Meridian of the Month | Small Intestine

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Nancy Nelson

The meridian lines of the body are energetic highways that provide a path for Qi and other substances to flow. This year, we will learn details about one of the meridians each month as they coordinate with the time of year / season that we are currently in. For June, let’s discuss the Small Intestine pathway!

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The Journey of the Small Intestine Lines

The small intestine meridian begins on the corner of the little fingernail from the heart channel and moves along the edge of the hand to the wrist where it starts to move upward on the forearm by the outer ulna bone. It passes the elbow at the “funny” bone (on the back side) before moving up the back of the arm behind the shoulder joint.

At this point it joins GV-14 and crosses to a space above the collarbone where it moves internally to the heart, esophagus and stomach before landing at the small intestine.

Back at the collarbone region, it continues superficially up the side of the neck, then over the cheek to the ear.

The Small Intestine Meridian | Minister of Reception

The small intestine itself is responsible for the refinement of digested foods, a it works to separate the pure from the impure in the digestion process. Essentially the small intestine takes what remains in the stomach and decides what is needed within the body to thrive and what is now waste that should be excreted.

Related to the Small Intestine in TCM is the pituitary gland, located in the head. The pituitary is known as the “master gland” controlling the entire endocrine system. This includes metabolism, sexuality and immune function just to name a few. When the Small Intestine is not functioning correctly, you will see effects in these areas as well.

Several specific physical symptoms that may point to an imbalance include: overconsumption of low nutrient foods, irritability, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, gut inflammation, and ear problems.

The Small Intestine controls our basic “day to day” emotions. Just as you may experience a stomach ache or general discomfort in the stomach when giving a public speech or butterflies when meeting someone you find attractive – your gut senses stress and communicates to the digestive tract to respond. Therefore our emotions can trigger the gut and vice versa.

There are 19 points along this meridian line and the element of the Small Intestine channel is fire. The Small Intestine meridian is responsible for clarity of thought and our overall energetic health. As stated above, the primary role of the Small Intestine is to separate the pure from the impure, which indicates what happens within digestion but should also be considered as the energetic role of Qi through this meridian. When functioning properly, the Small Intestine energy helps us to know what we should allow into our lives and what we should release or reject. Every meridian has a yin or yang counterpart or complimentary meridian. The Small Intestine lines are yang and the Heart lines are the yin counterpart that also share the fire element. The active season for the Small Intestine meridian is summer and the time of day the meridian is most active is between 1pm – 3pm. The color that represents this meridian is pink.

Repeated Behavior (mistakes)Able to change course when something isn’t right / working
Poor JudgmentDiscernment
Lack of ClarityFocuses on What is Important

Beyond yin yoga, balance your Small Intestine by striving for moderation in life socially and personally. Eat well, practice self-care, set healthy sleep rhythms and set boundaries.

Yin Postures for the Small Intestine Meridian
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These one hour webinars focus on the meridians in a bit more detail if you want to learn more.

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Nancy Nelson
Nancy Nelson
Nancy is the fearless leader here at Nancy Nelson Yoga! She has been instructing yoga since 2012 and is certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500, YACEP) with Yoga Alliance. She loves guiding yoga classes in all forms – from sweaty vinyasa flows, to slow mindful movement - but her favorite style to practice and teach is yin yoga. She attended a formal 50-hour Yin Yoga training with Bernie Clark and Diana Batts in the fall of 2018 and it truly propelled her into developing her yin focused website, webinars and trainings.

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