Oriental Medicine and Health Services

Acupuncture

Acupuncture Meridians

Meridians Illustration
  • Most people are only familiar with the 12 Primary plus 2 of the Extraordinary Meridians
  • Those 14 Meridians all have their own unique acupuncture points
  • Other Meridians either have no points or "borrow" points from other Meridians
  • There are 72 Meridians in all

12 Primary Meridians

  • Internal and external pathways
  • 6 yin and 6 yangs
  • Bilaterally symmetrical
  • Circulation of qi and blood throughout is cyclical

12 Divergent Meridians

  • Named after and related to the Primary Meridians
  • Provide deeper connections in the body, to the organs, head, and face, and to the yang Meridians of each yin/yang pair

12 Tendinomuscular Meridians

  • Named after and related to the Primary Meridians
  • Broader areas than the Primary Meridians
  • Circulation of qi and blood to the muscles, tissues, joints, and the body surface

12 Cutaneous Regions

  • Named after and related to the Primary Meridians
  • Broader areas than the Primary Meridians
  • Circulation of qi and blood to the skin and tissues of the body surface
  • No internal distribution

8 Extraordinary Meridians

  • Distributed throughout body except in the upper extremities
  • Store qi and blood and distribute to the 12 Primary Meridians
  • Control and supplement the 12 Primary Meridians
  • Only 2 of the Extraordinary Meridians have their own points
    • Du (Governing) Meridian—midline of the back of the body
    • Ren (Conception) Meridian—midline of the front of the body

16 Major Luo (Collateral) Meridians

  • 12 are named after and related to the 12 Primary Meridians
  • The Spleen and Stomach Meridians each have an extra Major Luo Meridian
  • 2 are named after and related to 2 of the Extraordinary Meridians: Du, Ren
  • Distribution is mainly to the surface of the body and between yin/yang paired Meridians
  • Many Small Luo Meridians
    • Minute, blood, grandson, and superficial
  • Yin Qiao and Yang Qiao Meridians
    • 2 of the 8 Extraordinary Meridians
    • They "borrow" Acupuncture points from other Meridians