fun. It is directly in line with your middle finger where your wrist and hand meet. Simply press or massage it (see diagram).
C/S 6 (see diagram) can help to calm the heart and relieve any congestion associated with holding onto too many emotions and not expressing them. It is also commonly used to help relieve nausea, motion sickness, and headaches. It is located on the inside of the arm about three finger widths down from the wrist between the two tendons. Massage and press on this point for a few moments to balance the point and the meridian.
As we move through this unprecedented time, most of us are having to deal with changes and challenges, as well as an upending of the way we function on a daily basis. For many of us, this can result in anxiety, worry, and stress, which is the reason I have chosen this month’s highlighted Meridian: Triple Warmer.
Triple Warmer (TW- also
known as Triple Burner or Heater) is the Meridian in charge of our survival
instinct. Meridians are energy pathways in the body usually related to an organ
system, however TW is not directly related to any particular organ in the body.
Instead, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it has the massive
task of regulating our fight-flight-freeze response when we feel threatened or
in danger. It also has much to do with chronic physical issues, such as
allergies and autoimmune diseases, adrenal exhaustion, feelings of overwhelm
and anxiety, and is the keeper of habits.
Because of the demands
of society and our lifestyles (even before COVID-19), TW is often in an
overactive state because it perceives dangers all around us. There might not be
any saber-toothed tigers that TW needs to protect us from, but there are
environmental challenges with pollution, excessive noise, electromagnetic
energy, and lifestyles that are full of different stressors that we place on
However, when we work with techniques that calm this meridian, TW can help us to feel safe, meet the demands of life, and even support us in ways that help us to thrive in all that we do. The following are just a few Eden Energy Medicine exercises that can calm TW and balance our stress response.
One easy way to “Harmonize TW” is to place one hand on your forehead and the other hand above your naval. Hold this for at least a minute and breathe.
Another way to balance TW is by tapping on what is called the TW “Gamut” Point. Place one hand over your heart area and tap on the back of your hand between your ring finger and little finger. Breathe deeply as you do this and tap for 10 taps, pause, take a deep breath and then tap about 30 more times. Repeat on the other side.
The Mellow Mudra is another good exercise to bring TW back into balance. Make an “OK” sign with both hands with the thumb covering the nail of your first finger. Place your thumbs on your temples and lay the rest of your fingers over your forehead. Chances are, you will feel a sense of calm after a few deep breathes holding this position.
Calming the TW Neurovascular Points can help to calm our stress response and help to bring a sense of joy into the energy of TW. Place your thumb, first and middle fingers in a cluster together (called a 3-finger notch). Put those fingers at the “V” at the bottom of your throat above your collarbone (you can use a flat hand if that is more comfortable). Then, place the other hand on the side of your face with your fingers flat at your temples. Take some deep breaths and then switch sides.
As we continue our journey in understanding and working with the meridians (energy pathways) of the body, we come to the Gall Bladder Meridian (GB). The Gall Bladder organ stores and concentrates the bile from the liver and helps with digestion and metabolism of fats and oils. Working with the lymphatic system, it helps to clear toxins from the muscular system, and balancing this meridian can help to strengthen the muscles and tendons.
GB is most active between 11 pm and 1 am, so insomnia or waking in the middle of the night could possibly be associated with an imbalance in this meridian. GB runs from the eyes, along the side of the head, down the side of the neck, through the shoulders, down the sides of the ribs to the hips, through the knees and ankles and ends at the fourth toe. Because of its path, headaches, jaw pain, neck and shoulder tension, hip and knee pain, along with ankle and foot pain could all be related to a possible imbalance in GB.
Paired with the Liver
Meridian, GB makes up half of the Wood Element, and GB is Liver’s right-hand
man. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Liver (LV) is “The
General,” and GB is “The General’s Advisor,” implementing Liver’s plans, making
judgments and important decisions, and together helping to regulate blood,
digestion, and emotion.
In TCM, the Gall Bladder governs daring and decisiveness, and also provides us with courage and initiative. A balanced GB helps us to make just decisions and show mercy and kindness to others. When it is out of balance, we display judgmental behavior and can feel rage toward whatever crosses our path. We can also be indecisive and easily discouraged. Luckily, there are many ways to work with GB.
To calm the stress response of anger and frustration, simply place the fingers of both hands on your forehead above your eyes and put your thumbs on the points outside of your eyes about a half an inch from where your lids meet. Hold with a light touch for as long as you want and take some deep breaths. You can also hold the area behind your knees to calm Gall Bladder and balance it a little more.
Working with points on a meridian called the Source Points, sends energy directly to the organ itself. Working with GB’s Source Point (GB 40) can also help the joints. Massage and hold this point located on both feet near the outer ankle (see diagram).
Working with the GB Neurolymphatic Reflex Points can help balance the meridian and the organ by removing toxins. With deep pressure, rub down the center of the chest (see diagram).
GB’s path ends at the fourth toe, by simply massaging and rubbing that toe on both feet, you can help to balance Gall Bladder Meridian.
“The Blow Out” helps to release emotional toxins and can help you let go of built up anger and frustration associated with both LV and GB. To begin, bring your arms to either side of your body and make fists, imagining that all your frustrations and negative feelings are in your hands. On an inhale, bring your arms above your head, and on an exhale, bring them down quickly and open your fists, using the “shhh” sound. Repeat three times and on the last movement, bring your hands down slowly and deliberately and let it all go.
I can’t say enough about the importance of mindfulness and meditation right now. Though there are many resources out there, I have found that Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield’s “Sounds True” platform keeps me especially grounded. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soundstrue/ Website: http://www.soundstrue.com
I am holding you all in light and love. Please take care of yourself and stay safe. Blessings be, Christina
We are living through unprecedented times and it’s easy to get caught up in the news and social media surrounding COVID-19 and feel anxiety, fear, and worry. Staying grounded and calming the stress response can help us get through this with grace. Here are a few exercises to try:
-If you only do one group of exercises, make it the Daily Energy Routine. This routine helps all of our energies by making space in the body for energy to move and flow, crossing over our energies for optimal health, and helping to ground us.
– It is easy to get caught up in other’s energies right now. If you are sensitive and feel those energies creep in try the “Blow Out” to release those energies or strengthen your aura by Swimming the Aura.
Donna Eden has offered the following exercises to help build your immune system and calm anxiety surrounding COVID-19:
Eden Energy Medicine is not a regulated medical practice or a practice that diagnoses or treats illnesses of body or mind, though it may be a complement to such practices. The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only. It does not offer medical advice. Viewers should make their own independent inquiries and judgments before acting on any information it contains.