Meridian of the Month | Lung

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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 November, let’s discuss the Lung pathway!

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The Journey of the Lung Lines

The Lung meridian originates in the solar plexus region and moves downward to then meet with the large intestine. From there it moves past the stomach and diaphragm where it divides and enters the lungs. Once through the lungs, it comes back together and moves upward through the windpipe to the throat where it divides again.

This is where it moves more superficially to the front of the shoulder (LU-1). It moves

over the shoulder and down the front of the arm, down the biceps and into the tendon at the elbow crease (LU-5). From there it continues down the forearm to the wrist to the base of the thumb(LU-9). The channel crosses the height of the thumb muscle to finish at the corner of the thumbnail.

The Lung Meridian | Prime Minister

The Lungs are a familiar organ in the body. We know they are critical for respiration, but what more do you know about the Lungs? In Chinese Medicine, the Lungs assist the “King” (heart) with the circulation of blood. The Lungs help flood red blood cells with oxygen. As the blood pumps through the heart and to the rest of the body these oxygen-rich cells can nourish the other various organs and body parts. The Lungs serve as a detox organ as well as they not only take in oxygen, but release carbon dioxide on our exhales. This associates our lungs with other detox organs: the Large Intestine and the skin. The nose is known as the “gate of the breath” and enables us to take our deepest breaths. When we breathe through our mouths, we are not able to take in as much oxygen and our breath stays fairly shallow. When we breathe through our nose, we can fill up to the lungs capacity (belly-ribs-chest ring a bell?), which helps to activate our rest and digest mode – the parasympathetic nervous system.

Another common name for the Lung meridian is “the priest” because of its role in establishing the foundation of Qi for the entire body. Breath and pulse, blood and energy are critical elements to Qigong, or Chinese breathing exercises. The Lung meridian absorbs the vital breath, which flows through the meridian system. If you remember from the article on the Stomach meridian, the Qi from our food and the Qi from air become our body’s energy source. When we breathe with intention, we take in this energy and it works to dissolve blockages throughout the entire circulation of Qi through the meridians.

Several specific physical symptoms that may point to an imbalance include: difficulty breathing, coughing, clogged pores, runny/stuffed nose, etc.

The Lung meridian is associated with the element Metal and is supported clean air, good hydration, Qigong, and a stable family upbringing.

There are 11 points along this meridian line. Every meridian has a yin or yang counterpart or complimentary meridian. The Lung lines are yin and the Large Intestine lines are the yang counterpart that also share the Metal element. The active season for the Lung meridian is autumn and the time of day the meridian is most active is between 3am-5am. The color that represents this meridian is pure white.

IMBALANCEBALANCE (never 100%)
GriefPleasure
SadnessHappiness
DepressionContented

Try this simple acupressure point to activate your Lung Qi!

Lung 1 (LU-1) is the first acupuncture point along the meridian pathway that is accessible for pressure. Simply take the thumb of one hand to the opposite shoulder and glide the thumb down over the collar bone into the hollow space. You will likely feel the edge of the deltoid muscle. Apply steady pressure or circular motions. Repeat on other side.

Yin Postures for the Lung Meridian

More Resources…

Blog Posts and More

30 minute practice for the Lung Meridian

60 minute practice for the Lung Meridian

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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