The Lung Meridian: Gateway to Life and Vitality
The lung meridian is often the first meridian studied in acupuncture school. Why? Lungs are vital for life. The breath is the first thing that happens when you are born, and when the breath ceases it indicates death. Chinese medicine never differentiated the physical body, the mental, emotional or spiritual self. Each organ contributes different functions in all these areas. The lung organ, and its corresponding meridian plays a role in the immune system, skin health, and emotional well-being.
The Course of the Lung Meridian
The lung meridian begins in the stomach and emerges on the inner corner of the clavicle. It travels down the inside of the arm to the thumb. The lung meridian also has several branches that connect to the lungs, heart, and other organs.
When to use the Lung Meridian
The lung meridian has a number of important functions, including:
- Regulating the breath
- Protecting the body from external pathogens, like colds and flus
- Circulating fluids throughout the body
- Controlling the movement of disseminating and descending energy in the body
- Nourishing the skin
Signs and Symptoms of Lung Meridian Imbalance
When the lung meridian is imbalanced, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry throat
- Chest pain
- Hay fever
- Skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis
- Weak immune system
How to Balance the Lung Meridian
There are a number of things you can do to balance the lung meridian, including:
- Breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises help to strengthen the lungs and circulate lung qi. Watch for holding the breath, and focus on releasing, exhaling and letting go.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture can be used to stimulate specific points on the lung meridian to balance Lung qi and improve respiratory function. Depending on what is presenting, we can help with coughing, fatigue, wheezing, chest tightness, or grief.
- Massage: Massaging the chest and pressing points along the pathway of the Lung meridian can help to relieve tension and improve lung circulation, treating all the same conditions that can be treated with acupuncture needles.
- Food and Fluids: Eating a healthy diet that is rich in foods with high water contents like fruits, vegetables, and soups can help to nourish the lungs, and keeping yourself hydrated with water and tea can help too. There are many foods that are specific to lung health, from using mint tea and honey for a dry throat, to barley soup for a cough with phlegm, there are many food options to support Lung health.
The lung meridian is an essential part of the body’s energy system. By keeping the lung meridian balanced, you can improve your respiratory health, immune system, skin health, and emotional well-being.
Here are some additional tips for balancing the lung meridian:
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke.
- Use an air purifier when air quality becomes poor, and avoid exercising outdoors on those days.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Spend time in nature and get fresh air in your lungs regularly.
- Get regular exercise, but avoid overexerting yourself.
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation.
Fall is the season of the Lungs, and Lung conditions may present this time of year. If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of lung meridian imbalance, reach out to us, we can help.