By Lisa VanOstrand
Ancient Daoist Theories taught the importance of circulating our energy for self-cultivation as well as for health, healing and longevity. Although many people are familiar with the chakra system, fewer people are familiar with the acupuncture meridian system to the extent that they can actually identify the energetic pathways. In Chinese Medicine, it is well known that disease can only be present when there is a disharmony in the meridian energy flow. Excesses, meaning there is too much energy, may represent what we are drawn to. Deficiencies, meaning there is too little energy, might be things we want to avoid.
There are 12 primary meridians: lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, pericardium, triple burner, gall bladder and liver. Although each meridian has its own pathway, they connect to each other and it is important to think of the meridians as one continuous flow of energy as well as hyperlinks that can jump nonlinearly from place to place.
Jeffery Yuen, an 88th generation Daoist priest and Dean of Academic Affairs for the Acupuncture Program at the Swedish Institute, views the meridians as roadmaps of our energy. They are a reflection of the way we are living our life. We might like to inhabit certain meridians more than others. Meridians connect us with different aspects of ourselves and our relationship with the world.
We can learn to assess the state of the meridians by first starting to massage them. Dr. Stephen Thomas Chang, in “The Complete Book of Acupuncture”, states that massaging the meridians is absolutely invaluable in augmenting the energy within the body, providing for a constant and unimpeded flow of energy along the meridians, and will eventually rejuvenate not only an aging body but a fatigued mind as well. You can use your thumb or the bridge of your hand to follow the meridian line in the direction of their normal flow. You can find diagrams of the meridian flows on my website, www.3treasureshealing.com as well as many other books and websites on Chinese Medicine. Massaging your meridians will also help develop your intuitive perceptions of your energy. A famous quote by my Medical Qigong teacher, Jerry Alan Johnson, is that “you can only heal what you can feel.”
Once you feel comfortable at the physical level, you may want to move to a meridian meditation and energetically trace the meridians with your mind and intention.
According to Dr Chang, the philosopher Lao-Tzu purported lived anywhere from 160 to 500 years and faithfully practiced, and strongly advocated the practice of meridian meditation to his disciples.
Rivers of Life is a 2 volume CD created by Lisa VanOstrand: The first volume is a guided meridian meditation. The vocals are accompanied by the corresponding keys for each meridian. Meridian diagrams and explanations are included. Volume 2 is the music for meridians. Lisa VanOstrand is a Doctor of Medical Qigong (China), Dean of Psychology at the International Institute of Medical Qigong, former Dean of Advanced Studies at Barbara Brennan School of Healing and Certified Energy Medicine Practitioner and Core Energetic Therapist. She teaches classes in Energy Healing and Qigong at various locations in the US.