Energy meridians were first mapped in the human body around 3,500 years’ ago by Chinese physicians, who understood that some sort of subtle energy (what we would call the soul) was animating the body.
When the energy was flowing around the body correctly, the person stayed healthy. When the energy was stuck, stagnant, weak or blocked in some way, the person would get sick.
These early practitioners of Chinese medicine mapped the energy flow around the body, and identified 14 main energy ‘pathways’, which they called meridians. Each meridian was named for the main organ, or physical system, it governed or regulated in the body.
They then developed the systems of acupuncture (using small needles inserted into particular points along each meridian) and acupressure (using light pressure from the fingers on certain points along each meridian) to help energy flow better, and to help release the energetic ‘blocks’ in the body. From the beginning, Chinese medicine recognised that the energetic blocks in the body were usually caused by the person’s emotions.
The energy of emotions
Whenever we get sick in some way, our emotions usually contain all the information we need to work out why that may be happening.
For example, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that eating bad food makes a person ill. But we’re interested in finding out why the person is drawn to the bad food in the first place. What emotion are they repressing, or reacting to unconsciously, when they’re reaching for the chips? And that’s where the meridians can help us.
If you already know that you have a physical problem, or a physical weakness in a particular area of your body, you can go straight to the relevant meridian, and see what emotions may be hidden underneath. For example, one-sided migraine headaches, sciatica or gallbladder issues all suggest there is a problem blocking the gallbladder meridian. The emotions that are connected to the gallbladder meridian include anger, harsh judgement and rage.
Once you get that crucial piece of the puzzle, you can start working on releasing the negative emotional state that’s causing your physical illness. Deal with the underlying emotion, and nine times out of ten, the physical problem will resolve without any further intervention.
All this stuff can sound so strange to us Western-types, who are used to thinking that germs and genes are the prime movers behind all our illnesses and health issues. But until the advent of modern medicine, holistic health principles were the foundation of nearly every historical healing tradition around the globe.
So next time you get a cold, or a headache, don’t just reach for the pills; pause and ask yourself what emotional stimulus might have caused it. The answers we get to these questions don’t just improve our health, they can also transform our lives.