Gallbladder channel

Gallbladder Channel

Your Gallbladder acupuncture channel stretches from your eye to  your fourth toe, running bilaterally mainly down the side of your head, body and legs.

Its correct name in Chinese medicine is the ‘Leg Shao Yang’ channel. It has 44 acupuncture points.

As it lies mostly on the side of your body, points on it are often used where there is stress between yin and yang, for example when you are catching a disease and feel alternately hot and cold.

The same goes where you have difficulty sticking to a course of action, or suffer big ups and downs, or always have a difficult relationship with the status quo or authority.

It has many other uses. Find out more about your gallbladder!

The Primary Gallbladder channel

Gallbladder Channel

The points listed are where the channel can be reached with acupuncture or massage. However, see below for where the Gallbladder Primary channel goes – far more than just through the points!

Here are some of the Gallbladder channel acupuncture points – we’ll add more as we go along!

Where the point number is in red, click for a link to the page on it. Point numbers in black have no links yet.

Gallbladder Meridian points

Gallbladder 1  
Gallbladder 14  
Gallbladder 15  
Gallbladder 20FengchiWind Pond
Gallbladder 21  
Gallbladder 24RiyueSun and Moon
Gallbladder 25JingmenCapital Gate
Gallbladder 30  
Gallbladder 34YanglingquanYang Mound Spring
Gallbladder 37GuangmingBright and Clear


Pathway of Gallbladder Primary Channel

It originates beside the eye at its outer canthus, passes to the ear, the zygomatic arch and lateral forehead, then travels to a point above the ear, descending round it posteriorly to the mastoid process.

From there it ascends the side of the head, curving round to the lateral forehead at Gallbladder 14, then travelling in the opposite direction over the lateral head and down to Gallbladder 20.

Then it travels to the top and lateral part of the shoulder and sends a link to the spine at Du 14, then via Bladder 11 it goes to the back of the shoulder at Small Intestine 12 then through the shoulder to just above the clavicle at Stomach 12.

Branch no.1

A branch of it emerges in the posterior ear, extends to the jaw and the inner canthus of the eye at Bladder 1, then down through the neck, connecting with the Stomach channel there and again to Stomach 12, whence it descends to the chest area, specifically at Pericardium 1 and the breasts.

Descending from there it passes through the diaphragm, to the Liver and Gallbladder organs.

(At least, that’s what it does on the right side of your body, where these organs reside. What happens on your left side? Who knows! Perhaps it has a little rest – though not, once – for a month or two, in my case, when it caused me a lot of pain in my left lateral ribcage, abdomen and low back. Perhaps it had nothing better to do, lacking any liver and gallbladder organs to play with on my left.)

Then, down the inside of the ribs on the lateral side of the torso to the pubic area, round the genitals and through to the sacrum where it connects with the Bladder and Governor channels again.

Then it’s off, scurrying to the centre of each buttock at Gallbladder 30 where, just as you thought you knew where it was going next, we have to mention another branch. (Lots of branches: some hard to remember after a nice glass of wine.)

Branch no. 2

This branch starts just above your clavicle (ie in the supraclavicular fossa if you must know). It goes down to the front of your axilla (I suspect it goes down through your shoulder, myself) then down through several quite important points (Gallbladder 22 and 23) on the side of your ribs, to Gallbladder 24 and Liver 13 (at or just below the tip of your eleventh rib) and then down to Gallbladder 30 to meet up with the main Gallbladder channel. (Phew – Together again!)

Then, proceeding in majesty down the side of your thigh, knee, lower leg and foot, taking in Gallbladder 31, 34, 37, 40 and 41, it ends up on your fourth toe at Gallbladder 44, the most extreme end-point of the channel.

But, no, that’s not all.

Branch no. 3

Another branch starts at Gallbladder 41 and crosses the front or top of the foot, through the space between the first and second metatarsal bones to the medial (innermost) side of the big toe (pretty well at Spleen 1) then through the big toenail to Liver 1.

Any other gallbladder channels?


These other channels have important uses in particular kinds of acupuncture treatment strategies. To find out when and how to use them is more specialised than this website aims to be.

Example problems related to Gallbladder channel

If you think about this channel pathway you can see how it influences or is influenced by or affected in conditions such as:

  • migraine and headache
  • many eye problems
  • quite a few hearing problems
  • conditions affecting your balance (because of its connection with your ears)
  • quite a few neck and shoulder problems
  • side of your ribcage pains
  • breathing problems (because it passes through your diaphragm)
  • breast pain and distension issues
  • digestive problems
  • genital problems ranging from impotency issues (more commonly in men) to Damp-Heat (more commonly in women)
  • hip, then lateral thigh, knee and ankle problems (eg, often going over on your ankle, and some kinds of sciatica)
  • big toenail problems


Example of a Gallbladder channel-based treatment

A patient once came complaining of ankle weakness. He had no other problems, until I asked whether he took any medication.

Yes, he took various forms of medication, but they weren’t a problem as they controlled:

  • his migraines and headaches
  • a tendency to tinnitus when stressed
  • vertigo which could happen when trying to do too many things at a time or when rushed
  • his shoulder pains
  • his gallbladder pain – he was due to have his gallbladder removed (this was some time ago, when gallbladder removal was still done)
  • hip-joint pains
  • what he described as a lack of sexual energy
  • possibly other issues (but this was a long time ago and I have forgotten)


At any rate, all these problems, controlled or managed in one way or another by drugs, may have been in the background, but all related to his gallbladder channel.

Possible Suppression?

By the way, too many medications, like this, can cause Suppression – a big subject, worth knowing about even if there’s not much you can do about it.

A Single Point treatment

woman in blue shirt lying on bed

I used only one point on his gallbladder channel (in this case, I remember it well – Gallbladder 40, the yuan-source point) and was about to add another on his Liver channel, to back it up, but he gave a great sigh and fell asleep.

A big sigh and going to sleep are a huge sign to stop any further treatment!

I think he may have returned for another treatment, but basically he got better and stopped taking his medications. This was early in my career, and I was amazed. So was he and so apparently were his doctors.

I don’t know whether he subsequently had his gallbladder organ removed because he stopped coming for treatment, though other new patients came on his recommendation.

Other pages to read


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