Encouraging flow

Asian Bodywork therapies such as Shiatsu, Acupressure, Anma, Thai Massaage, Tuina, Chi Nei Tsang, Jin Shin Do, Insight Bodywork, and other forms, all seek to help restore ease and balance in the body/mind/spirit through mobilizing and supporting the free flow of energy in the channel system. The body has a self corrective reflex and it often takes but a little nudging to get things moving in the right direction. Even something so simple as tracing the energy pathways is often enough to prompt stuck energy to begin moving.

Tracing meridians is a good way to start to familiarize yourself with energy pathways and to feel their effect. It is also an excellent way to support the body as a daily self-care routine.

In tracing the channels, use an open hand with the palm facing towards the body surface. The hand can be in light contact with the skin or it can even be hovering a few inches above the body. I suggest moving slowly; typically, the slower you move, the more you will feel. Due to electromagnetic energies in the hands, the energies of the channels will follow the lead of your hands, like the moon pulling the tides. It should take less than 10 minutes to mindfully trace the entire circuit of the 12 main channels.

The Lung Channel is a good place to start, as the Lungs govern the flow of qi. Begin with your palm in the hollw next to your shoulder and brush up the palmar arm and off the thumb. Changing polarities, brush the Large Intestine channel along the radial side of the index finger, down the dorsal aspect of the radius to the front of the acromion process, along the side of the neck and over the upper lip to the opposite nostril. Then repeat brushing the pathway of this yin/tang pair with the other hand for the other side of the body.

With both hands palming the cheeks with the fingers under the eyes, brush down to the jaw and then up to the temples, then back down the side of the jaw and the neck, over the chest, down the abdomen, and then moving out to the lateral side of the thighs. Continue down that anterolateral side of the leg, down the center of the dorsum of the foot and off the second toe. This is the Stomach Channel. Now we change polarities as we begin tracing the Spleen meridian up the medial side of the big toe, over the ankle, and up the anteromedial aspect of the leg. Brush over the ASIS and up the side of the torso.

With one hand, brush the Heart channel from the armpit, up the palmar arm, and off the radial side of the fifth finger. Change polarities, connecting to the ulnar side of the fifth finger and down along the border of the ulna and triceps, to the lateral aspect of the scapula. Continuing the Small Intestine channel, reach to the base of the neck and brush up the side of the neck to the cheek and over to the ear. Repeat this pattern with the other hand on the other side of the body.

Beginning at the inside corner of the eyes, brush with both hands over the skull to the base of the neck at C7. Reach down and behind to the scapula and brush down the sides of the spine onto the sacrum, over the buttocks, down the back of the legs and off the lateral fifth toe. That is the Urinary Bladder Channel. Shifting polarity to work the Kidney channel, start at the balls of the feet, brushing over the medial malleolus, the medial lobe of the calf, and the inside of the thighs to the pubis, then ascend up the center of the abdomen and over the sternum to the clavicle.

Brush with one hand from the side of the breast up over the shoulder and up the palmar aspect of the arm to work the Pericardium channel, sliding off the middle finger. Change polarity, following the Triple Warmer channel along the ulnar side fo the fourth finger, over the dorsal aspect of the hand and arm, along the back of the shoulder and neck to the mastoid process, up and around the ear and then ending at the lateral corners of the eyebrows. Repeat this pattern with the other hand on the opposite side.

The last pair of the cycle is the Gall Bladder and Liver channels. The Gall Bladder begins at the lateral corner of the eyes. Brush both hands over to the ears and then arc up over to the center of the eyebrows and then over the skull and back of the neck to the top of the trapezius near the base of the neck (the 'boulder in the shoulder' area). Brush down the side of the chest to the axillary line, arc anterior onto the lower ribs, then back to the floating ribs, then medial to the ASIS, then back to the depression of the buttocks. Continue descending down the iliotibial band, over the fibula, and off the fourth toe. Change polarities to brush between the first and second toes, across the ankle to the medial aspect of the leg, brushing across the inguinal ligament to the floating ribs and then anterior to the lower ribcage. This completes the circuit of the 12 main channels by brushing back up the shoulder where the Lung channel begins.

Take a moment to regsiter how you feel.

Source: Barry Kapke, Energy Moves.