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Meridian (Kyung Rak) and Organ Functions

In traditional oriental medicine, the term “organ” refers both to the physical organ and the energetic functions related to that organ. There are 12 main organs in traditional oriental medicine, each has a Um and Yang pair, as shown in the table below. Um OrganYang Organ Lung Large Intestine Spleen Stomach Heart Small Intestine Kidney Bladder Pericardium Triple Warmer Liver Gall Bladder Extraordinary Meridians Conception Vessel Governing Vessel

The Ki flow through the twelve main meridians is as follows:

Lung → Large Intestine → Stomach → Spleen

Heart → Small Intestine → Bladder → Kidney

Pericardium → Triple Warmer → Gall Bladder → Liver

Each of the twelve main meridians is arranged in one of three meridian circuits. The energy in each meridian circuit follows a path of Chest → Hand → Face → Foot → Chest. For example, the first circuit is the Lung → Large Intestine → Stomach → Spleen. In this case, the lung transfers Ki from the chest out to the hand, the large intestine transfers Ki from the hand to the face, the stomach transfers Ki from the face to the foot, and the spleen transfers Ki from the foot back to the chest.

Thinking of the energetic functions of an organ greatly enhances the understanding of Ki Gong. Primary energetic functions for a variety of organs are shown in the table below. OrganEnergetic Functions Lung Governing Ki and controlling respiration Controlling, disseminating, and descending Regulating the water passages Houses the emotional animal mind/spirit Spleen Produces Ki and Blood from food Controls Blood (holds blood in the vessels) Controls Raising Ki Houses intellectual mind/spirit Heart Governs blood and blood vessels House the spirit (seen in complexion) Governs sweating Kidney Stores Chung (essence) and dominates reproduction, growth and development Produces bone marrow Dominates water Controls the reception of Ki Houses the will power mind/spirit Liver Stores Blood Maintains free flow of Ki (seen in nails) Houses the aspect of mind associated with higher order emotions love, trust, integrity, wisdom Stomach Controls rotting and ripening of food Controls descending

In addition to the stomach, which is described in the table above, the function of other Yang organs relates to the separation of nutrients and waste. Problems with Yang organs can result in pain in the distribution of that organ’s meridian and/or eventual dysfunction in its Um-related organ.

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