MERIDIANS: life's basic blueprint

Meridians are pathways within the connective tissues that carry essential energy and information to power and organise the trillions of cells that work in harmony to form a healthy human being.

Connecting all the body's organs and systems on the physical level, Meridians also organise our emotional and psychological functioning, integrating the processes of body, brain and mind. 

Qi or 'life energy' bridges the body and the mind, and is co-ordinated by the Meridian network. It is the foundation of our physical strength and vitality, animating life itself. Working on the level of Meridians, the basic conditions to bring about good health and prevent illness are cultivated in the body and mind.

Meridians and movement of protoplasm in a single celled organism are the same thing called by different names. We regard amoebas as also having meridians since amoebas live by movement of protoplasm and exist as independent living entities. Amoebas perform the basic life functions of locomotion, ingestion, elimination and reproduction and are capable of defensive reactions like higher forms of life such as human beings. All these basic life functions depend on the working of the meridians. This implies that the movement of Qi, which sustains life, is revealed in an observable form by the structure and movement of the body.
— Shizuto Masunaga

Bio-energetic information (Qi) is constantly flowing through all the cells and structures of the body. The meridians are the main highways where this flow is the strongest and most accessible. In a similar way to the networks of rivers running through the land; a dam in the large supplying rivers would affect the flow of water in the surrounding areas. This is similar to the flow of energetic information along meridians.


qi: the energy of life

The Chinese character for Qi is made up of two parts. Together they represent cooked rice with steam rising from it, symbolising two important principles. Food and air are our vital sources of energy to live, and the unity of the material and immaterial aspects of life. Physical matter being a condensed form of Qi, non-physical phenomena an expansive, less dense form of Qi.

 In the video below Dan Keown, a practitioner of both Western and Chinese Medicine offers a perspective to explain what Qi and Meridian channels are.


Meridian application in Shiatsu

When a Shiatsu Practitioner works with the body, the meridians are contacted through physical touch and manipulation, energetic perception, and conscious intention or mindset.

Chinese Medicine charted the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of the meridians and organised them by the internal organs of the body. This provides a systematic overview of the patterns of health and disease. Chinese Medicine identifies 12 organ-meridians of the body, and pairs them together based on mutual functionality.

Organ-Meridian information pages to be added in due course..

Lungs and Large Intestine


bladder and kidneys

Stomach and Spleen


heart protector and triple heater

Heart and Small Intestine


gallbladder and liver