The first four meridians we will look at are the Hand Yangming (Large Intestine), Foot Yangming (Stomach), Hand Taiyin (Lung), and Foot Taiyin (Spleen). These make up what is considered the First Circuit. The First Circuit is about Survival. It would be comparable to the Physiological level on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

The order of qi flow through the First Circuit is as follows:

The flow of qi as it moves through the 12 primary meridians starts in the chest at the beginning of the Lung (yin) meridian. At the hand it connects to its partnered Metal element Large Intestine (yang) meridian and travels to the face. Qi then moves from the Large Intestine (yang) meridian to the Stomach (yang) meridian and goes from the face to the feet. At the feet the Stomach (yang) meridian connects with its partnered Earth element Spleen (yin) meridian. Through the Spleen meridian the qi returns back to the chest completing one round of connecting with the torso, arms, head, and legs.

There are a few types of energy circulations in the body. The one just described follows a 24 hour cycle with the Lung period starting at 3am. In this circulation system energy remains more active in each meridian for 2 hours. When people frequently wake at 3am it is because there is an imbalance somewhere in the cycle so that the energy does not meet up perfectly at 3am to start a new cycle.

The combination of meridians of Lung-Large Intestine-Stomach-Spleen are important for what is referred to as postnatal qi. You can think of this as how we get oxygen through breathing and nutrients through food to sustain life. They are important for having adequate energy and a strong immune system. These meridians also play a role in helping our bodies release substances that would contribute to disease if they remained in the body.

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