We know now that Ki travels on little roadways along our body towards the heavens or towards the earth depending on if the meridian is Yin or Yang. Along these meridians you have points where the energy collects, kind of like a pot hole. Those are called tsubos.
There are 365 tsubos situated along the meridians. These are also referred to acupressure or acupuncture points. For overall health there should be a good amount of Ki in each tsubo. Illness manifests when there is to much Ki or to little Ki within a specific tsubo. There is a tsubo associated headaches, indigestion, allergies, constipation, watery eyes, nausea, etc. All tsubos on the body are numbered, and all meridians abbreviated.
Someone trained in acupressure or acupuncture will label the problem area, depending on your symptoms as say SP10. Translated out to be spleen meridian point 10. Now just because your spleen meridian is involved it doesn't mean your problem is with your spleen. Point SP10 is actually associated with anemia or menstrual cramps. It is useful to control bleeding and has a cooling action which will ease hot rashes and itching.
Tsubos connected along a meridian are all associated. If one is off chances are most are. Let's take the above example of SP10. You feel that point and it has a hollow feel to it. That would tell me that you do not have enough energy in that tsubo. Taking what we learned about Yin and Yang apply that theory of balance and harmony to this meridian. SP10 is empty which means you need to check the other tsubos along that meridian to find where there is an excess of Ki. Once you find it you can move it down the meridian until all tsubos are balanced.
Yin and Yang is not that only way the ancient Chinese interpreted the world. There was the 5 element theory. It was believed that everything manifested into one of the 5 elements. Later these 2 theories were merged to what we now know as present day western medicine. Below is a diagram showing the 5 elements.
Notice the arrows and that they are all connected in some way. Just like the points on the meridians. Now I'm gonna show you a table that shows how the meridians and the 5 elements have been combined. Where you see Yin or Yang organ that is referring to a meridian.
Looking at the element diagram and the above table let's try and run through a diagnosis. Patient comes in and complains of a sour taste in their mouth. The above table suggests that the wood element is the culprit. We see that the gallbladder and liver meridians are associate with the wood element. The tsubos on those meridians are what we need to balance. Taking it one step further, looking at the element diagram (refer to pink arrows), you see that the wood element is influenced by the metal element and the wood element also influences the earth element. The wood element could be taking to much Ki from metal or it could not be getting enough Ki hindering the supply to earth. There could be 6 meridians you need to work on just to fix one ailment. Below is a list of common symptoms and the corresponding element and meridians. (click on the picture to make it larger)
Now we are ready for one last thing. The Chinese clock. It is thought that each channel has a peak of Ki activity and a low phase lasting 2 hours for each channel. The peak time is followed by the low time 12 hours later taking 24 hours to complete a cycle. For instance the bladder meridian is at it's peak between 3 and 5 p.m. and at its low between 3 and 5 a.m. Paying attention to the time of day that the symptoms appear may indicate disharmony in the corresponding meridian. Below is a diagram of the Chinese clock.
That's it for now. I hope you found this as fascinating as I do. If you have any questions you can contact me via the link at the top of the page.
* The book of Shiatsu author Paul Lundberg
** The book of Shiatsu author Paul Lundberg
***** The book of Shiatsu author Paul Lundberg
The information in this post is based on The book of Shiatsu author Paul Lundberg