The meridians are the foundation of the body. This importance is poetically described by Huang Di himself in the beginning of Ling Shu, chapter ten. The young doctor Lei Gong begins the discussion when he asks the following question;
The meridians are distributed throughout the body. Every part of the body is connected through the meridian system, from the innermost organ, to the outer surface of the skin. The doctor, by using the needle to pierce the skin to reach the acupuncture points of the meridian, is then able to touch the associated organ at the same time. This is how acupuncture is able to treat minor aches and pains, Re Bing, as well as any internal medical disease.
Meridians have many aspects. They are the channels that carry the organ’s Qi and blood. When there is an impairment in the flow of Qi or blood, problems can arise. If the Qi of an organ is imbalanced disease can enter the meridian and it can affect the organ. Internal factors, such as emotional stress and poor diet, can disable the functioning of an organ that can affect the meridians as well. Huang Di goes into considerable depth explaining the meridian pathways and then he lists the symptoms of meridian dysfunction and the symptoms that appear when the internal organs are affected as well as reiterating the corresponding pulse. Nei Jing is rarely redundant. Pulse diagnosis is repeated here because it is vitally important to confirm the diagnosis.