The Bladder Meridian: Fight-flight response

The bladder is called the ‘Minister of the Reservoir’ and is responsible for storing and excreting the urinary waste fluids passed down from the kidneys.  It is the Yang partner of the Yin Kidneys, associated with the element of Water. As an organ the bladder has only this one function.

However as an energy system the bladder channel is intimately related to the autonomous nervous system. That’s because the bladder meridian runs along the back of the body from eyes to little toe, with two parallel branches flowing along each side of the spine. These four branches of the bladder meridian directly influence the sympathetic and parasympathetic trunks of the autonomous nervous system, which regulates our fight-flight response and in turn all the body’s basic vital functions.

In the pressures of modern life many people suffer an overly-activated sympathetic nervous system, causing a constant state of apprehension, fear or worse. This can be accompanies by tension and pain along the spine and its periphery.  Over time, it crystallizes into a fixed pattern of fear which can manifest as chronic high blood pressure, ADHD, bi-polar disorder, heart disease, panic attacks, and low libido. Back tension and pain can be relieved by stimulating the energy flow along the spinal branches of the bladder meridian. Such stimulation induces total relaxation by switching the autonomous nervous system over to the restful, restorative parasympathetic mode.

 

Bladder Consciousness Issues:
Confidence, Courage, Intimacy, Enthusiasm, Release, Expression, Suspicion, Sensuality, Sexuality, Control, Resentment, Jealousy, Willpower, Fear, Anxiety, Anger

Bladder: Psycho-Emotional Aspects
An imbalance in the Bladder can cause such psychological symptoms as habitual fear, lack of decision making capability and a diminished moral character.  If the imbalance becomes chronic, it results in such emotional responses as jealousy, suspicion, and holding on to long-standing grudges.

‘Typically if we have an imbalanced bladder meridian we will be concerned with energy on an almost existential level – wondering if we have the strength to carry on. The nightmare that this can turn into for some is a parched and paranoid terror of fearing for our lives, so we can become frantic in seeking the barest scrap of refreshment and energy. But we can never hold water actively – it literally slips through our fingers, and energetically there is a level of trust and surrender required in order to be able to hold a vessel, a grail, to hold the waters of life. On the land, hard, dry earth will cause sudden rains to move on and pass by and we need a discipline of surrender and permeability in being able to hold this resource within our energy field’ (Paul Hougham ‘The Atlas of Mind, Body and Spirit’ p156)

The Bladder meridian rules the back of the body. With some 80 meridian points in two lines down the back, it is easy to see how the back a fertile field for the storage of old wounds that later become organ imbalances. In addition to bearing its burden of the past, the back also must support the normal pressures of everyday living, including feeling of duty, demands of authority, guilt, burdens which are both physical and psychological.

Feelings about sexuality, self control, self support and stability are emotional forces that can be held in the back. It’s no wonder so many people have back trouble. Releasing the tension in the back and stimulating the bladder meridian will automatically release the stored psychic tension, resolving many physical an psychological problems.

Cycle of Fear and the Bladder
Few things disturb our spiritual well being more than feeling we have little or no energy at any level, accompanied with a sense of internal panic and raciness, and feel unable to meet life on its terms. We may freeze in fear or thrash about in fear, imagining ourselves alone, isolated, beyond help, and facing a terrifying future. Everything and everyone seems a threat. We  wish to hide, needing to rest, a longing for the hibernation that could restore our reserves. We become preoccupied with self-preservation and, as our resources diminish still further, our will to live diminishes as well.

Bravado Can be the Opposite Bladder Imbalance:
In the opposite extreme, a sick Bladder meridian can manifest as a lack of fear. This is NOT a true and healthy expression of courage in appropriate circumstances (think Holiday Inn Express TV ads). A dangerous false bravado, this is actually an effort to escape the real fear, which always lurks in the muddy, terrifying waters below. The more fear that we hold within, the greater the outward display of fearlessness and a tough protective exterior. This could manifest as an extreme practice of martial arts, body building, collecting guns, ammunition, weapons, being in a violent gang, or engaging in dangerous sports and activities.

Common Patterns of Bladder Meridian Imbalance:
Dehydration, incontinence, frequent and urgent urination, painful urination, dark or bloody urine, fever, thirst, suspicion, jealousy, aversion to cold, fear associated with cold environments, occipital headaches, stiff neck, radically-changing moods, over-enthusiasm, lack of confidence, listlessness, low libido, fear-based inflexibility of mind and emotions, negative attitude, diabetes, prolapsed uterus in women, swollen prostate in men, frequent urinary infections – especially in women who are angry with men, arthritis, obesity.

The Worst Enemies of the Bladder:
Emotional stress, Extended periods of fear, terror, or panic damage the autonomic nervous system. Poor quality drinking water, Water toxins like Chlorine and Fluoride, Hair dyes, Cosmetics, Heavy Metals, Dehydration, Processed table salt like Morton’s. Avoid acidic-producing foods such as caffeine, sodas, sugar, wheat, gluten, sweets, alcohol, hot peppers, spicy foods, excessive citrus fruits, MSG, chili, tomatoes, cranberry juice.

Best Friends of the Bladder
Drink plenty of quality water (spring water, carbon-filtered, structured) 75 oz. per day. Relax and take everything with little inner smile, Use only healthy salts like Himalayan, Celtic, or unprocessed sea salt. Eat an alkaline diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Best foods for the bladder:
Cruciferous veggies, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Mushrooms, Peas, Radishes, Squash, Zucchini, Sweet potatoes, Yams, Garlic, Onions, Seaweed, lobster, crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters, black sesame seeds, goji berries, seeds & nuts, nut oils, pine nuts. All beans. Bone marrow, bone broth. Lamb, Venison, Pork. Chicken, Eggs, Turkey, Salmon. Bananas, Blueberries, Honeydew melon, Pears, Raisins, Watermelon. Vegetable juice, Vegetable soups and broths.

Bladder Source Point: BL-64, Jinggu, Capital Bone.
This point on the outside of the feet has a relationship to the Heart and Spirit, good point for heart palpitations, chest pain, irritability, or mental confusion. It can relax the sinew, calm the spirit, alleviate pain. Also good for headache, stiff neck, back pain

As a source point, it is of great significance in treating diseases of the organs. Stimulating the Source point activates vital energy of the meridians, and reaches the root causes of a disease.

BL-1, Jingling, Bright Eyes
This point at the inner canthus (corner) of the eyes, is good for all eye problems: conjunctivitis, far-sightedness, short-sightedness, night blindness, red eyes, cataracts. Also for migraines, frontal headaches, insomnia, nasal congestion.

 

 

To Balance the Bladder Meridian:
Set a clear intention to build health. Start at the inner corner of the eye BL-1, rising up over the eyebrow and forehead to the very top of the head Baihui at GV-20. Trace down the back sides of the brain to the nape of the neck, past the occipital area to GV-14at the center of the spine. Reach down the back as far as is comfortable, and then reach around from underneath to trace down the entire back to the sacrum and hip joint. Continue tracing down the back of the thigh to the center of the knee-fold, down the back of the lower leg to the outside of the heel bone, along the outside of the foot to the outer tip of the little toe BL-67. Trace both sides at the same time, or one after the other.

To Clear the Bladder Meridian:
Set a clear intention to build health. Trace backwards once from the end point at the outer edge of little toe, up the outside of the foot, up the back of the leg to the hip and sacrum, up the back to C-7 at the center of the spine. Finish by tracing up forward around the back of the head and over Baihui to BL-1, the inner corner of the eye. Then trace forward 3 times as above, both sides together or one at a time.

 

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