INTRODUCTION TO Getting to know theTHE MERIDIANS Meridians of Acupuncture Ashley Flores Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Herbal Medicine email@example.com (312) 404-5882
THE 5 ELEMENTSMetalWater FireWoodFire Wood EarthEarth Water Metal
THE 5 ELEMENTSEach Element Fire: Heart and Small represents 2 Intestine meridians: Earth: Spleen and Stomach Metal: Lung and Large Intestine Water: Kidney and Supplemental Fire: Bladder Pericardium and Triple Burner Wood: Liver and Gallbladder
MAKKO-HO POSES Makko-Ho exercises are a set of poses that address the 6 meridian pairs. Makko-Ho are useful as both diagnosis and treatment. These exercises are best performed regularly – ideally daily. Your body should remain relaxed – you may feel a good stretch but should feel comfortable. The breath should be relaxed and rooted in the abdomen.
METALThe Lung Channel: Covers the front of the shoulder, the front of the arm, the primary wrist pulses, And the thumb.
METAL The Large Intestine Channel: Begins at the pointer finger, Covers the side of the wrist, The front of the arm, To the tip of the shoulder, And up to the side of the nose.
METAL The Metal element is associated with exchange with environment. Lungs interact with the most valuable resource of the outside world – the air we breathe. The Large Intestine works to expel from our bodies that which is no longer needed. Metal energy gives us a feeling of connectivity and exchange with the universe and other people. Metal is hard and strong, yet can be flexible and fluid. This allows us to form strong yet flexible belief systems that help us balance and regulate our lives. Metal is conductive. Heat, electricity, and signals are easily transmitted through Metal. Metal is essential for communication with the environment and other beings.
METAL IMBALANCE Emotionally, Metal Physically, Metal Imbalance can lead Imbalance can lead to: to: A feeling of insecurity Problems with the when interacting with Lungs – difficult the outside world. breathing, cough, or Overly stiff or flexible wheezing. beliefs. Nose issues – A tendency to hold on stuffiness, sinus too strongly to things congestion or chronic which no longer serve infections. us, and an inability to Intestinal Problems – take in new expelling waste too experiences. slowly or too quickly. Poor immunity.
THE METAL MAKKO-HO Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Roll your shoulder back and link your thumbs behind your back. Stretch your fingers. Exhale and bend forward at the hips.
THE METAL MAKKO-HO Stretch your fingers towards the cielling. Continue to breath deeply, and focus on releasing tension as you exhale. To release, bend the knees slightly and return to standing. Switch direction of your thumbs and repeat.
EARTHThe Spleen Channel: Starts at the big toe, Travels along the instep to the ankle bone, Covers the inside of the leg, knee, and thigh, To the sides of the abdomen.
EARTH The Stomach Channel: Starts below the eyes, Covers the cheeks and jaw, The front of the neck and collar bone, Travels down the chest and abdomen, Along the front of the thigh, knee, and leg, Across the top of the foot to the middle toe.
EARTH The Earth is solid, supportive, and stable. It is whatever provides a foundation and gives us a feeling of security in our lives. Our Earth element can be a place, a relationship or a person, an intellectual paradigm, or a physical process, such as eating. „Mother Earth‟ nourishes and protects. Earth is nourishing, providing sustenance and comfort. Allows us to nourish other beings, and accept nourishment ourselves. Earth is fertile and supports growth. “The Earth permits sowing, growing, and reaping” of offspring or ideas. Earth supports the growth and development of a baby. Ideas can be sown, can grow, and further ideas and conclusions harvested.
EARTH IMBALANCE Emotionally, Earth Physically, Earth Imbalance can lead Imbalance can lead to: to: A feeling of Digestive troubles, such insecurity, without a as heartburn or solid ground. stomach aches. Requiring too much Problems of appetite – nourishment from either too much or too others, or giving too little appetite, or craving much. sweets. Not being able to Hormonal accept nourishment imbalance, likes from others, or not diabetes. giving enough. Mouth issues – Inability to process stickiness, sores, or
EARTH MAKKO-HO Kneel on the floor, allowing your heels to slide to the sides of your hips (if you are able). You may sit on a cushion if you need more support. Place your hands on the floor behind you and lean backwards. Relax your neck and let your head fall back.
EARTH MAKKO-HO Continue to breathe deeply. If you are able, stretch your body back further, and come to your elbows, grasping your toes. If you are very flexible, you may lean back even further, resting your shoulders on the floor, and reaching your arms above your head.
FIREThe Heart Meridian: Starts under the arm, Follows the inside back of the arm to the wrist, Crosses the palm, And ends at the tip of the pinky finger.
FIRE The Small Intestine Meridian: Begins at the tip of the pinky finger, Follows the outside edge of the hand and wrist, Continues up the back of the arm to the back of the shoulder, Covers the shoulder blade, Crosses the neck and ends at the cheekbone.
FIRE Fire has an incredible ability to transform. Fire can turn wood to ash, dough to bread, clay to porcelain. It has long been a symbol of transformation and rebirth. Fire can transform human consciousness, spirit, and emotion. Fire provides warmth and comfort. We use fire to cook, as a gathering place, and to stay warm and comfortable. A fiercely burning fire is exciting and dangerous. Strong fire is associated with passion and excitement. When allowed to burn out of control, fire and passion can lead to riot and rebellion.
FIRE IMBALANCE Emotionally, a Fire Physically, a Fire Imbalance can lead Imbalance can lead to: to: Dullness of the spirit or Problems with the mind emotions. – poor memory, or Inability to change. psychological illness. A „coldness‟ of Chest or heart problems personality. – tightness, pain, or Lack of passion or palpitations. emotion, or overly „fiery‟ Trouble speaking. personality. Sleep issues – trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much.
FIRE MAKKO-HO Sit with the soles of your feet touching and your knees relaxed outward. Grasp your toes. Exhale and lean forward. Relax your head, neck, back, an d knees, letting them stretch toward the floor.
FIRE MAKKO-HOTake several deep breaths, allowing your body to further relax on each exhale.Return to center.
WATER The Kidney Meridian: Begins at the ball of the foot, Travels over the arch of the foot, Circles around the inside ankle bone, Follows the inside of the leg and covers the low back, Then travels up the abdomen and chest just off the midline, And ends at the collar bone.
WATER The Bladder Meridian: Starts at the inside corner of the eye, Travels over the top of the head to the back of the neck, Continues down the back to the sacrum, Follows the back of the legs, And across the outside of the ankle and foot to the little toe.
WATER Water is the essential basis of our physical substance. Without water, our physical bodies cannot survive. Water will always sink to the deepest level. Water can seep through tiny cracks and crevices to find the deepest point. The Water element is associated with the deepest „structures‟ in our body – our bones, the nervous system, and our genetic code. Water is also associated with our memories deepest in the past, and our deepest fears. Water flows and cleanses. The Water element has a purifying effect on the body and mind. The flow of water can be very soft, yet can also be very powerful, over time wearing away at even stone.
WATER IMBALANCE Emotionally, Water Physically, Water Imbalance can lead Imbalance can lead to: to: Feelings of fear and Feelings of „gunginess‟ being easily frightened. like you‟re weighed Forgetting the past or down. being overly conscious Nervous system of the past. problems – Lacking in willpower. confusion, forgetting, an xiety, nervousness – nervous system „on high‟. Kidney and Bladder issues – pain or
WATER MAKKO-HO Sit with your legs in front of you, and your toes relaxed outwards. Breathe in, stretch yours arms above your head with palms facing out. As you exhale, lean forward at the hips and stretch your arms in front of you.
WATER MAKKO-HO Reach as far forward as is comfortable, keeping palms facing out, and take several deep breaths. If you can reach past your toes, you may grasp your foot at Kidney 1 point, below the ball of the foot. After several breaths, return to center.
SUPPLEMENTAL FIREThe Pericardium Meridian: Begins in the chest, Travels along the inside of the arm to the wrist, Crosses the center of the palm, And ends at the tip of the middle finger.
SUPPLEMENTAL FIRE The Triple Warmer Meridian: Starts at the tip of the ring finger, Crosses the back of the hand, Follows the outside of the arm and the tip of the elbow, Travels to the top back of the shoulder, Covers the side of the neck, And wraps around the back of the ear.
SUPPLEMENTAL FIRE Supplemental Fire is mirrors the functions of the Fire element. The Pericardium is also called „Heart Protector ‟ as it protects the most precious organ, the Heart. Imbalance of Supplemental Fire can lead to: Many of the same issues as fire. Problems with circulation – numbness, tingling, or coldness of the hands and feet. Problems with Qi – can be pain, cramping, or tiredness. Feelings of excessive vulnerability – feeling physically or emotionally weak and susceptible to outside damage.
SUPPLEMENTAL FIRE MAKKO-HOSit cross-legged with a straight back, and the right leg in front.Cross your arms, also with your right arm in front.Exhale and bend forward toward the floor.
SUPPLEMENTAL FIRE MAKKO-HO Allow your hips to relax and open. To increase the stretch, you can „walk‟ your hands further apart. After several breaths, return to center, and repeat with the left leg and arm in front.
WOODThe Liver Meridian Begins on the big toe, Follows the top of the foot to the inside of the ankle, Continues along the inside of the leg, knee, and thigh to the pubic bone, And ends at the bottom of the ribs.
WOOD The Gallbladder Channel Starts at the outside corner of the eye, Circles the ears and sides of the head, Covers the sides of the neck and shoulder, Descends along the sides of the chest, abdomen, thigh, knee and leg. Follows the outside top of the foot to the „ring‟ toe.
WOOD Wood, and plant life in general, has an irrepressible urge to grow. It grows upwards and outwards, eeking out a place to thrive, even in the harshest climates. Wood can be aggressive, though generally out of competitive spirit, not spite. Plants, and the Wood element, are highly adaptable. There is enormous variety of plant life, allowing each to find its niche and thrive in its own way. Wood follows a high degree of internal organization. The rings of a tree, or the branching of a shrub all follow this internal structure. Wood allows to find organization and prioritize within ourselves. It also allows us to cooperate and be productive with others. Wood is always moving, reaching ever upward and outward.
WOOD IMBALANCEEmotionally, a Physically, a Wood Wood Imbalance Imbalance can lead can lead to: to: Lack of desire to get Feelings of out and interact with „stuckness‟ – a lump the world. in the throat, or Being overly something stuck in aggressive or easily the chest. angered. Poor growth or slow Inability to adapt to healing. the environment. Problems with the Lack of direction. eyes – poor vision or discomfort.
WOOD MAKKO-HO Sit on the floor with legs apart. Stretch your arms above your head, lacing your fingers together with palms facing upwards. Pivot at the waist to face your right foot, and lean your body towards your left foot.
WOOD MAKKO-HOAfter several breaths, return to center and repeat on the opposite side.Return to center once again, then bend forward from the hips, reaching your palms in front of you.