Wood element – 3: Gallbladder meridian

(Five elements –  12)

In the previous blog I have discussed about the Liver meridian and today I continue with its pair meridian, the Gallbladder meridian.

Bringer of the light

Bringer of the light, as it is sometimes called Gallbladder meridian, since it is very much involved with the flow of Yang energy and of light inside the body. Besides that it helps Liver with its many functions. It is the Yang meridian of the legs that helps support the posture on the sides of the body.

It is the meridian that can trigger the most difficult and painful headaches I have ever witnessed or seen. Because of its pathway on the head, which goes three times from one side to another its pathway reminds me of a mountain trail or pass. Because of its route that crosses the sides of the head, meridian has this strange characteristic to get blocked by too heavy inflow of Qi. The result is semi closed and tender spots or blocked acupuncture points on the meridian. Many times this can result in different difficult moods in psychological sense, as well as mild to strong headaches and sometimes even migraines on the physical level. The other difficult part of the route of this meridian is where it pierces the shoulder area, which is traditionally very tender spot. It is well known in acupressure, massage and other techniques as very stimulating point, yet oftentimes here we can find deep rooted and stuck stress of mental overwork and worries. This point is Gb-21.

Relaxation helps

Usually we are very pleased if someone gives us a massage of these areas and spots. We are oftentimes unconscious of the tensions that we carry within in the fascia and the muscles beneath the surface of the skin and all along the route of the meridian.

I find this meridian to be very neurotic in a sense that it is very touchy and sensible to outside conditions, whether this condition is of pathogenic nature such as cold or wind, or of man-made conditions such as stress, overwork or some other mental or emotional pressure. Why neurotic? There are some indications about the behavior when the discharge of the meridian happens. When people tend to discharge certain amounts of electricity that is stuck in the system, whether it’s in the nervous system, energy system and meridians or sometimes even in bones, but last one is oftentimes too crystallized to be released just by one simple discharge. Between Gb-21 point and Gb-22 the meridian doesn’t run on the surface, it runs inside!


Discharge of energy

What happens when we discharge through this meridian? Our shoulder that is overloaded by stress might jump up and down and suddenly we feel we are relieved. Also when we lie down and relax, and before we fall into a deeper state of sleep, just in the beginning of the Alpha stage, our legs or just one of them might jump into the air and relax. Again you might feel sudden release of tension, that before you didn’t even realize you carry.

All these phenomena are of electrical nature and can be interpreted as discharge of the nervous system or of the overload of meridian system. In the case that I just described it happens through the Gallbladder meridian. This can be also described as small epileptic discharges of the brain, but this is another story for another blog. In all of these cases Acupuncture and Qigong can help, but also meditation, avoiding stress and overwork…

Me and Smiljana dedicated quite some time and developed a Qigong for Professional Healer’s Self-care video course, where every practitioner whether professional or enthusiastic can find a fine ground for dealing with stress and the tools how to deal with the energy imbalance and overcharge.

Some other characteristics

Gallbladder stores and excretes bile. Liver is considered to make long term decisions, while gallbladder makes short term decisions. In the working environments where a lot of decision making is done, people with such occupation tend to have a lot of tender points in the course of Gallbladder meridian – areas like, neck, shoulder and headaches.

If the meridian is in balance we tend to make swift and creative decisions, our inner as well as outer life is in order and tidy. However if it isn’t balanced we might become rigid, unspontaneous and thus uncreative.

There is some connection with daring and courage and the well balanced Gallbladder meridian. We are able to take risks and stand behind our decisions. When it is empty we tend to hesitate, we show timidity and resist taking any risks.

All of the above makes clear that Gallbladder energy is action oriented energy; it gives our body and psyche flexibility, coordination and balance. Beside the Liver, it also has an influence on our vision and the organs of sight, eyes.

Symptoms and path

Gallbladder meridian is a Yang meridian of lower limbs. It begins in the outer edge of eye and runs in very peculiar way along our sides, downwards to our fourth toe. For its path look at the picture above.

Main function of this meridian with its polar partner Liver is an influence on the digestion. It also influences the experience of pain, so it’s often times called a “meridian for pain.” In the painful syndromes the energy of this meridian is disturbed. Chinese used to consider this as “meridian of courage, fighting spirit, fearlessness and boldness.”

Indications for treating this meridian: bitter taste in mouth, vomiting gall, pain in right part of upper abdomen, liver colic, constipation. Headaches, migraine, pain in neck or shoulder blade, pain in abdomen, pain in the course of meridian. Sciatic pain, muscle illness, hyper and hypo-tonal muscles. Loss of self confidence, loss of boldness, fear of failure, depression and exaggerated sadness.

There are three points that I need to mention beside the upper one Gb-21.

Gb-20 or Fengchi         

First point is Gb-20, which is located in one valley behind mastoid process on horizontal line that runs through a peak of mastoid, between sternocleidomastoid muscle and trapezius muscle. This point is general point for sympathetic nerves. It is a great expeller of Wind. When opened, it can release stagnation anywhere in the body. Indications are: headache, pain in occipital area, migraine, pain in abdomen, torticollis, shoulder pain, influenza, rhinitis, vertigo and others.


Second point is Gb-41 which I have described in my vlog about Dai mai extraordinary meridian or Girdle vessel. Since this point is an opening point for the vessel and because of its usefulness I recommend you to check it out.

Next point is the last point on Gallbladder meridian.

Gb-44 or Zuqiaoyin 

This point is located in the outer corner of the nail of fourth toe. Indications: headaches, pain in the eyes, angina, mastitis, asthma, nightmares and others. Name of this point is “foot yin holes” that indicates that through this point we can address many problems in the upper yin holes which are mouth, eyes, nose and ears. Yang from the head will move downward and balance its self with the Yin of the Earth. Thus we will get harmony of YinYang.


In this blog I have managed to touch only the surface of the Gallbladder meridian theme, yet it is very interesting especially in the cases of neurology and posture. When a person is often nervous and insecure, you should look at Gallbladder. If a person is unable to stand normally without lining on something look at Gallbladder. When there are some anomalies in the posture and if a person is inclined on one side, look out for Gallbladder. Also when there is a problem of keeping a center in psychological sense look at Gallbladder meridian, it might be empty or sometimes overloaded. In my opinion this is peculiar meridian as it is its course.

May the Qi be with you!


Continue reading: Fire element – Part 1

Photo: Pixabay

Watch also video Playlist “Five elements” on our YouTube Channel.


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