Acupuncture Triple Warmer Meridian

According to the traditional Chinese description triple warmer median of acupuncture is a yang channel associated with the element fire and possesses inferior and exterior relationship with the pericardium meridian.

The term triple warmer indicates three burning cavities of the body namely, chest, abdomen and pelvis, controlling respiration, digestion and urogenital functions, respectively. Because of their location, chest is known as the upper warmer, abdomen as the middle warmer and pelvis as the lower warmer. In the Chinese texts, triple warmer is termed as the Sanjiao channel (Sanjiao means “three burning spaces”).

Total number of points: 23

Starting point: Corner of the nail of ring finger on the ulnar side. Terminal point: Lateral end of the eyebrow.

Pathway: It originates from the medial corner of the nail of the ring finger, passes on the dorsum of the hand between fourth and fifth metacarpal bones and crosses the dorsum of the wrist and inferior radioulnar joints to take the position between radius and ulna on the dorsum of the forearm. It ascends to the olecranon and along the posterior aspect of the upper arm to the shoulder joint where it enters the neck to reach the superaclavicular fossa and divides into two branches :

(i) Cervical branch and (ii) Inner branch.

Cervical branch: It runs superficially to the neck, along the posterior border of the ear, turns downwards to the cheek and terminates in the infraorbital region.

Inner branch: This branch descends through the diaphragm and goes to the abdomen and pelvis.

Therapeutic Indications

  1. All disorders along the pathway of the meridian.
  2. Diseases of the ear, i.e. tinnitus, vertigo, labyrinthitis, deafness (because one of its branches goes to the ear).
  3. Gastrointestinal disorders like constipation and diarrhea (due to its homeostatic effect).
  4. Diseases of the eye (because the meridian passes close to the eye).
  5. Painful shoulder and back.
  6. Heart and mental disorders.

Description of Selected Points

TW-2 Yemen

Location: 0.5 t-sun above the margin of the fourth web (between the little and ring fingers).

Indications: Deafness, malaria, spastic fingers, pain in hand and arm, headache.

TW-2 Yemen

TW-4 Yangchi (Yangchih)

Location: On the dorsal wrist crease medial to the tendon of the extensor digitorum communis muscle.

This point is just distal to the extensor retinaculum. Indications: Arthritis of the wrist drop, malaria.

TW-4 Yangchi

TW-5 Waiguan (Waikuan)

Location: On the dorsal aspect of the forearm, 2 t-sun proximal to the dorsal transverse wrist crease between the two bones of the forearm.

Indications: Pain and paralysis of the upper extremity, arthritis of the small joints of hand and fingers, wrist drop, writer’s cramps, neck pain, headache, deafness, fever, optic atrophy.

TW-5 Waiguan

TW-6 Zhigou (Chihkou)

Location: 1 t-sun above TW-5 (Waiguan)

TW-6 Zhigou and TW-8 Sanyangluo

Indications: Constipation, paralysis of the upper extremities.

TW-8 Sanyangluo (Sanyanglo)

Location : 2 t-sun proximal to TW-5 (Waiguan) midway between the radius and the ulna.

Indications : Pain and paralysis of the upper extremities, deafness, aphasia, herpes zoster, intercostal neuralgia.

TW-17 Yifeng

Location: Behind the lobule of the ear in the depression between the mastoid process and the angle of the mandible.

Indications: All disorders of the ear like deafness, tinnitus aurium, otitis media. Facial nerve paralysis. Parotitis. Trigeminal neuralgia.

TW-17 Yifeng

TW-21 Ermen (Erhmen)

Location: In the depression in front of the superior notch of the tragus when the mouth is open.

TW-21 Ermen and TW-23 Sizhukong

Indications: Deafness, tinnitus, labyrinthitis, vertigo, trismus, otitis media and otitis externa, arthritis of the temporomandibular joint.

TW-23 Sizhukong (Ssuchukung)

Location: Lateral end of the eyebrow.

Indications : Frontal sinusitis, migraine, frontal and temporal headache, diseases of the eye.


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