The Lungs in Acupuncture
I plan to discuss the functions of the main 12 Acupuncture meridians within the body. The primary purpose of the 12 meridians is to regulate the flow of qi and blood throughout the body. The body’s meridians serve as main pathways that transport Qi or Chi and blood. Energy (which from time-to-time I’ll reference as Qi) flows throughout the meridians (or energy highways), accessing all parts of the body. Meridians can be mapped throughout the body; they flow within the body and not on the body’s surface. Meridians exist in corresponding pairs and each meridian has many acupuncture points along its path.
Today my discussion will focus on the lung meridians and its functions. When it comes to Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, the lungs govern Qi and respiration. When I speak of Qi in Chinese medicine… Qi can be interpreted as life energy or life force that flows within us. The lungs control the blood vessels in that the Qi of the lungs assists the heart in controlling blood circulation. The lungs also control the water passages of the body which means it plays a vital role in the movement of body fluids.
- When it is said that the lungs govern Qi and respiration it is meant that with the inhalation of clean air (which is considered pure Qi) and the exhalation of gas-filled air (which is considered dirty Qi), this constant exchange and renewal of Qi performed by the lungs ensures the proper functioning of all the body’s physiological processes that take Qi as their basis.
2. The second way in which the lungs govern Qi is by way of Qi extracted from the food we eat, which is directed to the lungs where it combines with air to create another form of Qi that is responsible for nourishing the heart and lungs, and also control speech and strength of the voice. This type of Qi also affects and promotes blood circulation to the extremities; the lungs control channels and blood vessels.
- With the lungs governing qi, qi is essential to aid the heart to circulate blood. Although in Chinese medicine the heart controls the blood vessels, lungs also play an important part in maintaining the health of the blood vessels as well. Since the lungs govern qi which helps the heart circulate blood within the vessels, it can then be considered that the lungs not only control circulation in the blood vessels themselves, but also in all channels throughout the body. If lung qi is strong, the circulation of qi and blood will be good, and the limbs will be warm. If lung Qi is weak, qi will not be able to push the blood, and the limbs, particularly the hands, will be cold; the lungs control the diffusing and descending of Qi.
4. The lungs also have the function of diffusing and spreading a special type of qi that protects us from external pathogenic factors along with body fluids all over the body to the space between the skin and muscles. This is the way in which the lungs are tied to the skin on the body; the lungs regulate all physiological activities.
5. As qi is the basis for all physiological activities in Chinese medicine, the lungs, by governing qi ( as previously explained) are naturally in charge of all physiological activities.- The lungs as I previously stated regulate water passages within the body.