There are 12 muscle-tendon meridians in the body. These exist along the surfaces of the muscles and tendons, running from joint to joint. Unlike the other meridians, these do not connect with any internal organs. They seem to be primarily involved in the gross utilization of energy with which the musculature is associated. Here, however, there is far greater efficiency (that is, minimized effort with increased energy output) than is ordinarily presumed to be normal.
Muscle-tendon meridians originate in the extremities, meet at major joints and end at points ranging throughout the torso and head. Knowing the tendon routes well and energizing them will greatly increase the muscle-tendon-fascia tone and improve the range of movement, or radius.
This meridian has its origin at the end of the thumb. Looking at a person standing and facing you with his arms at the sides of his body and the palms facing forward, the meridian would be seen as a line that extends up along the outer side of the bones of the thumb to the outer side of the wrist. It then ascends up the outerside of the forearm to the crook of the arm and, rising up the biceps, crosses over to and enters the chest, coming out again at the sterno-clavicular joint, From there it extends across the collar bone to the front deltoid, while another branch extends downward into the chest sending still other branches down to the diaphragm.
Again, picture a person who is standing and facing you. Now his arms are at his sides with the palms facing inward to the torso. Beginning at the end of the index finger this meridian travels up along what is then the outerside of the forearm to the outer portion of the crook in the arm. There it continues to ascend along the outer side of the upper arm to the side deltoid and then splits into two branches. One goes back over the trapezius muscle, descending down between the spinal column and scapula and extending up along the backbone to about midway of the length of the neck. The other travels across the lower surface of the trapezius and then to the sternocleidomastoid muscle on its way to the face, where it splits again at the jaw line. One short branch runs to the corner of the nose, the other travels up along the side of the face, passing through the side of the forehead on its way over the top of the head and down a similar route to the opposite jaw where it finally anchors.
This meridian is somewhat more elaborate, starting at the third toe and sometimes the second and fourth, too. The meridian runs up the lower surface of the foot to about the level of the ankle. From there it splits into two branches. One goes up the middle of the lower leg to the outerside of the knee. The other, running laterally to the first, continues to the hip joint and then up over the ilial crest (upper part of the pelvis) to continue on around to the back where it crosses the lower ribs and joins with an extension of the meridian that runs along the backbone from the sacrum to about the level of the collar bone. Returning to the more medially located branch, we see that it continues up to the top of the thigh and veers in towards the pubic bone. There it enters the abdomen and emerges again above the cavity of the collar bone. Next, it travels up the side of the neck and jaw, where it splits in two. One branch veers forward towards the corner of the mouth, ascending up along the side of the nose to the corner of the eye. The other goes up along the jaw line to a point in front of the ear at the temple.
With the figure standing and facing you, this meridian is seen as originating at the middle and end of the big toe. It then runs along the middle of the foot and ascends to the internal malleolus (hammershaped bone on each side of the ankle). From there it continues upward along the middle of the shin, passing the middle of the knee. Then it travels upward, beginning at the middle of the thigh and sweeping across it to end at a point on the groin. It then turns in toward the pubic bone and rises straight up to the navel. Veering off laterally, it crosses the abdomen, ending at a point just below the nipple, where it then enters into the chest. Another branch runs through a point located at the pubic bone to the coccygeal region where it ascends the mid-line of the backbone to about the level of the tops of the scapulae.
With the person standing with his arms at the sides of his body and the palms facing forward, this meridian begins at the lateral tip of the pinky finger. From there, it ascends to the middle of the wrist, continuing upward along the middle of the forearm to the crook of the arm. Traveling upward and medially, it runs to the armpit and then crosses the pectoral muscle at about the level of the nipple, joins at the mediastinum (the partition between the two pleural sacs of the chest, extending from the sternum to the thoracic vertebrae and downward to the diaphragm) and runs straight down to the navel.
With the person standing and facing away from you with his arms at the sides of his body and the palms facing forward, this meridian begins at the tip of the little finger. Ascending up along the back of that finger to a point on the wrist just above it, it continues up along the middle of the forearm, joining its upper arm extension in the middle of the elbow. Proceeding up the middle of the upper arm, it unites with its neck and ear extension behind the armpit. Ascending and descending, tracing out a pattern like a Z on its side, it continues up and over the trapezius, crossing the neck and connecting at the mastoid process with a small branch entering the ear. Another branch loops up and over the ear and then dips down to end at a point on the jaw below that is slightly behind the level of the outer corner of the eye. It then ascends, passing very close to the outer corner of the eye as it travels to the forehead, uniting with the muscle-tendon meridian extension of the mastoid process at the temple.
Still another branch issues out of the point at the mastoid process, ascending the previously described branch that crosses the forehead on its way to the temple.
Looking at a standing figure faced away from you, the bladder meridian begins in the small toe. Running along the outer side of the foot, it rises and joins with the external malleolus.
It then ascends to and joins the lateral corner of the popliteal fossa (or cavity behind the knee), while a branch extends downward from the external malleolus to join at the heel. Then it runs up along the calf and joins at the back of the knee. From there, it ascends to the middle of the buttocks, while at the same time extending downward along the middle of the calf to the heel. From the buttocks it ascends along the mid-line of the backbone to the nape of the neck, continuing upward to join with the occiput (the lower back part of the skull). It then continues upward across the crown of the head to unite with a point at the side of the nose near the inner corner of the eye. A branch arches along the line of the eyebrow and swoops down to the cheekbone. Then, continuing downward it extends to the lower jaw, the throat and onto the chest, passing under the armpit to angle up to and join with the line that ascends the backbone. A small branch extends up out of this extension to the backbone, rising at an angle out of the region of the scapula to unite in the shoulder. There is also a branch that extends out of the nape of the neck to unite with the root of the tongue. Finally, a short branch extends from the line coming up and out from under the armpit to join at the mastoid process.
8. Kidney Muscle-Tendon Meridian (Fig.5.11)
Looking at the back of a standing figure with the left heel lifted, the meridian is seen to start under his little toe. From there it travels along the spleen meridian and curves up at the arch of the foot, passing the underside of the ankle and uniting with the calf extension of the muscle-tendon meridian at the Achilles tendon. Continuing to ascend the middle of the calf, it unites again at the middle of the popliteal fossa (cavity behind the knee) joining with the bladder meridian.
Viewing the same standing figure from the front, the kidney meridian is seen to continue up along the inner side of the thigh along with the spleen muscle meridian. It unites at the pubic bone, continuing a short way up to the navel. From the pubic bone it goes through to the coccyx, where it ascends the backbone to connect with the occiput and join with the bladder meridian.
Facing a standing figure with his arms at his sides and the palms of the hands facing forward, the meridian begins at the middle fingers. It then rises up the mid-line of the forearm and upper arm, passing through the middle of the palm, the crook of the arm, the point of attachment of the front deltoid and then into the armpit. From there it spreads out into the chest both ventrally and dorsally.
Observing a standing figure from the rear with his arms at his sides and the palms of the hands facing forward, the meridian is seen to begin at the end of the fourth finger. It rises to a point directly above it at the wrist and goes up the forearm to the elbow. Then, it travels up the middle of the upper arm, over the trapezius to the neck, where it joins the small intestine meridian. One branch goes to the jaw and connects with the root of the tongue, while the extension of the main meridian rises past the teeth to the ear. There it shifts forward to the outer corner of the eye and continues up past the temple to the upper part of the hairline.
Here, when we view the figure from the side, we find that the meridian begins at the outer side of the end of the fourth toe. From there it angles up along the lower leg, sending out a branch to the outer side of the knee. Continuing up the thigh, it disperses another branch at S-32 and, continuing upward, sends out yet another branch that runs to the anus. It then ascends along the side of the body and rises in front of the shoulder, uniting with the muscle-tendon meridian extension that leads to the breast at the supraclavicular fossa. A slightly divergent point just below this bulges forward, where it links with the breast. The main meridian continues upward, rising up behind the ear to the crown of the head. It also descends in front of the ear to the side of the jaw from where it ascends again to the corner of the nose, while another branch travels up to the outside corner of the eye.
12. Liver Muscle-Tendon Meridian (Fig.5.15)
Here we view the standing figure facing us. The meridian starts at the big toe and connects in front of the internal malleolus. It then rises up the lower leg along the tibia (the inner and larger of the two bones of the lower leg) and joins on the inner side of the knee. Finally it sweeps up the thigh and unites at the pubic bone, thereby connecting with all the other muscle meridians.
If you want to strengthen a particular muscle-tendon meridian, you can practice by using a Chi timetable. For example, if you want to strengthen the liver muscle-tendon meridian, it is best to practice at 1:30-3:30 a.m.
Fig. 5.16 Timetable of Chi Flow to the Organs
Fig. 5.16 Timetable of Chi Flow to the Organs
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