Holistic Health Collective

Meridians the Energetic Channels of the Body [How Does Acupuncture Work Series]

I often get asked by many people including friends, family, patients.  How does acupuncture work?  Or does acupuncture really work?  I will be posting periodically on this topic and hopefully can provide you with some more insight on this fascinating topic about this ancient form of healing, from both a traditional and modern point of view.

What are acupuncture meridians?


Meridians: In acupuncture theory, there are 12 major meridians that traverse the body from the head to the toes and from the chest to the hands.  They occur on the front and back of the body.  Meridians cannot be seen by the naked eye or felt with regular touch but are theoretical areas of energy channels that support the bodies healing and homeostatic functions.  It is best to think of them as water ways carrying energy.  Their balance is highly important for the healing effect, and placing acupuncture needles either downstream or upstream of the meridian “waterway” will help support its influence on the whole body.  It’s best to imagine acupuncture as placing needles in meridian “waterways” and opening up or changing their strength, moving from a more deficient or excessive state to a more balanced state.  Western science has studied meridian origins and there is a strong correlation with meridian mapping and the anatomical location of fascial planes.

The 12 major acupuncture meridians:

They are divided into Yin type and Yang type


  • Kidney
  • Spleen
  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Pericardium
  • Heart


  • Bladder
  • Stomach
  • Gallbladder
  • Large Intestine
  • Triple Heater
  • Small Intestine