In Infinity’s meridian archetypes, the bladder meridian is represented by the entertainer. Entertainer energy is revered in the United States- they are the movie stars and performers. The bladder meridian is driven by a need to relate to and inspire others to become the best versions of themselves.

The bladder is one of the four emotional meridians, primarily related to the water element. Their strength is tapping into what makes other people tick and often they work well as part of a team. In Traditional Chinese medicine, the bladder is the balancing meridian to the kidney

To find the bladder meridian within yourself, you need to look at your need to be at the center of attention.

Do you love the spotlight and often find yourself the center of attention?

Do you find it easy to lose yourself in large groups of people?

Are you attracted to jobs where you help other people achieve their best selves?

The bladder meridian influences the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. In today’s world, stress and anxiety are on the rise. When the bladder meridian is out of balance, stress becomes chronic and begins to affect overall vitality. We are in a constant state of fight-or-flight. It affects all of the automatic systems in the body that function during rest-and-digest including digestion, sleep, and immunity.

By strengthening and stretching the bladder meridian, you gain access to your ability to relate to others. You will also learn some tricks to combat imbalances in the groin and lateral hamstrings. To understand the bladder meridian’s place in our series, we will examine its western medicine functions, eastern medicine functions, archetypes, common imbalances, and exercises to restore the healthy flow of our meridian.    

The Bladder In Western Medicine

The western medicine functions of the bladder are fairly straightforward. Our bladder stores waste and toxins from the kidneys and removes them from the body in the form of urine. The kidneys make the urine which then travels down the ureter into the bladder. 

The bladder is a hollow organ that expands when it is full and contracts when it is empty. According to the National Library of Medicine, most people can comfortably hold two cups of urine in their bladder for 2-5 hours.

The kidney and bladder functions are closely related. Therefore, issues with one often cause issues with the other. As we get older, issues with the bladder and kidneys get more common, from incontinence and bladder control issues to kidney stones. 

Bladder Meridian Exercises

Beginner

Straight Leg Stretch with Strap

(start with leg wide and cross over the midline of the body towards the opposite shoulder)

Intermediate

Cross Leg Stretch with Strap or Holding Foot

(For those who can bend their knee)

Advanced

Standing Split

Advanced Bladder Meridian Exercise - Standing Split

The Entertainer: Are You Wearing A Mask?

Other Archetypes: Trickster, Shapeshifter, Musician, Actor/Actress, Performer

Girl Entertaining on Keyboard
Photo by Kyle Smith on Unsplash

At Infinity, the meridian archetypes are a personality typing system that connects the physical body to our emotions, thoughts, and spirituality. The archetype that best represents the bladder is the performer or entertainer. 

The United States reveres bladder energy. These people are team players who are most comfortable motivating, promoting, and inspiring others. Famous actors who dive deep into their character by creating elaborate backstories and living as their characters might live are channeling the energy of this meridian.

However, the entertainer is not without flaws. The ability to take on another’s personality can lead an entertainer to lose their sense of self. If bladder energy is out of balance, a person may shift from personality to personality and forget who they really are. Or they might trick you into believing that the face they put on in public is their true face. 

The main bladder meridian emotion is fear. In the physical body, bladder meridian imbalances often manifest in the back and lateral hamstrings. In reaction to fear, a bladder meridian might begin to see the whole world as a threat. Or they might react by putting on a front to prove how unafraid they truly are. 

Bladder Meridian In Eastern Medicine

The bladder and kidney meridians balance each other out, both in western medicine and in Traditional Chinese medicine. The bladder receives qi and heat from the Kidneys to create urine, and the kidney relies on the bladder to finish the process of detoxification.

In Chinese Medicine, the kidney and bladder are responsible for our essence or jing. We are born with a certain amount of jing. Issues with the bladder meridian cause exhaustion on an almost existential level because it affects our essential essence. We will wonder if we have the energy to continue living.

In addition to the kidneys, the small intestine, triple burner, liver, and lungs support urine elimination. Common emotional imbalances associated with the bladder meridian are jealousy, suspicion, and holding grudges. If you are dreaming about traveling, you might also have a bladder imbalance. Someone with a bladder meridian imbalance might also appear shallow, insecure, or easy to manipulate.

Speaking Up With The Entertainer

A Bladder Meridian Case Study

Bladder meridian imbalances often appear in performers like dancers or professional sports players. They may also appear in anyone being asked to perform or entertain.

One of my personal experiences with the bladder meridian occurred when I was due to present at a health fair. The week before the presentation, I had strong onset lateral hamstring pain. But directly after the presentation, the pain disappeared. 

Often seemingly random pains, like the pain I had in the week leading up to my presentation, can indicate a deeper emotion or thought circulating throughout energetic systems. In my case, my nerves and stress about the presentation manifested as a pain in my leg.

Public Speaking with Bladder Meridian
Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

Other times, pain in one of the muscles associated with a certain meridian can indicate an internal physical issue. 

The Lateral Hamstring Connection

My clients often ask to be excused to use the bathroom in the middle of bladder meridian exercises. One day, a dancer that I work with practically ran out of the room after we worked on her bladder meridian. When she returned, I explained the connection between the lateral hamstring exercise and the meridian. The studio owner heard us talking and came over to ask a few questions. Turns out the studio owner was having problems with her lateral hamstrings. After we talked, she went to the doctor’s office only to be told that she had a bladder infection. 

Someone with healthy bladder energy will come alive in front of others. Performing or entertaining others will come to them as naturally as breathing. But if you are being called to perform and it’s not a part of your natural makeup, you can use bladder and kidney meridian exercises to help you prepare. They can support healing of a kidney or bladder infection, address deep-seated stressors or fears, and help you remove the performance mask and return you to yourself.

Looking Ahead

The two final meridians in the Meridian Archetypes series are often overlooked in TCM and western medicine. The appendix is deemed a residual organ and only acknowledged when it causes a problem. This meridian is represented by the archetype of the sage. Meanwhile, the thymus is an organ that most associate with growth during childhood, but its full influence on our energetic body is much deeper. The thymus is represented by the healer archetype. 

Keep following along as we finish up the Meridian Archetype series with the appendix and thymus.

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