Qi Flow And The Twelve Meridians

The Qi flow circulation in our body is rhythmic and well-defined.

It travels from the chest area along the three arm Yin channels (Lu; Per; He) to the hands. There, they connect with the three paired arm Yang channels (LI; SJ; SI) and flow upward to the head. In the head they connect with their three corresponding leg Yang channels (St; GB; BI) and flow down the body to the feet. In the feet they connect with their corresponding leg Yin channels (Sp; Liv; Kid) and flow up again to the chest to complete the cycle of Qi circulation.

As qi flow is rythmic, we can therefore deduce that any health problems with the associated organs are, therefore, most likely to manifest at a particular time each day - something which Western medicine would also support. The Lung channel, for example, is most dominant between 3 am and 5 am, so asthmatics often suffer severe symptoms in the early hours of the morning.

Regular sleep disturbances can suggest imbalance in a particular organ, but it is important to remember that these Chinese "organ concepts" do not exactly mirror Western ideas, so disharmony need not suggest a pathological problem, but may indicate an emotional or spiritual imbalance instead.

Although Qi is continuously circulating through the twelve regular channels at all times, there are recognized times when the Qi and Blood flow is at its maximum in each given channel. Thus, the maximum qi flow in each channel in relation to the daily cycle is as follows:

  • LUNG (3 a.m.-5 a.m.),
  • LARGE INTESTINE (5 a.m.-7 a.m.),
  • STOMACH (7 a.m.-9 a.m.),
  • SPLEEN (9 a.m.-11 a.m.),
  • HEART (11 a.m.-1 p.m.),
  • SMALL INTESTINE (1 p,m.-3 p.m.),
  • BLADDER (3 p,m.5 p.m.),
  • KIDNEY (5 p.m.-7 p.m.),
  • PERICARDIUM (7 p.m.-9 p.m.),
  • SAN TIAO (9 p.m.-11 p.m.),
  • GALL BLADDER (11 p.m.-1 a.m.),
  • LIVER (1 a.m.-3 a.m.).

This information can be of great assistance to the practitioner in considering diagnosis and treatment strategies.



Return from Qi Flow to Chinese Medicine