Shiatsu | Chinese medicine

The Lung (meridian) – Part 2

(Only English version available)

In this second part you will find some more aspects of the Lung’s functioning according to Chinese medicine/ shiatsu.

When you scroll down, you will find:
some lifestyle tips
shiatsu/ acupuncture points
an overview of healthy Lung functions and Lung’s pathology

Bear in mind that the information is from various resources having sometimes a bit of different point of view. Also, the information isn’t complete. There is much more to tell. If you have any questions, just email me and I will try to answer them as Chinese medicine can be quite difficult to understand.

Good luck with reading!

The Lungs are related to Defensive Ki (Ki = energy). Defensive Ki protects the body from the attacks of exterior pathogenic factors. The Defensive Ki is right under the skin, between the skin and the muscles. As the Lungs control the skin they are related to Defensive Ki > they regulate the circulation of Defensive Ki to the skin. A weakness of Lung Ki may lead to a weakness of Defensive Ki. This can make a person prone to catching colds frequently.

As the Lungs are the connection between the body and the outside world they are the most ‘external’ of the (Yin) organs. Therefore the Lungs are easily attacked by exterior pathogenic factors.

Psychologically, when your resistance is already diminished, you feel more easily hurt when somebody is being unkind to you > you are ‘wounded’.

A form of psychological self-protection is to breathe shallow or holding your breath.

Smoking is also a way to feel less vulnerable. It depletes the Yin, the receptive principle of the Lung and therefore creates a relative excess of Yang, the protective principle.

The result of breathing shallow, holding your breath and, or smoking is that you weaken your Lung Ki.

The Corporeal Soul (Po)
The Corporeal Soul resides in the Lungs. The Corporeal Soul is the most physical and material part of a person’s soul. It has got to do with your bodily sensations and what you sense from your environment.

An example of such a sensation is pain. Pain is a necessary response to prevent you from injury. They say that anesthetics (whether they are general or local) have an adverse effect on the Lungs through the Corporeal Soul. Old people already have weak Lung Ki. It may be that this is why old people sometimes develop pneumonia after an operation or catch a cold after a local anesthetic at the dentist.

Sadness, grief and worry directly affect the Corporeal Soul. They constrict the Corporeal Soul. As the Corporeal Soul resides in the Lungs, these emotions have a direct effect on your breathing, which will become shallow. The Lung Ki will be affected.

Dryness injures the Lungs
A dry climate, air conditioning and central heating dry out the delicate membranes of the Lungs and the nasal passages. This way the Lungs become vulnerable to infections as the Lungs need moisture to perform well. When the Lungs become dry, one can have a dry cough, a dry throat, dry skin.

Smoking also dries up the lungs and damages the Lung fluids.

Some lifestyle tips
– Moving is important to strengthen your Lung Ki.
Lying down too much weakens your Lung Ki. Also, when you sit for a long time bent over a desk can weaken your Lung Ki as the chest is impeded and proper breathing is more difficult.

– Try not to eat too much cold and raw food. Also not too much greasy and diary food.
Eat your meal with joy and patience. No worry and no hurry while eating. You can put your worries aside for a moment. Try to eat with regular meal times and not eating late at night.

– An obvious one… no smoking

– If you can… don’t worry… enjoy life:-)

Lung points

All Lung points treat chest, throat, cough and asthma

Some indications of 2 major points:

LU 1 – Relieves cough, asthma, difficult breathing, tension in the chest, upper backache, shoulder pain

LU 7 – Relieves headache, cough, toothache, painful and stiff neck. It also treats the effects of worry, sadness and grief.

SELF MASSAGE Acupoint Lung 1 (LU 1) – located about 3 finger widths below your collar bone, near your shoulder. This point will often be tender so you’ll know it when you find it. Gently massage in a circular direction (clockwise). Do it on both left and right side.

SELF MASSAGE Acupoint Lung 7 (LU 7) – is near your wrist, with your thumb pointing up, use the index finger on your opposite hand to slide along the the top of your wrist toward your elbow (see picture below). With the tip of your index finger you should find a little dip. Massage this point by pressing and again in a circular motion.

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Another option is to stretch the Lung meridian. Checkout my previous post on this (you’ll have to scroll down a bit until you’ll see the pictures: Exercise 1. Lung and Large Intestine meridians). This is a stretch you can easily do throughout the day. Done regularly can help open up your chest and it is also good for your posture (especially for those of us spending a lot of time sitting in front of a computer).

Find here an overview of healthy Lung functions and Lung’s pathology. The author of this overview is Steve Rogne, Director, Zen Shiatsu Chicago.


– The foundations of Chinese Medicine – Giovanni Maciocia

– Shiatsu, Theory and Practice – Carola Beresford-Cooke

– Meridian exercises, The Oriental Way to Health and Vitality – Shizuto Masunaga, translated by Stephen Brown

Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion chief editor: Cheng Xinnong

– Teachers Eloise Sewell and Sasaki Sensei