Yin meridians are located on the anterior (front) and medial (inside) areas of the body. There are six Yin meridians. Three are on the arms, three are on the legs. All of these meridians are found on the anterior (use anatomical position) and medial aspects of the limbs, the abdomen and chest. The meridians run longitudinally along the limbs, so they are spaced out quite evenly on the anterior-medial aspect of the limbs.
Yang meridians are located on the posterior (back) and lateral (outside) areas of the body. There are six Yang meridians. Three on the arms, three on the legs. All of these meridians are found on the posterior and lateral aspects of the limbs, the back, head, and face. Of course there has to be an exception! The Stomach meridian, a Yang meridian, spans the abdomen and chest.
In general we want to move the Qi in the Yang meridians with vigor, and nourish the Qi in the Yin meridians with presence, poise, and calmness. In practice this translates into quicker strokes along the Yang areas of the body and slower, deeper contact on the Yin areas.
To affect the Qi in the meridians, prompt yourself during a massage to “feel for the Qi” and then allow your body to answer via your hands-on technique.
Click on the image below to see a large picture of the meridians on the back.
Learn more about integrating Chinese Medical Theory into your practice of Massage Therapy at Meridian Massage Institute.