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Ask Dr. Michael: Gallbladder Meridian

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How Does the Gallbladder Meridian Affect My Health?

In 5 Element Acupuncture, each of the 12 main meridians of Qi energy function on the physical, mental, and spiritual level. The ancient Chinese described the meridians’ functions as if each were a government “official” that had responsibilities on each of these levels.

Let’s consider how the Gallbladder Official, called the Decision Maker, functions. This official is literally responsible for all the decisions that we make on all levels of body, mind and spirit.

Physically, decision-making occurs with our coordination. What looks to the naked eye like smooth body movements is actually a series of many coordinated “decisions” sent from our brain as signals to our nerves and muscles. If we lack coordination of these signals, it is one sign that our gallbladder official is imbalanced.

Our gallbladder meridian supplies the gallbladder organ with the vital Qi energy necessary for its function. Our gallbladder stores the bile that is secreted by the liver and “decides” when to release the bile into our digestive tract. Problems with the function of our gallbladder, including the accumulation of gallstones, are caused by an imbalance in the Decision Maker’s energy.

The gallbladder meridian supplies the vital Qi energy for our eyes, temples and side of our head, shoulders, flanks, hips, knees and feet. If the gallbladder meridian is out of balance, we can develop eye problems, one-sided headaches, pain or inflammation in our shoulders, ribs, hips, knees or feet.

Mentally, our Gallbladder Official is responsible for all of our decision-making. Making snap decisions without thinking things through or being hesitant or indecisive reflects an imbalance in the Decision Maker. Balancing our Gallbladder meridian helps us be naturally decisive and make wise choices. Anger is the emotion associated with the Gallbladder Meridian, so balancing this official stabilizes this emotion and aids in anger management.

Spiritually, the Gallbladder Official is compared to a wise judge whose qualities are represented by uprightness, assertiveness without aggression, and incorruptibility. Bile, which is stored in our gallbladder, similarly is a pure substance. Just like a wise judge, when our Gallbladder official is balanced, we do not harbor prejudice and access our inner wisdom and intuition.

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