Meridian of the Month | Stomach

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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 October, let’s discuss the Stomach pathway!

But first! Meridian Art

Each month of 2021, I will release an art piece that highlights our focused meridian. Be sure to collect all 12! Check out the first eight pieces of the collection below.

available in 5×7 or 8×10 / OR! Purchase a PDF to print locally (coming soon)

copyright Nancy Nelson Yoga
The Journey of the Stomach Lines

The stomach meridian begins beside the nose then travels up to the forehead. Just below the eye a branch passes into the upper gums and around the mouth to connect to the governing and conception vessels. Through the lower gums, it moves upward in front of the ear to the forehead. From the jaw it descends down the throat to the collarbones.

Internally it then moves to the stomach and the spleen organs. The more superficial path continues down over the abdomen to the anterior thigh, and moves just to the outside of the kneecap. Below the knee, it divides to run down the leg by the shinbone, ending on the outside of the second toe.The other branch moves internally to the middle toe.

From the top of the foot a connection runs to the spleen channel.

The Stomach Meridian | Sea of Nourishment / Root of Postnatal Life

The Stomach itself is responsible for nourishing the body with energy from ingested substances with the goal of keeping digestion moving in a downward direction. Energetically, the Stomach meridian works with the Spleen to transport energy from food and fluid to the lungs, where it combines with Qi from the air we breathe. The muscles are closely related to the Stomach functionality in that weak or underdeveloped muscles may indicate a stomach or spleen issue.

Several specific physical symptoms that may point to an imbalance include: craving sweets, imbalances in other organs, stomachache, rapid digestion, hunger, nausea, vomiting, thirst, abdominal distension, fluid in abdomen, sore throat, nosebleeds, pain in chest and knee. In addition to physical imbalances, several mental issues point to Stomach imbalance…

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Hyperactivity
  • Depression
  • Doubt
  • Suspicions
  • Mania
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Some types of ADD

The Stomach meridian is associated with the element Earth and is therefore very supported by warm meals, a calm and peaceful home environment, mindful eating, meditation and routine. Additionally, it’s important to eat with the seasons according to TCM and balance all the elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal) in your regular diet. In addition to physical nourishment, the Stomach meridian ingests subtle energy from the world around us and fuels our ability to find fresh insight, take in information and nurture the Self. You may recall the Small Intestine organ does the important work of sorting pure from impure. After the stomach absorbs information / energy – it moves to the Small Intestine where we decide if the energy ingested should be kept or released.

There are 45 points along this meridian line making it one of the longest of the main 12. Every meridian has a yin or yang counterpart or complimentary meridian. The Stomach lines are yang and the Spleen lines are the yin counterpart that also share the Earth element. The active season for the Stomach meridian is 5th Season (late summer) and the time of day the meridian is most active is between 7am-9am. The color that represents this meridian is deep yellow.

IMBALANCEBALANCE (never 100%)
DiscontentContent
Anxiety / StressEase / Lightness
PerfectionismBest is good enough
Poor JudgmentDiscerning
InsecurityFreedom

Beyond yin yoga, balance your Stomach by chewing food completely (recommended 50-100 chews!), eat in a relaxed environment, cook while feeling positive emotion, eat high protein breakfasts. One of my favorite books on eating mindfully is listed to the right!

Yin Postures for the Stomach Meridian
More Resources…

Blog Posts and More

Webinars

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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