Friday, May 21, 2010

The Eight Week Meridian Challenge: What Meridians Help You Manage Your Anger?

Dear Yin Weaver,

The subject of acupuncture meridians is vast enough to justify years of study and practice.  I'd like you to learn a little something new each week so you at least have a greater appreciation for your own fascinating energy anatomy.  This week I'd like to answer a question that often gets asked when discussing meridians named for organs that sometimes, er, go missing. 

The gallbladder is a good example.  Raise your hand if you've had your gallbladder removed.  Well, you're in good company.   Did you know gallbladder removal is the most common operation in North America?  Between the USA and Canada, each year more than 550,000 gallbladders go the way of all flesh thanks to gallstones. 

I find this news chafing, irritating, vexing, exasperating.  In a word, I find it galling.  Why?  Because it is quite possible to resolve a large percentage of these problems using natural methods. 

However, I digress.  The answer to that unasked question is that yes, even if you lose a particular organ, the meridian remains.  Although bathing particular organs with vital energy is the primary function of each organ meridian, they also serve other purposes.  One of these purposes is to create greater emotional balance.  Each meridian has an emotional polarity, as I've pointed out before. 

Some emotions are more pleasant to experience than others.  For many people, anger is not one of them.   How about you?  Do you feel uncomfortable expressing your anger?  Do you keep it bottled up?  Why is that?  Are you afraid you'll lose control if you start to get angry, or are you concerned what others will think of you?  Perhaps you believe you don't deserve to express what's on your mind.  Perhaps you have the opposite problem.  You are easily moved to rage, or are verbally attacking, sarcastic, even physically violent. 

Whatever the challenges you face regarding your ability to manage anger effectively, learning to balance the Wood element Gallbladder and Liver meridians may be helpful. 

John Thie points out the Gallbladder meridian is associated with the organ that stores and concentrates the bile from the liver.  Bile helps us with digestion, particularly of fats.  But have you ever heard someone described as "full of bile?"  That person is thought to be angry and bitter.  In a sense, the Gallbladder meridian also stores and concentrates the emotions of anger, rage and judgement towards others.  If these aren't metabolized properly, our anger can escalate out of control.  However, when the energy of this meridian is flowing easily, it can help you look at the world with kindness and mercy.

Gallbladder's yin counterpart is the Liver meridian.  Boy, talk about a multitasker.  Your liver has more known functions than any other organ in your body.  It is involved in blood storage, the menstrual cycle, sexuality, digestion, metabolism, storage, distribution of nourishment, filtration, detoxification and immune function.  It also drives the neighborhood kid's carpool to school every Wednesday.  So you know how those overachievers get.  Hard on themselves.  Guilty.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  When Liver meridian is in its flow, not only does it help to detoxify the body, it also helps to remove those poisons of the mind which  keep us from being as kind and gentle with ourselves as we would be with a newborn baby. 

Eventually you will be rockin' around the clock, but today we're going to jump around the clock.  Last week we learned to trace Kidney and Bladder meridians, both at their busiest between 3pm and 7pm.  This week we're going to burn the midnight oil with Gall Bladder and Liver meridians, both associated with the Wood Element. 

Gallbladder Meridian (11pm to 1am):  Place the fingers of both hands on the outside of your eyebrows, drop to the opening of your ears, take your fingers straight up about two inches, circle forward with your fingers, and drop back behind the ears.  Go forward again over ot your forehead, back over the crown of yoru head, and around your shoulders.  Leave your shoulders, take your hands to the sides of the rib cage, go forward on the rib cage, back on the waist, forward on the hips, straight down the outsides of hte legs, and off the fourth toes.

As you trace this meridian (and I promise you, it will never get worse than this meridian!), repeat this supportive affirmation:  "I assert myself peacefully and let go of judgment easily." 

Liver Meridian (1am to 3am):  Place your fingers on the insides of your big toes and trace straight up the insides of the legs, flaring out at your hips, up the sides of your rib cage, and back to above your ribs, in line with your nipples. 

As you trace this meridian remind yourself, "I am kind to myself." 



  1. Hi great article. I posted a link to your website on my blog, I hope you don't mind.

  2. Thanks, Brendan. You have a great blog. Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate it.

  3. Thanx for the info Rose. My left foot swells sometimes also leaving my mid calf area feeling tight and tingly, I'm not obese and most of the time it's just my left foot that swells. Tonight I actually feel the sensation running up the back of my left leg up to he thigh. I have no idea what this is about. I really don't eat junk food nor high-sodium content foods. Sometimes my foot gets to the point where it's a darkish pink-kinda gross actually. Raising my foot helps but why is it happening and why is it just in one leg?

    look forward to hearing what you think. Thanks again,