Infinity Flexibility Integrative Bodywork
Meridian Archetypes

The Power of Archetypes


How Infinity Flexibility Uses Archetypes

The meridian archetype articles were born of a need to better define the personality traits and symbols inherent in the Traditional Chinese medicine meridians. Inspired in part by Bob Cooley’s book The Genius of Flexibility and by Caroline Myss’s book Sacred Contracts, the meridian archetypes explore a part of ourselves often hidden from our conscious mind.

The archetypes are a tool, and like any other tool, archetypes are what you make of them. Caroline Myss has more than eighty archetypes that she has defined in the back of her book Sacred Contracts. But even she admits that eighty archetypes barely scratch the surface of all the possibilities alive in the world today.

Bob Cooley’s work in The Genius of Flexibility explored the connection between the meridians from Traditional Chinese medicine, the muscle groups, and the personality. The connections that we all felt were put into words. Bob also worked on exercises that allowed the practitioner to heal the meridians and muscles, and bring awareness to connected personality strengths and weaknesses. His exercises are based on hatha yoga poses and are combined with modern Western resistance training.

Infinity Flexibility’s meridian archetypes combine Carolyn Myss’s research, Bob Cooley’s connection of the personality to the muscles, and the classical five-element personality types. We use this system to validate a client’s strengths/weaknesses and to identify exercises that will improve health and performance goals. 

Years of experience in the field of strength and flexibility training has given the staff of Infinity Flexibility the ability to see past the symptoms of the body and mind to the root cause of the imbalances.

Definitions of an ARCHETYPE:

For our purposes, the meridian archetypes serve as a way to “see” the characteristics associated with certain meridians. For each meridian, we have chosen the main archetype, as well as several secondary archetypes, that represent the energy of the meridian. Recognizing the characteristics of the meridian allows you to recognize the prevalence of that archetype in your life. It encourages you to notice the strengths and weaknesses in yourself and others. Meridian archetypes will allow you to improve and better understand your relationships with others and will provide you with insight into your true purpose.

For example, the lung meridian or alchemist has the characteristics of being unusual, powerful, and a leader. Someone with a strong lung meridian personality will often be called bossy or overbearing when they are younger, characteristics that make them an excellent leader in adulthood. Their ability to take separate and seemingly incompatible people and transform them into a team is not something that everyone can do. If you do not have a strong lung meridian personality, you can use the meridian archetype exercises to tap into that energy within yourself. The beauty of this system is that we are all born with 16 meridians, the same way we all have arms, legs, eyes, etc. To build strength in a meridian, you simply need the tools and determination to do so.

Below is a working list of the meridian archetypes as defined by our ongoing series, the Meridian Archetypes. 

The Meridian Archetypes

Gallbladder Archetype: The Pioneer

Secondary Archetypes: Doctor, Destroyer, Detective, Schemer, Explorer

The gallbladder is represented by the primary archetype of the pioneer. This personality is driven to discover new, exciting ventures and explore the world around them. Their inner explorer allows them to see all the possibilities and make informed decisions. Conversely, seeing all the possibilities the world has to offer can lead to looking for problems that aren’t really there and snooping to discover more than they should. 

Read more here.

Liver Archetype: The Liberator

Secondary Archetypes: Caretaker, Rescuer, Samaritan, Slave

The liver is primarily concerned with freedom, whether it is personal freedom or the freedom of others. Thus, their primary archetype is the liberator. Conversely, until the liver comes into its power they may struggle with archetypes such as the servant or caretaker where the needs of others come before their own.

Read more here.

Lung Archetype: The Alchemist

Secondary Archetypes: Leader, King or Queen, Guardian, Bully, Tyrant

The lung is the leader, protector, and guardian. Their lung archetype, the alchemist, represents their ability to convert the skills and strengths of others into a cohesive team. Their strength as a leader can often be perceived as being bossy or a bully, especially if they aren’t conscious of their power.

Read more here.

Large Intestine Archetype: The Architect

Secondary Archetypes: Activist, Advocate, Crusader, Warrior, Prince, Knight, Dictator, Environmentalist

The large intestine archetype of the architect provides a blueprint for the way this personality type sees the world in black and white. They are great social leaders and dreamers driven by their convictions and ideals. This good-natured and serene personality type is not easily thrown out of balance. These perfectionists can fall prey to OCD and have very strict ideas about the difference between right and wrong.

Read more here.

Stomach Archetype: The Entrepreneur

Secondary Archetypes: Savant, Hedonist, Mentor, Addict

The stomach has all of the idealized power of the entrepreneur. They are driven to learn and can achieve greatness in whatever field inspires them. These very ambitious personality types can fall into habits of addiction and gluttony. 

Read more here.

Spleen Archetype: The Mediator

Secondary Archetypes: Networker, Social Worker, Angel, Martyr

The spleen archetype, the mediator, expresses this personality’s ability to see things from other perspectives. They can stay objective on almost everything and see the connections between all people, places, and ideas. They are apt to sacrifice their own feelings in pursuit of the greater good. 

Read more here.

Small Intestine Archetype: The Artist

Secondary Archetypes: Storyteller, Dilettante, Poet, Photographer, Videographer, Starving Artist

The artist archetype symbolizes the small intestine’s need to create and manifest the intangible world of feeling and thought. They are sensitive to the subtle energies of the universe and therefore are apt to become depressed when they do not succeed. 

Read more here.

Heart Archetype: The Good Politician

Secondary Archetypes: Lover, Companion, Advocate

The heart meridian’s archetype expresses this personality type’s willingness to defend the rights and needs of others. The good politician puts their constituents first. They are incorruptible, passionate, and chivalrous. If this meridian is weak, you may not feel strongly about anything and will seem out of touch. 

Read more here.

Brain Archetype: The Engineer

Secondary Archetypes: Master, Mentor, Wizard, Guru, Aristocrat

The energy of the engineer archetype gives the brain a discerning and regal air. They see the patterns of the world and know exactly what it will take to master it. Their aristocratic bearing and urge to master their given field means they make excellent mentors and gurus. Their ability to see the patterns in the world can lead to feelings of paranoia when they are out of balance.

Read more here.

Sexual Archetype: The God/Goddess

Secondary Archetypes: Empath, Femme Fatal, Don Juan, Vampire

The sexual archetype of the god/goddess represents this meridian’s power through sexuality and passion. The Femme Fatal and Don Juan’s of the world hold an innate strength and power of persuasion. They are captivating, alluring, and empathetic. Their emotional intensity can become extreme, leaving them open to every mood swing and resulting in unstable moods, relationships, and behaviors.

Read more here.

Skin Archetype: The Athlete

Secondary Archetypes: Gambler, Rebel, Avenger, Hero/Heroine, Olympian

The athlete archetype reveals the physical strength and endurance of the skin meridian. They are high-energy risk-takers who pursue physical goals doggedly and meet strenuous life situations head-on and without hesitation. They can be easily consumed by their goals and might “take things too far” especially in regards to seeking revenge or justice.

Read more here.

Pericardium Archetype: The Judge

Secondary Archetypes: Advocate, King, Queen

The pericardium meridian is best symbolized by the judge. A judge is impartial, fair, and never jumps to conclusions. They take life as it comes and when the time comes to pass judgment, they try to be as precise and clear as possible. The judge is open-minded and straightforward to a fault. This type has to be wary of putting the thoughts and feelings of others over their own wellbeing.

Read more here.

Bladder Archetype: The Performer

Secondary Archetypes: Networker, Trickster, Shapeshifter, Musician, Actor/Actress

The bladder archetype, the performer, represents their need to have an audience. The performer motivates and inspires those who watch them. These personality types are great at working in groups and inspire others to be the best version of themselves. We all become what we pretend to be, so if not being genuine to ourselves, the bladder may have issues with confidence and ego.

Read more… COMING SOON

Kidney Archetype: The Fool

Secondary Archetypes: Seeker, Dreamer, Visionary, Clown

The fool could be perceived as a negative archetype, but in the case of the kidney, it describes the unique ability of comedians and clowns to get to the truth in a lighthearted and generally accepted way. This personality type has a deeper drive to reveal the thoughts and feelings that most people would prefer to leave hidden. The world can occasionally overwhelm them and they will withdraw into their own private world of ideas.

Read more… COMING SOON

Thymus Archetype: The Healer

Secondary Archetypes: Coach, Yogi, Homemaker, Provider, Servant 

The thymus archetype, the healer, is one that many aspire to without knowing the sacrifice that it entails. This personality type inherently understands the importance of healthy eating and exercise. They heal instinctually and willingly, but their ability to heal can fall into manipulation if they are not at home within themselves.

Read more… COMING SOON

Appendix Archetype: The Sage

Secondary Archetypes: Multitasker, Rebel, Wisewoman, Messiah, Mystic

The appendix archetype is the sage. This personality type understands the healing power of change and transformation better than any other. The appendix’s strength lies in their ability to transcend the physical, but they can often get lost outside of themselves and are not able to find their way back in.

Read more… COMING SOON

As someone who loves personality quizzes, Myers Briggs tests, astrology, and any other self-help tool that helps us to better define who we are and our purpose in this world, I am aware of the controversy of archetypes. Many people do not want to “define themselves” or restrict who they are to a set of characteristics thought up by somebody else. I understand this feeling perfectly. We are all unique in this world and none of us fits perfectly into any personality type, no matter how accurate it feels at the time. In our lives, we are always evolving and changing, and our personality reflects this. We encourage you to embrace change and to explore the new aspects of yourself that emerge during that time. 

We are in the process of developing our own questionnaire that will give insight and recommendations for alternative treatments that will strengthen areas that are weak and maintain areas that are strong.

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