A meridian researcher claimed that “if we do not understand the meridians, it is hard to understand TCM (traditional Chinese medicine).” In the world of energy psychology, we can add that we cannot really understand energy psychology tapping unless we understand the concept of the meridians. Interestingly, the meridians are very closely related to the nadis of Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. The ancients seem to have understood something about how energy flows through our bodies and affects our health and wellbeing. Here is an overview of what they knew, and an introduction to the meridians.

Introduction to the meridians.

Energy flows through our system along a pair of major vessels and a set of lesser meridians. The energy, or chi, moves throughout the body along these lines. Each line relates to a bodily organ and an emotion or set of emotions. We begin our coverage with the two major vessels, and then proceed to the twelve meridians following the order of tapping points from EFT, TFT, and TTT from top to bottom!

The governing vessel.

The tapping point for the governing vessel is the point on the upper lip under the nose. The vessel itself runs from there to the bottom of the coccyx. The governing vessel, along with the central vessel, store chi and “blood” for the twelve meridians.

We can trace lack of movement and pain to problems with the governing vessel. Additionally, there are several emotional issues related to the governing vessel. These include embarrassment and self-esteem issues. What’s more, they are related to the future and how we envision our future and our future self.

The central vessel.

The central vessel is sometimes called the conception vessel. Its tapping point is the spot under the bottom lip at the chin crease. The central vessel runs from the perineum to the bottom lip. Along with its partner the governing vessel, it stores chi and “blood” for the meridians.

If you experience issues related to sexuality and the organs of reproduction, you may be experiencing issues with your central vessel. (Menopause symptoms, anyone?) Imbalances in the central vessel also leave us feeling weak or depleted. Now, on the emotional side, problems like shame and inability to launch future projects may come down to a problem with the central vessel.

The bladder meridian.

The treatment point for the bladder meridian is located at the inside eyebrow corner by the bridge of the nose. Predictably, the bladder meridian relates to bladder functions. This is not only elimination, but possibly lower back pain and even problems sleeping.

The emotions associated with the bladder meridian include irritability. Additionally, the bladder meridian is an important point for trauma. Some schools of thought hold that the bladder meridian also relates to jealousy and suspicion.

The gall bladder meridian.

The gall bladder meridian’s treatment point is at the outside of the eye. Just as the gall bladder creates bile which we use to digest food, its meridian relates to digestion. Other issues related to the gall bladder meridian are headaches and jaw tension as well as pain in certain joints.

The emotions we associate with the gall bladder are visceral anger: rage, fury, and wrath. On the other hand, some schools of thought hold that the gall bladder relates to decision making and the ability to make sound judgments.

The stomach meridian.

The tapping point for the stomach meridian is under the eye. This meridian is related to digestion and imbalances lead to indigestion, reflux, belching, and nausea.

Fear and anxiety are the emotions we most commonly associate with the stomach meridian. Imbalances of the stomach meridian can also lead to greed or disgust.

The kidney meridian.

The kidney meridian tapping point is located just below the notches of the collar bones. This is the K27 point, which is renowned for alleviating anxiety! Kidney meridian issues include issues with urination, as well as night sweats, dry mouth, and memory problems.

Fear and anxiety are the main emotions we associate with the kidney meridian. To illustrate the point, people who are insecure or aloof may be experiencing problems with the kidney meridian.

The spleen meridian.

We use the point under the arms at the bra strap area to access the spleen meridian. As the spleen relates to our immune system and production of red and white blood cells, issues related to spleen meridian imbalances include tiredness, bleeding and bruising, a heavy menstrual flow, as well as poor digestion and a distended abdomen.

Worry much? If so, you may have an imbalance in your spleen meridian. Other issues related to the spleen meridian include overthinking and being obsessed with things.

The liver meridian.

The liver meridian tapping point used in TFT and TTT is on the bottom rib under the nipple, the LR 14 point. Surprisingly, this liver meridian point is not activated in EFT. Apparently, many larger-breasted women felt uncomfortable accessing the point! However, some classically trained, long-term EFT’ers out there still use it. Interestingly, there is another liver meridian point, the LR 13, just below the spleen point we use in tapping. We are probably getting a two-fer when we tap under our arms!

Headaches, dizziness, and eye issues may signify issues with the liver meridian. The main emotion we associate with the liver meridian is anger. Irritability, resentment, bitterness, and flying off the handle can also relate to liver meridian imbalances.

The lung meridian.

The lung meridian tapping point we use is at the thumb nail bed on the side away from the index finger. Issues related to the lung meridian, not surprisingly, include all the respiratory issues like coughing, congestion, breathing issues, sore throat, and loss of voice.

Sadness and grief are the emotions associated with the lung meridian. Interestingly, EFT does not activate the lung meridian directly. Neither does it directly use the large intestine, pericardium, or heart meridian. However, we may use these points we tap on the top of the head, for instance, and also if we use the fingers of one hand to stimulate the side of the hand during the setup phase.

The large intestine meridian.

The large intestine treatment point used in energy psychology tapping protocols is on the index fingernail bed on the thumb side of the hand. Not surprisingly, problems with the large intestine meridian include predictable culprits like constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Like the other finger points, these are activated in EFT during the setup phase and tapping the top of the head.

The emotions we associate with the large intestine include guilt. Other schools of thought, however, hold that the large intestine meridian relates to sadness and grief, and that it works in tandem with the lung meridian.

The pericardium meridian.

The tapping point for the pericardium is on the fingernail bed of the middle finger on the side close to the index finger. Symptoms of an imbalance here can range from restlessness to fluttery chest to chest pain.

The emotions we associate with the pericardium include life flow and issues related to sexuality. Additionally, others hold that the pericardium meridian is responsible for extreme emotions, including bipolar kinds of mood swings.

The heart meridian.

The heart meridian tapping point is on the fingernail bed of the little or pinky finger on the side closest to the ring finger. Again, as with the other finger points, these are activated in EFT during the setup phase and tapping the top of the head. Issues related to an imbalance in the heart meridian include high blood pressure and heart palpitations. Heart meridian emotions include hatred and specific anger as well as anxiety and insomnia.

The small intestine meridian.

The small intestine tapping point is familiar to everyone who does tapping: It is the side of the hand, where we do our setup statements and begin our tapping series. Issues related to the small intestine include pain in the cervical spine, shoulders, and shoulder blades as well as tongue sores.

Emotions that we associate with an imbalance in the small intestine include vulnerability and sadness. More importantly, the small intestine meridian helps us sort out our emotions. Just as the small intestines themselves separate the pure and useful from the impure that we eliminate, the small intestine meridian separates the pure emotions from the impure ones that we want to eliminate.

The thyroid or triple warmer meridian.

The tapping point for the triple warmer meridian is located on the back of the hand between the bones leading to the pinky and ring fingers. Indeed, this spot will be familiar to anyone who does the 9-gamut. Issues chiefly related to the triple warmer meridian include pain, swelling, problems with urination, problems with hearing and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Emotions that we associate with a blocked triple warmer include depression, overwhelm, stress, and sadness.

Now, what will you do with your introduction to the meridians?

Now that you have this basic understanding of the meridians, what will you do with your knowledge? All things considered, if you are a licensed clinician and would like to put this energy to use in your practice, consider ACEP’s EFT training, specifically designed for licensed mental health professionals. And don’t forget to check out our foundations of energy psychology blog series!


Author bio:

Sarah Murphy, LPC, ACP-EFT, is an ACEP Board member and chair of its communications committee. She has a private practice where she specializes in helping people with serious or chronic illness.