Understanding our unseen selves is a pursuit long practiced by Eastern cultures. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the twelve primary meridians are well known and commonly taught. More than these twelve meridians exist and flow through us. Yuichi Kawada’s “Essential Shiatsu: The Eight Extraordinary Meridians”, identifies and explains these pathways summarily. The author elaborates a comprehensive flow of yin and yang energy through the body directed by the extraordinary meridians.
As a practitioner of Shiatsu, this information broadened my perspective on the energetic flow occurring in the human body and helped me to understand the unending cycle of transforming energy circulating through us. When working with clients, I use this knowledge to deepen the insight gained during a session and increase my awareness of the rhythms of my clients. An expanded knowledge of energetic movement throughout the human body improves the overall efficiency of its flow.
From a TCM perspective, the flow of chi revolves around the body starting from its most Yin zone in the front right foot. It accumulates Yang energy as it zig-zags to the left and upward from the right foot to left, up to the right shoulder and over to the left. It then travels to the back to become our most Yang aspect in the upper left region of the back. The Yang energy zig-zags downward gaining Yin as it flows to the back of the right foot.
Understanding this continuous movement of Qi in our bodies helps stay in tune with ourselves. When our lives are out of balance, this knowledge helps us identify where energy may be stagnate or blocked. We can direct our energy more ably as a result.
Below are diagrams of the extraordinary meridians. All images are courtesy of “Essential Shiatsu: The Eight Extraordinary Meridians”.