Meridian of the Month | Large 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 have learned the details about one of the meridians each month as they coordinate with the time of year / season that we are currently in. For December, let’s discuss the Large Intestine pathway!

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The Journey of the Large Intestine Lines

The Large Intestine line begins by the outside corner of the index fingernail. From there, it moves along the outside edge of the finger and between the two tendons of the thumb at the wrist joint (LI-5). It then moves across radius bone of the arm to the elbow crease.

The channel then continues on the outer shoulder to the shoulder blade where it meets with the governing vessel at the neck. It moves then internally to the lungs and large intestine. At the shoulder, a branch also travels up the anterior sides of the neck up to where it ends at the opposite nostril.

The Large Intestine Meridian | Minister of Transportation

The Large Intestine transports digestive wastes from liquid to solid before sending the solids onward and outward for excretion. It also works to balance and maintain the purity of bodily fluids and helps the lungs in controlling the skin’s pores and perspiration.

We know that the lungs and large intestine are interrelated in Chinese Medicine (TCM). When our lungs are functioning properly, we take our deepest breaths which activates the parasympathetic nervous system. You may have heard this part of the nervous system referred to as our “Rest and Digest” mode. The Large Intestine helps us to cleanse the body of waste products from what is physically and energetically ingested.

Several specific physical symptoms that may point to an imbalance include: constipation, diarrhea, age spots, slow metabolism, food allergies, foul breath, and hair loss.

The Large Intestine meridian is associated with the element Metal and is supported by eating seasonally, maintaining healthy relationships and emotional balance. You want to focus on letting go and releasing when you feel the time is right to do so. If you find you are struggling with control, stubbornness, confusion, and self-poisoning – you may need to work on balancing your Large Intestine Qi.

There are 20 points along this meridian line. Every meridian has a yin or yang counterpart or complimentary meridian. The Large Intestine lines are yang and the Lung lines are the yin counterpart that also share the Metal element. The active season for the Large Intestine meridian is autumn and the time of day the meridian is most active is between 5am-7am. The color that represents this meridian is off white.


Try this simple acupressure point to activate your Large Intestine Qi!

Large Intestine 4 (LI-4) is a common and accessible point for acupressure. Simply take the thumb of one hand to the opposite hand and apply pressure to the top of the hand between the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bones, in the middle of the 2nd metacarpal bone on the radial side. This point is used often to help with any condition of the face or head, relieves flu symptoms.

This point should be avoided when pregnant as it can induce labor.

Yin Postures for the Large Intestine Meridian

More Resources…

Blog Posts and More

60 minute practice for the Lung & Large Intestine Meridians


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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