What are Meridians and Qi/Chi?


What are Meridians?

Meridians are channels or passages located throughout the body through which the body’s natural electric energy, blood and Qi can circulate.  These meridians or “energy highways” have been measured and mapped over the years by modern technological methods electronically, thematically and radio-actively.  Each meridian has a name based on the life function with which it seems to associate and in most cases, it is the name of an organ.  For example, the Heart Meridian begins in the heart but then spreads throughout other areas of the body.

What is Qi or Ch’i?

Qi is a free flowing, colourless, non-cellular liquid. Some call it vital energy, life force or universal energy.  Others call it natural electric energy.  In the broadest sense possible, Qi is simply another word for energy. Everything in our world is made of this God-given energy!  As proven by scientists, this includes material aspects of life such as dirt, flesh and blood, to the most immaterial aspects such as light, movement, heat, thought, nerve impulses and emotion. Ideally, this energy should be flowing in a state of continuous flux and should be unrestricted without any blockages.

Blockages lead to lack of energy supply to certain areas of the body, or a surplus of energy in other areas causing discomfort and maybe eventually, disease.  To illustrate this idea, picture a drop of water falling into a still lake (which represents you). As soon as the water drop hits the lake, rings (which represent energy flowing along your meridian channels) radiate beautifully outward from the point of impact in the direction that they are supposed to go. Everything is in balance and flowing smoothly.  Now imagine a rock (which represents an energy blockage) is sticking out of the water nearby the point of impact.  What happens to those perfect rings of water when they hit the rock?  They disperse in a variety of directions and the natural flow of water is interrupted.  As long as that rock remains in the way, the water will continue to move in an unnatural, somewhat chaotic way. The only way for the water rings to return to their natural, harmonious direction is to remove that rock. 

What are acupressure points?

While meridians predominantly run along the interior of the body, they do contain energy spots along their length that surface near the exterior of the body.  These points are specific sites through which the Qi is transported to the body surface. In both reflexology and acupuncture, pressure is applied to these specific points to clear blockages of Qi in the energy channels. Both therapies ascertain that disease is caused by blockages in energy lines, and treatment involves clearing out these obstructions by stimulating various points along the lines.  When the human body is affected by disease, treatment is possible by stimulating the relevant corresponding points on the body surface by touch.  The result of treatment should be a balanced flow of Qi in the meridians.

What causes energy blockages?

Often the lives we lead and the abuses we place on our own bodies cause stress.  Sometimes, that stress becomes so intense and constant that we can become overloaded.  At this point the body needs a “reset” before energy can flow again properly.  The return of this energy flow helps the body to rest and repair itself naturally.