What is the bladder meridian and how does stretching & exercise help it?
First, what is a meridian?
Traditional Chinese Medicine identifies 16 major meridians - 14 traditional and 2 contemporary. Plus there are numerous secondary meridians.
Science has proven that these meridians or electrical current pathways travel through fascia.
When the meridian pathways are open (and a person is experiencing optimal health), they allow the flow of Qi (energy) to the body's tissues and organs.
Healthy fascia serves as the conductor - the pathway - for electric current in your body - which is essentially your energy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it’s called Qi. When fascia becomes dry and stiff - or un-bendable - energy can’t pass through it. That stagnation in your body’s tissue translates into illness, pain, and lack of movement.
The Bladder Meridian runs from the pinky toe in the foot, all the way up the back outside of the leg along the lateral hamstring, up the back and over the head. Internally it goes into the bladder organ.
At Bendable Body the primary muscle group we associate with the bladder meridian is the lateral hamstring. When you do stretches with resistance and improve the health of your lateral hamstring, you open and clear the bladder meridian and improve the health of any area of the body along the entire meridian pathway and the bladder organ itself plus all of it's functionings.
When people go for acupuncture, the practitioner will put needles perhaps in points along the bladder meridian to unlock the flow of energy and flush out any stagnancy from the pathway. It is expected that through this natural approach anything associated with this meridian pathway will be improved.
At Bendable Body we know that because meridians lay in fascia, you must improve the health of fascia if you want to truly open up a meridian pathway.
The tissue that the bladder meridian runs along in particular is very prone to dense, unhealthy fascia. So meridian stretching is essential if you plan on improving the health of your bladder.
Potential ailments when the fascia is dense along the Bladder Meridian:
- Ankle Problems
- Calves Tightness or Strain
- Glute Tightness or Strain
- Lateral Hamstring Tightness and Weakness
- Low Back Pain
- Groin Pain
- Herniated Disc, Ruptured Disc, Bulging Disc
- Anxiety Issues
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Frequent Urination
- Spinal Stenosis
- Prostate Problems
- Bone Health Issues
- Difficulty Jumping
- Difficulty Walking Down Stairs
- Kidney Problems
What stretches to do for the Bladder Meridian:
We have a number of stretches for the lateral hamstring - which the Bladder Meridian runs along. This is a muscle group that we recommend stretching almost more than any other. In this video we share a stretch that most people will be able to do, no matter what their starting point, and get relief. If you are someone who finds that you get up during the night to use the bathroom... if you start adding this stretch into your daily routine, that habit will begin to leave you.