About Meridians & Five Elements

Ancient Chinese Meridian Theory

Congestions can be felt along the Meridian pathways

The Chinese discovered the Meridian system approximately 3,000 years ago and the concept has gone from strength to strength to become a well-developed and researched science today.

The Meridians are a network of energy channels or electrical pathways covering the body that are similar to the zones that are traditionally known in Reflexology. There are twelve major Meridians, each passing through the one side of the body and having a mirror image on the other side.

A basic understanding of the Meridians can help a Reflexologist understand the disease pathways and assist them in pinpointing problem areas. The electric energy running through these Meridians is known as Chi’. This energy is derived from the food we eat and the air we breathe, and is considered to be “the root of life”, the vital energy within the body that nourishes body and mind. A healthy diet, exercise, healthy breathing, good posture and limited stress will maximise Chi’ and ensure a healthy individual. A poor diet, lack of exercise, poor breathing, poor posture and high levels of stress will deplete Chi’, causing imbalances within the system that may ultimately result in disease.

When the Meridians are running on a low current, evidence will be felt in the form of congestions along these pathways. These congestions are many of the diagnostic conditions that most people suffer from, such as sinus problems, breast lumps, constipation, headaches and knee pains. These are in fact one and the same problem, toxic molecules sticking together, obstructing the energy flow along the Meridians.

A closer study of the Meridians reveals that there are six main Meridians found in the feet, specifically the toes, namely the Meridians that penetrate the main organs; liver, spleen/pancreas, stomach, gall bladder, bladder and kidneys. A Reflexology treatment will therefore stimulate and clear congestions along all these Meridians, allowing energy to flow freely and return the body to a state of balance. If, for example, pain, irritation or any other condition does not improve satisfactorily through treatment, a Reflexologist should observe the Meridian that transverses the part of the body in question and specifically treat the reflex area of the organ related to that Meridian.

Certain conditions on the feet such as bunions, plantar warts, corns, calluses and nail conditions should also be looked at as evidence confirming problems and congestions along the Meridian in question. The Reflexologist should be able to associate these problems to teach their patients about the underlying cause and encourage them to take responsibility for their lifestyle changes.

A disorder in the Stomach Meridian, for example, may cause upper toothache as this meridian passes through the upper gums. Lower toothache may be the result of a disorder of the large Intestine Meridian. The Meridians can be used simply and effectively for a better understanding of a wide range of conditions affecting the body.

The Five Elements Philosophy

Imbalances of the Five Elements can be used as an assessment tool

Ancient Chinese philosophy established the five basic elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood found in the universe and consequently also in man.

Each of the Five Elements is associated with a variety of factors, for example; body organs, sense organs, body tissue, colours, seasons, climate and emotions. Any extreme reactions to any of these factors can indicate an imbalance in the related element. This in turn can be related to the respective meridians and be used as an additional assessment tool. A quick example; a patient presenting warning symptoms along the Spleen/Pancreas Meridian, such as nail disorders, bunions, knee pains, varicose veins, uterus congestions, prostate problems, hernias in groin region, colon and digestive problems, or abdominal pains might also express imbalances within the Earth Element.

This could show up as congestions relating to the fatty connective tissues and the patient might have a weight problem, or psychologically be a “needy” person constantly looking for sympathy, they might have a monotone voice regardless of what is being expressed or are often dressed in yellow colours.

Furthermore, the patient would often present a blood-sugar imbalance and would have trouble in controlling the need for stimulants, such as cigarettes, alcohol, sweets and simple carbohydrates. Combining the Chinese philosophies of Meridian Theory and The Five Elements into the science of Reflexology explains why sometimes organ reflexes are very sensitive, even though the patient’s case study does not relate to these organs, or vice versa, why some reflexes are not sensitive although it would have been expected.

The answers will prevail, resulting in a better outcome for the therapist and most importantly, the patient.