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In Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as in yoga and other eastern traditions, chi has been recognized since early days as our essential life force energy. In both the eastern philosophies and the recently emerging fields of energy work, all illness or disease is thought to be caused by an imbalance somewhere in our energy system. It can be in the form of a block, an overall low level of chi or sometimes an area where the chi is too strong. In all cases, the system is out of balance.
Meridians are energy highways for essential life force energy known in eastern medicine as Chi (aka; Qi or Prana). They carry life force energy into, through, and out of the body, connecting and supplying all the organs and body systems. There are 14 major meridians, 20 smaller “tributaries”, and then a vast network of even smaller pathways. Blockages of the energy flow in the meridian can be caused by negative emotions and often correlate with ill health. Tapping techniques, pressing on acupressure points or massaging along the meridian pathways are very effective techniques to rebalance the energy system and minimize the stress from the negative emotion. Acupuncture (or acupressure) points are located where the meridian travels just underneath of the skin. The common acupressure points are:
- Bladder Meridian - Beginning of each eyebrow
- Gall Bladder Meridian - Side of the each eye
- Heart Meridian - Nail bed of each little finger
- Kidney Meriden - Collarbone in the centre of the chest
- Large Intestine - Nail bed of each pointer finger
- Liver Meridian - One inch below each nipple
- Lung Meridian - Centre of chest
- Pericardium Meridian - Middle of each wrist
- Small Intestine Meridian - Karate chop, edge of each hand
- Spleen Meridian - Under each arm
- Stomach Meridian - Under each eye
- Triple warmer Meridian - Back of each hand between ring and little finger
Again, from ancient eastern traditions, the chakras are our energy exchange system. They are said to be the portals which, when healthy, are open and accepting of the appropriate level of chi from the environment...as well as releasing chi when there is an excess.
The chakras’ function is to keep us well physically, help us develop our sense of self-awareness and guide us to healthy relationships, both within and outside of ourselves. There are seven chakras that are the most widely known, but there is said to be a much more complex system of minor chakras as well.
Where are Chakras located? There are seven major chakras aligned vertically along the spine. Often they are illustrated as rotating disks or funnels that radiate horizontally out from the front and back of the body, with two of the chakras (first and seventh) radiating out vertically. Each chakra occupies a different space in the body and is named for its location.
- The first or Root Chakra radiates vertically down from the pelvic floor.
- The second or Sacral is located just below the bellybutton and above the genitals.
- The third or Solar Plexus is located above the bellybutton and below the base of the rib cage.
- The fourth or Heart Chakra is located in the centre of the chest in line with the heart.
- The fifth or Throat is located just where it suggests.
- The sixth or Third Eye is located in the lower centre of the forehead just above the eyebrow line.
- The seventh or Crown Chakra radiates out vertically from the top of the head.
What do Chakras do? Chakras are said to influence the organs and body structures located in their energy field. As concentration points for chi (qi) the quality of the chi (qi) flowing to and from each centre may directly affect mood, personality, physical and mental health. Carl Jung referred to the chakras as “the gateways of consciousness” for their ability to receive energy from the environment and other human beings. In this context, the chakras are linked to spiritual health and development.