Exploring Meridians Series – Introduction

Meridians Series by Caroline Thomas of Hoof and Paw Holistic Therapies.

I feel truly blessed to have been asked by Your Natural Horse website to contribute some regular holistic horse articles. That has given me the opportunity to explore ‘Meridians’ in depth, a topic that I have been fascinated about, since I first heard of them. For some reason, it is the thread that holds together all of my therapies, yet it is only by chance and not on my part intentional. They weave like flowing rivers through Aromatherapy, Reiki, Flower Essences, EFT and Crystal Healing.








I first heard of Meridians whilst studying Animal Aromatherapy with Nayana Morag. Her teaching is very unique as she seamlessly combines the ‘Meridian/5 Element’ theory with the energy of the aromatherapy oil. Each oil support’s an ‘Element’ or combination of Elements when they are out of balance.  There are some simple rules to the ’12 Meridians’, the most important being that when a Meridian is blocked, it can cause your horse to manifest physical or emotional problems which are very ‘specific’ to the obstructed Meridian.






The Chinese ‘5’ Elements

Each Meridian corresponds to an internal organ and has an optimum time when it is the main Meridian at work; collecting energy from the horse’s environment via acupuncture portals and transporting it along the Meridian network.  Each Meridian as well as corresponding to a specific organ is able to link each organ via other Meridians. They are linked to your horse’s thoughts, emotions, the sounds they make and even the seasons of the year!  They’re also partnered together as Yin (receiving energy) and Yang (expressing energy) of an Element – Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire as shown in this image of the 5 Elements.

Now let me explain the Elements, I will try to keep this really simple, as the Chinese 5 ‘Elements are a huge topic in their own right. As we move through life, situations and experiences we can become each Element. The 5 Element cycle is fluid and not static, to be in balance each Element needs to support the other Elements.  All 5 Elements are equally important and should ideally be in balance, even though they are constantly being challenged. All materials are made from a single or combination of the ‘5’ Elements since these are the fundamental components of life.  If the ‘Water’ Element is blocked then it would not be able to feed the ‘Wood’ Element and this would have a knock on effect of the ‘Wood’ Element not being able to feed the ‘Fire’ Element and so it goes on. Horses can also be defined as having specific personality traits of each Element that governs their appearance, disposition and behaviour.

Chinese5elements CTarticle

Below are examples of the overriding characteristics of each Element that a horse may possess. However horses can be a combination of more than one element, the description are simplistic but they will give you the basic idea.

The Water Horse

Have flowing movement like water with a glossy coat and tail. They have eyes to die for. Strong, dense, lean physique, sculptured face, high forehead, long narrow head, deep set eyes, broader at hips, long sensitive legs. They are highly sensitive, especially to noise.

The Wood Horse

Can sometimes look stiff or wooden even though they can move quickly, they have  a muscular lean square physique, thick coarse coat and feel firm to touch. They like a challenge and hate to be blocked.

The Fire Horse

Has the ‘electric’ personality that turns heads. They stride out gracefully with elegance. Their willowy long neck, limbs and fine thin coat stand out. They feel soft and velvety to touch. They like excitement but once their fire has burnt out they become despondent.

The Earth Horse

Has round, well-muscled, broad physique with an overriding tendency to be fat. They move rhythmically yet heavily. They often have rather scurfy coats and feel fleshy to touch. They like routine, stability and don’t appreciate change.

The Metal Horse

Look slightly angular with delicate features; they have small bones, compact muscles, with a coat that has a tendency to be dry and brittle. They like structure and can often appear inflexible like metal.



The Meridians

If an element is out of balance, it will manifest both emotional and physical problems. When the flow of energy becomes blocked it stagnates. Meridians are the rivers that connect all of the ‘Elements together’.  They are the invisible ‘energy’ cables that supply the organs with ‘chi’. They stretch and wind and intertwine like rivers along the body of your horse. Like any river, if it is not cleared of debris it becomes dirty and clogged. It soon becomes a trickle until it is unable to flow anymore. If you look at the debris in emotional terms, this can be grief, anger, loss, abuse, setback, anxiety. Each emotion eventually and inevitably chokes the Meridian path way until no ‘chi’ energy can pass. The wonderful thing is that Holistic Therapies are able to clear the Meridian paths, so the flow can be restored again.


Through the series of the 12 Meridians, I would like to explore the Therapy EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) especially how each specific tapping point relates to a specific Meridian.

What is EFT, you may ask? Well Meridian therapies actually go back to around 5000 BC, a body was discovered not too long ago in a glacier. On this body there were relevant acupuncture points tattooed, showing the Meridian system. In around 300BC a text was published by the Yellow Emperor which stated specific Meridian treatments. More recently in 1964 a Chiropractor called Dr George Goodheart linked many therapies together and developed Applied Kinesiology. Around Ten years later John Thie, a colleague of George Goodheart’s published a book called Touch for Health. This brought Meridian techniques into the mainstream for the public. In the mid 1970’s Psychiatrist’s used muscle testing in psychotherapy and it was here that Roger Callahan learned of Meridians. Modern meridian therapies have originated from Dr Roger Callahan. He was a clinical psychologist, his speciality was treating phobias. He had been working with a client called Mary who suffered from a severe fear of water, to a point that even bathing became a problem. During a 1980’s consultation with her he asked her to tap under her eye, which is the stomach Meridian point. Instantly her fear of water disappeared. Dr Callahan called this therapy TFT ‘Thought Field Therapy’. One of Dr Callahan’s students called Gary Craig came up with the idea that if you tap on all of the meridian points; you would eventually be tapping on the correct meridian as all the points were covered. This made it very simple for clients and students to follow as there was no need to understand the meridian system. Gary Craig called this EFT ‘Emotional Freedom Technique’, through word of mouth and the rapid spread of the internet. EFT became a phenomenon and is now practised all over the world.

When working with horses, it is not the horse that is ‘tapped on’; it is the person doing EFT, tapping on their own body. In essence they are connecting to the energy of the horse; ideally they become the horse in an energetic sense. I will be expanding on this in more detail, later in the series.

A huge thank you to Caroline Thomas for this incredible introduction to this wonderful series of articles we will be bringing you over the coming months exploring the meridians in depth. Also thanks to her very talented son Michael for the beautiful artwork that compliments the article.

Links to the previous articles in the series are below:

Part 1 – Introduction click here,

Part 2 – Heart Meridian click here,

Part 3 – Small Intestine Meridian click here.

Part 4 – Bladder Meridian click here.

Part 5 – Kidney Meridian click here

Part 6 – Heart Protector Meridian click here

Part 7 – Triple Heater Meridian click here

Part 8 – Gall Bladder Meridian click here

Part 9 – Liver Meridian click here

For more information on Caroline visit her website http://emotionalhealing4animals.co.uk or follow her on Facebook at Hoof and Paw.

For more information about the courses Nayana teaches please click on the link.  http://www.essentialanimals.com/