The Gallbladder meridian is the Yang meridian of the Wood element, paired with its Yin counterpart, the Liver meridian.
The gallbladder works closely with its twin organ the liver in taking plans and bringing them to realisation. It is also the meridian responsible for choosing between options, good judgment and decision making. What course is right for me to take? It helps us find our direction in life, especially if we find ourselves procrastinating or stuck in indecision. The Liver in Chinese Medicine is seen as the General in charge of planning, and the Gallbladder is the liver’s right-hand: it uses the Liver’s vision to make judgments and important decisions. It transforms Kidney vitality and Liver vision into action.
The gallbladder is the organ where, according to yogic anatomy, our frustrations are stored (while the liver stores anger). The gallbladder’s functions include secreting and storing bile, and this organ affects the spleen and stomach functions. It assists digestion, keep things moving; it also controls the sinews, body flexibility and tendon strength.
The Gallbladder rules sleep, as it is associated with deep sleep from 11pm to 1am – insomnia or waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to fall asleep again may indicate a deficient Gallbladder.
Every full moon in Aquarius will affect this meridian, opening up a window of opportunity to more deeply balance this meridian, but also opening up a time where we might feel its imbalances most. These windows last from approximately a week before to 4-5 days after – some people will be more sensitive to it and experience a longer period of being affected.
In the illustrations you can see the path of the gallbladder meridian through the body, with details over the foot. It begins in the outer corner of the eye (one of the tapping points in EFT) and immediately branches into 2 lines. A main branch remains on the surface and winds back and forth across the side of the head and above the ear, before turning downward along the side of the neck. After following the top of the shoulder it then passes under the arm and zigzags along the side of the ribs to the hips.
The other branch goes from the eye corner inside the cheek and descends to the liver and gallbladder. From there it descends further and emerges in time to rejoin the first branch at the front of the hip.
Then in one single line the meridian descends further and runs along the outside thigh and knee until it reaches the ankle. It runs across the top of the foot until it reaches the fourth toe. Another branch leaves at the ankle to run across the top of the foot and join the Liver meridian at the big toe (not in picture).
Frustrations might arise and your tolerance may be (severely) challenged when this meridian is blocked, and during any Aquarius full moon time period. The test is to stay mindful and present throughout, take a breath, and look for any opportunities to expand your patience and exercise your abilities to accept and surrender.
When Qi energy is stuck in the gallbladder meridian, one can have difficulties making decisions, or on the contrary make very rash decisions. The indecisiveness can lead to emotional frustration in yourself and those around you (family members, colleagues, …).
Symptoms of a blocked gallbladder meridian:
- Headache on one side of the head
- Pain on one side of the body
- Neck tension
- Hip & lower back pain
- Nausea & indigestion
- Pain in the shoulder blade
- Outside leg pain, sciatica
- Blurred vision
- Pains along the side of the body (including eyes, ears, throat)
- Repressed anger
- Being conditioned to expect criticism
- Timidity (but also it’s total opposite!)
- Easily startled
- Indigestion (esp. after fatty food)
- Craving greasy foods
- Acute abdominal pain
- High cholesterol
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
- Visualise the colour green
- All physical activity is beneficial in this time, especially if it causes you to sweat
- Lose extra weight
Things that are good to eat:
- Green & sour foods
- Homemade yogurt
- Drink warm lemon water or diluted apple cider vinegar
- Spelt with vegetables
- Corn silk tea
- Healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil)
- Vitamin C rich foods
- Black seed oil
- Lemon juice
- ACV (with the mother, unfiltered)
- Fiber-rich foods
Foods to avoid:
- Sugar & sweets – they weaken the willpower and 3rd chakra
- Heavy, fatty or oily meals
- Dairy (including cheese!)
Yoga for the Gallbladder meridian:
- Sat Kriya
- All postures to strengthen the navel point/3rd chakra.
- Stretch pose 1-5 minutes with breath of fire
- All pranayama/breathing exercises
- Meditation 1: Sitting in easy pose, left hand on the heart centre, right hand rests on the right knee in gyan mudra. Focus on the third eye. Start breathing in a 4-part breath: Inhale through the nose, exhale through the nose. Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the mouth. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth. Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the nose. Continue for 11 minutes.
- Meditation 2: Sitting in easy pose, again with the left hand on the heart centre and the right hand resting on the right knee in gyan mudra, focus on the third eye. Long deep breathing through a rounded mouth, whistling on both the inhale and exhale. Continue for 11 minutes or more.
Malas/Gemstones that are beneficial for the gallbladder:
- Magnesite: https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product/8mm-matte-magnesite-mala/
- Epidote in Quartz: https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product/8mm-epidote-in-quartz-mala/
- Blue Imperial / Sea Sediment Jasper: https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product/36-bead-8mm-blue-imperial-sea-sediment-jasper-with-howlite-guru-bead/
- Chrysocolla: https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product/8mm-chrysocolla-mala-darker-beads-with-blue-tassel/ or https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product/8mm-chrysocolla-white-jade-mala-with-white-jade-guru-bead/ or https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product/8mm-chrysocolla-and-turquoise-mala/
- Tiger’s Eye: https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product/8mm-tigers-eye-mala-with-tigers-eye-guru-bead/ or https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product/8mm-blue-tiger-eye-mala-with-tiger-eye-guru-bead/ or https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product/8mm-sodalite-blue-tiger-eye-sunstone-mala-with-lotus-beads/