The Three Heater channel (Hand Shao Yang channel) starts on the ring finger lateral to the nail, runs up the lateral side of the arm, to shoulder, neck and head, where it circles and enters the ear then accesses the underside and outer canthus of the eye.
But internally the path reaches to the cervical vertebrae, to the chest, upper and lower parts of the abdomen, and specifically to points such as Stomach 12, Ren 17, Re 12 and the pericardium, and the lower abdomen. A special point associated with Three Heater is Ren 5.
So its points have influence over a huge range of processes in the body, and help to harmonise imbalances wherever occurring.
I’m not aware of this channel or the properties of its zangfu having any correlation or equivalence yet in Western Medicine.
If a point is in red in the table below, it links to a full page on the point in question.
This is not an easy concept to get one’s head around, I’ve found. I’ve been to many talks, read lots of books about it and can’t say I feel certain of my knowledge.
But it is important for harmonising the body’s working. Often a treatment starts working better when you include a point on the Three Heater channel.
In some situations, Three Heater points are vital, such as Three Heater 5, Waiguan or Three Heater 6, Zhigou.
Chinese medicine discounts the importance of Three Heater 9, Sidu, while some Japanese acupuncturists regard it as one of their most important points! (I’ve learned to agree with the Japanese, by the way, although they locate it differently – and no, I haven’t completed my page on it yet.)
Some acupuncture points on meridians between elbow and finger-tips are particularly important. Since antiquity, acupuncturists have respected them for the special actions they perform. These actions are not just local to the points themselves but affect the metabolism of the body.
These special points are the Five Transport or Shu points.
In another context they become the Five Element points. Read our page on 5 Element theory to understand more about this.
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