Three Heater points – Hand Shao Yang channel

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.

Three Heater (Hand Shao Yang) channel points

If a point is in red in the table below, it links to a full page on the point in question.

Three Heater 1GuanchongRushing Pass
Three Heater 2YemenFluid Secretion Gate
Three Heater 3ZhongzhuMiddle Islet
Three Heater 4YangchiYang pond
Three Heater 5WaiguanOuter frontier gate
Three Heater 6ZhigouBranch ditch
Three Heater 7HuizongAssembly of Ancestors
Three Heater 8SanyangluoThree Yang junction
Three Heater 9SiduFour Oceans
Three Heater 10TianjingHeavenly Well
Three Heater 11QinglengyuanPure Clear Abyss
Three Heater 12XiaoluoDispersing Luo River
Three Heater 13 NaohuiUpper Arm meeting
Three Heater 14JianliaoShoulder depression
Three Heater 15TianliaoHeavenly depression
Three Heater 16TianyouWindow of Heaven
Three Heater 17YifengWind Screen
Three Heater 18QimaiSpasm vessel
Three Heater 19LuxiSkull’s Relaxation
Three Heater 20JiaosunPrecise ear point
Three Heater 21ErmenEar Gate
Three Heater 22ErheliaoEar Harmony Bone
Three Heater 23SizhukongSilk Bamboo Hollow

Three Heater

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.

Three Heater 5 Waiguan, an outer frontier gate?
Photo by Thom Holmes

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.)

Control points on the channel

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.

Jonathan Brand colours

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