The meridian functions

Translations from the Chinese text of the meridian functions, as in the Suwen, into English.


The Lung is responsible for mutual assistance; regulation and restriction stem from it.

大腸 Large Intestine

The Large Intestine is responsible for perpetuation and passage; transformation and transition stem from it.


The Spleen and Stomach are responsible for storing food; the Five Flavors stem from them.

Stomach and Spleen are taken together here, apparently there is no differentiation between them. They are said to store food (that they are a storehouse), probably for use by body and psyche.


The Spleen and Stomach are responsible for storing food; the Five Flavors stem from them.

This is the same as for the Stomach.


The Heart is the Sovereign, and is responsible for valuing; attention and intelligence stem from it.

The Heart is here said to be leading, and that it does so by deciding on what is valuable and what not. 神 shen is translated here as 'attention,' because that is what the shen does, it pays attention to things. And 'brightness,' that is, intelligence, is an important aspect of it.

小腸 Small Intestine

The Small Intestine is responsible for reception and holding; the transition of things stems from it.

膀胱 Bladder

The Bladder is responsible for all the regions; it holds the fluids and juices, and transforms Qi to produce abilities.

The Bladder points on the back affect the functions of all other meridians, so, all the regions.


The Kidney is responsible for acting strongly; skill and skillfulness stem from it.

Strength of will, and thus of acting, comes from the Kidney. Acting where one already knows how to do that, so using skills, is what the Kidney handles.

心包 Pericardium

The center of the chest is responsible for letting one submit; joy and happiness stem from it.

It may sound paradoxical, that the Pericardium, the center of the chest, causes both submission and joy. But this has to do with vulnerability.
The Pericardium protects the Heart against hurt. When there is less hurt, a person feels better. It results in joy and happiness.
But when a person is punished, is caused hurt, the avoidance of that hurt, that the Pericardium initiates, can make a person submit. The person then does what the punisher wants.

三焦 Triple Burner

The Triple Burner is responsible for deciding on drainage; the passage of fluids stems from it.

Here the Triple Burner is depicted as handling the flow of fluids in the body. Note that its handling the relationship between the three burners is not mentioned here.

Gall Bladder

The Gallbladder is responsible for balancing and adjustment; decisions and cessations stem from it.

It is said here that the Gallbladder balances and adjust. An example of that could be a person's body posture. The posture needs to be so that balance is kept, and be adjusted to the needs of dealing with the environment.
A decision starts something, but what has been started also needs to be stopped, and thus cessations also stem from the Gallbladder.


The Liver is responsible for leading the army; the conception of plans stems from it.

The Liver devises plans to lead the army, the team, that the parts of the body and psyche form.