The Triple Heater Main channel is one of the Yang Channels associated with the Fire Element (火 huǒ). It is associated with Ministerial Fire. The Triple Heater Meridian (also known as Sanjiao/Triple Burner/Warmer/Energizer) is a yang meridian and is paired with the Pericardium Meridian. This meridian is related to all thoracic and abdominal organs and activates them with the ancestral energy (Yuan Qi), it coordinates their functions, oversees to their metabolism and distributes the different forms of energy and fluids within the body.
- The external pathway of the Triple Heater primary channel begins on the ring finger, at the ulnar corner of the nail at TH 01 (Rushing Pass) (guanchong). TH 01 (Rushing Pass) is reached by a branch of the Pericardium primary channel that separates on the palm of the hand at PC 08 (Palace of Toil) (laogong).
- The channel runs along the ulnar side of the ring finger
- continues between the 4th and 5th metacarpal bones
- travels along the posterior aspect of the forearm between the radius and the ulna towards the lateral aspect of the arm
- passes the olecranon and continues along the upper arm to the shoulder
- traverses the shoulder, intersects with SI 12 (Grasping the Wind) (bingfeng) and meets the other Yang primary channels at GV 14 (Great Vertebra) (dazhu)
- runs to the anterior aspect of the body, crossing GB 21 (Shoulder Well) (jianjing) and ST 12 (Empty Basin) (quepen), the latter in the supraclavicular fossa.
- At ST 12 (Empty Basin), the channel begin its internal section. It meets the Pericardium (xin bao) at CV 17 (Chest Centre) (shanzhong), penetrates the diaphragm and enters the abdomen, connecting with the Upper, Middle and Lower Heaters (his paired organ).
- From the Lower Heater, an internal branch (according to some authors, the TH channel) descends to the popliteal fossa to BL 39 (Outside of the Crook) (weiyang), the lower he-sea point of the Triple Heater.
- A further inner branch originates in the thorax at CV 17 (Chest Centre) (shanzhong), emerges at the supraclavicular fossa and ascends to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle to TH 16 (Window of Heaven), follows via TH 17 (Wind Screen), TH 18 (Spasm Vessel), TH 19 (Skull’s Rest) the temporal bone along its border behind the ear and reaches TH 20 (Minute Angle) (jiasun) above the apex of the ear. It crosses the Gall Bladder primary channel at GB 06 (Suspended Hair) (xuanli), GB 05 (Suspended Skull) (xuanlu) and GB 04 (Jaw Serenity) (hanyan), according to Deadman et al 1998) also at GB 11 (Head Portal Yin) (touqiaoyin) and GB 14 (Yang White) (yangbai), descends the cheek to the lower jaw and ascends again to intersect with SI 18 (Ceekbone Crevice) (quanliao) on the lower border of the zygomatic arch and continues to the infraorbital region.
- From TH 17 (Wind Screen) (yifeng), a branch penetrates the ear, emerges to the Exterior anterior to the tragus, intersects with SI 19 (Palace of Hearing) (tinggong), continues past TH 21 (Ear’s Gate) (ermen) and TH 22 (Ear’s Harmony Crevice) (erheliao), meets GB 03 (Above the Joint) (shangguan), crosses its own cheek branch and ends at TH 23 (Silken Bamboo Hollow) (sizhukong) on the frontozygomatic suture. From TH 23 (Silken Bamboo Hollow), or, according to some authors from TH 22 (Ear’s Harmony Crevice), a small branch runs to GB 01 (Pupil Crevice) (tongziliao) at the lateral canthus of the eye (shaoyang).
The main functions of Triple Heater are:
- It activates and coordinates all thoracic and abdominal organs;
- It regulates metabolism;
- It distributes different Energies and fluids in the body.