Seattle Acupuncture- The Lung Meridian

The lungs in Chinese medicine have many functions. They are in charge of grasping the energy from the outside world (air) which we call Qing Qi. When the lungs are functioning in balance they descend and disperse the Qing Qi throughout the entire body. The lungs regulate water passages by circulating and excreting fluids. The health of the lungs is reflected in our skin and the hair on our skin. Any kind of rashes, acne or skin trouble can possibly be a dysfunction of the lungs. Last, the emotion of the lungs is grief. When we are impacted by grief in our lives, the lungs or the chest is typically involved in some way.
In western medicine we can find correlations to the function of the lungs in Chinese medicine. In terms of Qing Qi and the descending and dispersing function of the lungs, this is the equivalent of the function of hemoglobin in our blood. Hemoglobin supplies every cell in our body with oxygen; when we inhale, the hemoglobin descends oxygen and disperses it via the circulation system. The function of circulating and excreting fluids can be explained by noticing the amount of fluids we lose through our breath and the close relationship our lungs have with the heart and the circulation system. The reflection of the lungs in the skin can be shown by many examples including the blue color our skin turns when we are having trouble breathing. And last, when we have experience grief in our lives, many people have the sensation of a tight chest and shallow breath. This is why the Chinese place grief in the lungs. These are all the functions of the lungs in Chinese medicine. Below is the lung meridian.

The lung meridian is the first meridian out of the twelve meridians. The next meridian the energy flows into is the large intestine. Another name for the lung meridian is the Hand Tai Yin and its partner, the Foot Tai Yin, is the spleen meridian. The lungs are considered a yin organ and its paired yang organ is the large intestine. There are 11 acupuncture points on the lung meridian and the channel runs bilaterally. The meridian starts from lung 1 (LU-1) located in the first intercostal space, about 1 unit (cun) inferior to the depression below the clavicle and medial to the coracoid process and proceeds to lung 11 (LU-11) located at the bottom corner of the thumb nail. The time of the lungs is 3am-5am, the season is fall, the emotion is grief, the color is white and the element is metal. Each point along the meridian has a different function. Below is a description of the most common points used on the lung channel.
LU-1- stores extra energy for the lungs. It helps with coughing, wheezing, breathing difficulties, asthma, colds.
LU-2- unblocks the lungs, helps with coughing, wheezing, and drains heat.
LU-5- clears heat from the lungs, unblocks fluid congestion in lungs, treats coughing, asthma and colds.
LU-6- great point for acute lung problems.
Lu-7- connects the lungs with its paired organ, the large intestines. This point brings energy from the large intestine meridian into the lungs to help clear up lung problems. It is a very effective point for lung issues.
LU-9- this is the controlling point of the lungs and is the main point for telling the lungs how to do their job. When the lungs are not functioning this point helps regulate the lungs back to balance.
LU-10- a great point for sore throats during a cold
LU-11- a great point for clearing heat from the lungs. We usually squeeze a drop of blood out of this point to help drain heat.

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