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The Twelve Regular Meridians

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Updated: Thursday, Mar 26,2009, 3:14:26 PM
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The Twelve Regular Meridians include Three Yin Meridians of Hand(Lung,Pericardium and Heart),Three Yang Meridians of Hand(Large Intestine,Triple Energizer and Small Intestine),Three Yang Meridians of Foot(Stomach,Gall-bladder and Bladder),Three Yin Meridians of Foot(Spleen,Liver and Kidney). They are the major trunks of the system of the meridians,so they are called the Twelve Regular Meridians.

 
   
  Body-Surface Distribution of the Twelve Meridians:
The twelve regular meridians are distributed symmetrically at the left and right sides of the head, trunk and four limbs and go through the whole body. The six Yin meridians are distributed on the medial aspects of the four limbs, the thoracic and abdominal regions. The three Yin meridians of the hands are distributed on the medial aspects of the upper limbs, while the three Yin meridians of the foot on the medial aspects of the lower limbs. The six Yang meridians are mostly distributed on the lateral aspects of four limbs, head and trunk.The three Yang meridians of hand are distributed on the lateral aspects of the upper limbs, while the three Yang meridians of foot on the lateral aspects of the lower limbs. The three Yang meridians of hand and foot are arranged in an order,in which "Large Intestine and Stomach Meridians" are the anterior ones, "Triple Energizer and Gallbladder Meridians" the medium ones, and "Small Intestine and Bladder Meridians" the posterior ones. The three Yin meridians of hand are arranged as follows: "Lung Meridians" are the anterior ones, "Pericardium Meridians" the medium ones, and Heart Meridians" the posterior ones,The three Yin meridians of foot are to the aspects of the lower limbs and instep. They are arranged in an order in which Liver Meridians are the anterior ones, Spleen Meridians are the medium ones,Kidney Meridians are the posterior ones, under the lever 8 cun above the medial malleolus,Liver Meridians and Spleen Meridians are crossed,then,Spleen Meridian is in the anterior aspect,Liver meridian in the mediun aspect,Kidney Meridian in the posterior aspect.

The nomenclature of the Twelve Regular Meridians is based on the three factors:a) hand or foot, b) Yin or Yang,and c) Zang or Fu organ. The Twelve Regular Meridians pertain to the twelve Zang and Fu organs correspondingly, each regular meridian is named after the organ to which it pertains. In consideration of the factors, such as hand or foot, interior or exterior, anterior, middle or posterior aspect of the meridian travels through, and also in accordance with the theory of Yin and Yang, The meridians that pertain to the Fu-organs are Yang meridians which mainly travel along the lateral aspect of the limbs. The meridians that pertain to the Zang-organs are called Yin meridians which are mainly distributed on the medial aspect of the four limbs. Based on the development of Yin and Yang theory, the meridians are divided into three Yin meridians and three Yang meridians. 


  The Exterior-Interior and Pertaining Relation of the Twelve Regular Meridians:
The Twelve Regular Meridians pertain to Zang-Fu organs interiorly, there is an exterior-interior and corresponding relation between Zang and Fu organs, an exterior-interior and pertaining relation between Yin meridians and Yang meridians. That is, the Lung Meridian has an exterior and interior relations with the Large Intestine Meridian, the Stomach Meridian with the Spleen Meridian, the Heart Meridian with the Small Intestine Meridian, the Bladder Meridian with the Kidney Meridian, the Pericardium Meridian with the Triple Energizer Meridian, and the Gallbladder Meridian with the Liver Meridian. There is a pertaining and communicative relation between the Yin meridians and Yang meridians connected interiorly-exteriorly in the body. The Yin meridians pertain to the Zang-organs, and communicate with the Fu-organs, while the Yang meridians pertain to the Fu-organs, and communicate with the Zang-organs. For example, the Lung Meridian pertains to the lung and communicates with the large intestine, the Large Intestine Meridian pertains to the large intestine and communicates with the lung. The relation of interior and exterior meridians is reinforced by linking the collaterals in the four limbs. Thus six pairs of the interior-exterior, pertaining and communicative relations are formed among Zang and Fu, Yin and Yang and meridians. There is a close relation physiologically among the interior- exterior meridians. They are inter-affected during the pathological changes and inter-action during treatment.

 
  Courses and Links of the Twelve Meridians:
The Courses of The Twelve Meridians:Three Yin meridians of hand start from the chest to the hands.
Three Yang meridians of hand run from hands to the head. Three Yang meridians of foot run from the head to the feet. Three Yin meridians of foot run from the feet to abdomen and chest.
Links of the Twelve Regular Meridians:
(1) The Yin Meridians link with the Yang meridians mainly in the limbs. For instance, the Lung Meridian links with the Large Intestine Meridian on the tip of the index finger. The Stomach Meridian connects with the Spleen Meridian on the tip of the great toe,the Bladder Meridian reaches the lateral side of the tip of the little toe where it links with the Kidney Meridian. The Gallbladder Meridian runs to the distal portion of the great toe and terminates at its hairy region where it links with the Liver Meridian.
(2)The Yang meridians and Yang meridians (with the same nomenclature) are met on the head. For instance, both the Large Intestine meridian and the Stomach Meridian go to both sides of the nose. Both the Small Intestine Meridian and the Bladder Meridian reach the inner canthus, and both the Triple Energizer Meridian and the Gallbladder Meridian reach the outer canthus.
(3)The Yin meridians and Yin meridians are met in the chest region. For instance, the Spleen Meridian links with the Heart Meridian in the heart, the Kidney Meridian links with the Pericardium Meridian in the chest, and the Liver Meridian links with the Lung Meridian in the lung.

 







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