Introduction to Macrobiotics (part 5) – The Twelve Meridians and The Five Element Theory

There are twelve meridians or energy pathways incorporated in The Five Element Theory.

shiatsu meridian chart

  • Lung Meridian
  • Large Intestine Meridian
  • Kidney Meridian
  • Bladder Meridian
  • Liver Meridian
  • Gall Bladder Meridian
  • Heart Meridian
  • Small Intestine Meridian
  • Triple Heater Meridian
  • Heart Constrictor Meridian

These meridians run throughout the body and are used in both Acupuncture and Shiatsu for diagnosis and treatment

Each of the Five Elements has a pair of meridians asociated with it, which correspond to the organ in the body. The exception is Fire which has an additional two meridians – Triple Heater and Heart Constrictor, which have no corresponding organ.

The diagram below demonstrates the nurturing and controlling relationships between the meridians based on the Five Element Theory, in which:

  • Fire nurtures Earth and controls Metal
  • Earth nurtures Metal and controls Water
  • Metal nurtures Water and controls Wood
  • Water nurtures Wood and controls Fire
  • Wood nurtures Fire and controls Earth

the twelve meridians and the five element theory

Shiatsu, which is often regarded as “acupuncture without needles’, uses supportive acupressure to balance the meridian system using the Five Element Theory, enabling the body to heal itself and return to homeostasis or equilibrium.