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TCM Theory: Channels and Collaterals

  • Brief Introduction
  • Twelve Regular Meridians
  • Du Meridian and Ren Meridian

 

Brief Introduction
Channels and collaterals are an important component part in the basic theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM). It has the guiding significance in various clinical branches, particularly in the clinical Acupuncture treatment.

Jing Luo is a general term of Jingmai(meridians) and Luomai (collaterals) in the human body. The differentiation of meridians from collaterals is that Jingmai (meridians) is the main stem of the meridians and collaterals which circulates straightly and distributes in the deeper layer as like the Stomach Meridian of Foot-Yangming connecting the superior, inferior, internal and external. On the contrary, luomai (collaterals)is the branch of the meridians which circulates traversely and obliquely in the shadow layer as like the Lung Meridian of Rand-Taiyjn, thinner and smaller, and runs over the whole body in a crisscross fashion.

Jing Luo Function: meridians and collaterals belongs to internal organs(Zang-fu) and exteriorly to all the extremities. It functions as organic corresponding network between internal organs and body surface. So the human body is an organic whole. Meridians and collaterals serve as the route of Qi and blood, Yin and Yang, all of which keep the body in a well-balanced condition.

The theory of Jing Luo(meridians and collaterals) is rich in contents: the twelve regular Jingmai(meridians) and the twelve subsidiary Jing type of the twelve meridians, the twelve Jing Jin (muscle meridian) and the twelve Pi Bu(cutaneous areas).

Luomai(collaterals) includes the fifteen collaterals, minute collaterals and superficial collaterals. Generally, they are called fourteen regular Jingmai(meridians).

Twelve regular Jingmai(meridians) Nomenclature: Twelve regular Jingmai include three Yin Meridians of Hand, three Yang Meridians of Hand, three Yang Meridians of Foot, and three Yin Meridians of Foot.

Twelve regular Jingmai(meridians) runs in an regular manner: These meridians have their own principles of distribution

The three Yin Meridians of hand run from the chest to the hand.

The three Yang Meridians of hand run from the hand to the head.

The three Yang Meridians of Foot run from the head to the foot.

The three Yin Meridians of Foot run from the foot to the abdomen

Twelve Regular Meridians

1.Tie Lung Meridian of Hand-Tajyin
Circulation and Distribution: The Lung Meridian of Hand-Tajyin originates from the middle jiao, runs downward to connect with the large intestine. Winding back, it goes along the upper orifice of the stomach, passes through the diaphragm, and enters the lung, the organ it pertains to. From the portion of the lung connecting with the throat, it comes out transversely. Descending along the medial aspect of the upper arm, it reaches the cubital fossa. Then it goes continuously downward along the medial aspect of the forearm and arrives at the medial side of the styloid process of the radius above the wrist, where it enters "cunkou", the radial artery at the wrist for pulse palpation. Passing the thenar eminence, it goes along its radial border, ending at the medial side of the tip of the thumb.

The branch proximal to the wrist emerges from lieque and runs directly to the radial side of the tip of the index finger where it connects with the Large Intestine Meridian of Hand-Yangming (Fig 1).

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes large intestine, lung, stomach, and trachea.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating diseases of the chest, lung, throat, and trachea. Cough and sore throat are the main symptoms of Lung Meridian. Based on differentiation of syndromes along the meridian Taiyuan and Shaoshang may be selected for puncturing.

2. The Large Intestine Meridian of Hand-Yangming
Circulation and Distribution: The Large Intestine Meridian of Hand-Yangrning starts from the tip of the index finger Shangyang. Running upward along the radial side of the index finger and passing through the interspace of the 1st and 2nd metacarpal bone, it dips into the depression between the tendons. Then, following the lateral anterior aspect of the upper arm to highest point of the shoulder. Then, along the anterior border of the acromion, it goes up to the Dazhui of Du Meridian, and descends to the supraclavicular fossa to connect with the lung. It passes through the diaphragm and enters the large intestine, the organ it belongs to.

The branch from the supraclavicular fossa runs upward to the neck, passes through the cheek and enters the gums of the lower teeth. Then it curves around the upper lip and crosses the opposite meridian at the philtrum. From there, the left meridian goes to the right and the right meridian to the left, to both sides of the nose, where the Large Intestine Meridian links with the Stomach Meridian of Foot-Yangming(Fig 2).

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes lung, large intestine and stomach.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of head and face, eye, ear, nose, teeth, and throat as well as the diseases of large intestine.

To treat toothache, we can puncture Hegu point. It is effective way.

3. The Stomach Meridian of Foot-Yangming
Circulation and Distribution: The Stomach Meridian of Foot-Yangming starts from the lateral side of ala nasi. It ascends to the bridge of the nose. Turning downward along the lateral side of the nose, it enters the upper gum. Reemerging, it curves around the lips and descends to meet the Ren Meridian at the mentolabial groove. Then it runs posterolaterally across the lower portion of the cheek at Daying. Winding along the angle of the mandible, it ascends in front of the ear and traverses Shangguan. Then it follows the anterior hairline and reaches the forehead.

Branch: The facial branch emerging in front of Daying runs downward to Renying. From there it goes along the throat and enters the supraclavicular fossa. Descending, it passes through the diaphragm, enters the stomach, its pertaining organ, and connects with the spleen.

The straight portion of the meridian arising from the supraclavicular fossa runs downward, passing through the nipple. It descends by the umbilicus and enters Qichong (STSO) on the lateral side of the lower abdomen.

The branch from the lower orifice of the stomach descends inside the abdomen and joins the previous portion of the meridian at Qichong. Running downward, traversing Biguan, and further throught Futu, it reaches the knee, From there, it continues downward along the anterior border on the lateral aspect of the tibia, passes through the dorsum of the foot and reaches the lateral side of the tip of 2nd toe.

The tibial branch emerges Zusanli, 3 cuns below the knee, and enters the lateral side of the middle toe.

The branch from the dorsum of foot arises from Chongyang and terminates at the medial side of the tip of the great toe where it links with the Spleen Meridian of Foot-Taiyin(Fig. 2-3).

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes stomach, spleen, heart, small and large intestine.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of stomach, intestines and the diseases of nervous system. To treat stomach-ache, Zusanli is often punctured clinically.

4 The Spleen Meridian of Foot-Taiyin
Circulation and Distribution: The Spleen Meridian of Foot-Taiyin starts from the tip of the big toe. It runs along the medial aspect of the foot at the junction of the red and white skin, and ascends in front of the medial malleolus up to the leg. It follows the posterior aspect of the tibia, crosses and goes in front of the Liver Meridian of Foot-Jueyin. Passing through the anterior medial aspect of the knee and thigh, it enters the abdomen, then the spleen, its pertaining organ, and connects with the stomach. From there it ascends, traversing the diaphragm, and running alongside the esophagus. Then it reaches the root of the tongue it spreads over its lower surface.

The branch from the stomach goes upward through the diaphragm, and flows into the heart to link with the Heart Meridian of Hand-Shaoyin(Fig.2-4).

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes spleen, stomach, heart, lung and intestines.

Symptoms and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of spleen and stomach.

5.The Heart Meridian of Hand- Shaoyin
Circulation and Distribution: The Heart Meridian of Hand-Shaoyin originates from the heart. Emerging, it spreads over the "heart system". It passes through the diaphragm to connect with the small intestine,

Branch: The ascending portion of the meridian from the "heart system" runs alongside the esophagus to connect with the "eye system."

The straight portion of the meridian from the "heart system" goes upward to the lung. Then it turns downward and emerges from the axilla. From there it goes along the posterior border of the medial aspect of the upper arm, down to the cubital fossa. From there it descends along the posterior border of the medial aspect of the forearm to the pisiform region proximal to the palm and enters the palm. Then it follows the medial aspect of the little finger to its tip.

Shaochong and links with the Small Intestine Meridian of Hand-Taiyang(Fig. 2-5).

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes heart, small intestine, lung and kidney.

Symptoms and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of heart, chest and mental disease.

6. The Small Intestine Meridian of Hand-Taiyang
Circulation and Distribution: The Small Intestine Meridian of Hand-Taiyang starts from the ulnar side of the tip of the little finger Shaoze, Following the ulnar side of the dorsum of hand it reaches the wrist where it emerges from the styloid process of the ulna. From there it runs along the posterior border of the lateral aspect of the upper arm to the shoulder joint. Circling around the scapular region, it meets the Du Meridian on the superior aspect of the shoulder at Dazhui. Then, turning downward to the supraclavicular fossa, it connects with the heart. From there it descends along the esophagus, passes through the diaphragm, reaches the stomach, and finally enters the small intestine, its pertaining organ.

The branch from the supraclavicular fossa ascends to the neck, and further to the cheek. Via the outer canthus, it enters the ear.

The branch from the cheek runs upward to the infraorbital region and further to the lateral side of the nose. Then it reaches the inner canthus to link with the Bladder Meridian of Foot-Taiyang(Fig, 2-6),

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes heart, small intestine and stomach,

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of head, neck, eyes, ears and throat. To treat pain of scapular region, we can puncture Wangu point.

7.The Bladder Meridian of Foot-Taiyang
Circulation and Distribution: The Bladder Meridian of Foot-Taiyang starts from the inner canthus jingming. Ascending to the forehead it joins the Du Meridian at the vertex, where a branch arises running to the temple.

The straight portion of the meridian enters and communicates with the brain from the vertex. It then emerges and bifurcates into two lines, descending along the posterior aspect of the neck. Running downward alongside the medial aspect of the scapula and parallel to the vertebral column, it reaches the lumbar region, where it enters the body cavity via the paravertebral muscle to connect with the kidney and join its pertaining organ, the bladder.

The branch of the lumbar region descends through the gluteus region and ends in the popliteal fossa.

The branch from the posterior aspect of the neck runs straight downward along the medial border of the scapula. Passing through the gluteal region downward along the posterior aspect of the thigh on the lateral side, it meets the preceding branch descending from the lumbar region in the popliteal fossa. From there it descend to the leg and further to the posterior aspect of the external malleolus. Then, running along the tuberosity of the 5th metatarsal bone, it reaches the lateral side of the tip of the little toe Zhiyin, where it links with the Kidney Meridian of Foot-Shaoyin(Fig.2-7)

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes brain, kidney and bladder.

Symptom and indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of head, neck, eyes, ears, nose, lumbar diseases and the disease of posterior to lower extremities

8 The Kidney Meridian of Foot-Shaoyin
Circulation and Distribution: The Kidney Meridian of Foot-Shaoyin starts from the inferior aspect of the small toe and runs obliquely towards the sole. Emerging from the lower aspect of the tuberosity of the navicular bone and running behind the medial malleolus, it enters the heel. Then it ascends along the medial side of the leg to the medial side of the popliteal fossa and goes further upward along the postero-medial aspect of the thigh towards the vertebra column, where it enters the kidney, its pertaining organ, and connects with the bladder,

Branch: The straight portion of the meridian reemerges from the kidney. Ascending and passing through the liver and diaphragm, it enters the lung, runs along the throat and terminates at the root of the tongue,

A branch springs from the lung, joins the heart and flows into the chest to link with the Pericardium Meridian of Hand-Jueyin(Fig. 2-8).

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes kidney, bladder, liver, lung and heart.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of genital organ, throat, lung and mental diseases.

9. The Pericardium Meridian of Hand-Jueyin
Circulation and Distribution, The Pericardium Meridian of Hand-Jueyin originates from the chest. Emerging, it enters its pertaining organ, the pericardium. Then, it descends through the diaphragm to the abdomen, connecting successively with the upper, middle and lower jiao.

A branch Arising from the chest runs inside the chest, emerges from hypochondriac region at a point 3 cun below the anterior axillary fold and ascends to the axilla. Following the medial aspect of the upper arm, it runs downward to the forearm ending in the palm. From there it passes along the middle finger right down to its tip Zhongchong.

Another branch arises from the palm at Laogong, runs along the ring finger to its tip Guanchong and links with the Sanjiao Meridian of Hand-Shaoyang(Fig. 2-9).

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes pericardium, and the Sanjiao.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of heart, chest, mental disease and the diseases or upper extremities.

10. The Sanjiao Meridian of Hand-Shanyang
Circulation and Distribution: The Sanjiao(Triple Energizer) Meridian of Hand-Shaoyang originates from the tip Guanchong of the ring finger, running upward between the 4th and the metacarpal bones along the dorsal aspect of the wrist to the lateral aspect of the forearm between the radius and ulna. Passing through the olecranon along the lateral aspect of the upper arm, it reaches the shoulder region, where it goes across and passes between the Gallbladder Meridian of Foot-Shaoyang. Winding over to the supraclavicular fossa, it spreads in the chest to connect with the pericardium. It then descends through the diaphragm down to the abdomen, and joins its pertaining organ, the upper, middle and lower jiao.

A branch originates from the chest, running upward, it emerges from the supraclavicular fossa. From there it ascends to the neck, running along the posterior border of the ear, and further to the superior aspect of the ear. Then it turns downward to the cheek and terminates in the infraorbital region.

The auricular branch arises from the retroauricular region and enters the ear. Then it emerges in front of the ear, crosses the previous branch at the cheek and reaches the outer canthus Tongziliao to link with the Gallbladder Meridian of Foot-Shaoyang(Fig. 2-10).

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes pericardium.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of head, ears, eyes and throat. To treat deafness and tinnitus, Zhongzhu point may be punctured since Sanjian Meridian distributes the ears

11. The Gallbladder Meridian of Foot-Shanyang
Circulation and distribution: The Gallbladder Meridian of Foot-Shaoyang originates from the outer canthus Tongziliao, ascends to the corner of the forehead, then curves downward to the retroauricular region and runs along the side of the neck, down to the supraclavicular fossa.

The retroanricular branch arises from the retroauricular region and enters the ear. It then comes out and passes the preauricular region to the posterior aspect of the outer canthus.

The branch arising from the out canthus runs downward to Daying and meets the Sanjiao Meridian of Hand-Shaoyang in the infraobital region. Then, passing through Jiache, it descends to the neck and enters the supraclavicular fossa where it meets the main meridian. From there it further descends into the chest, passes through the diaphragm to connect with the liver and enters its pertaining organ, the gallbladder. Then it runs inside the hypochondriac region, comes out from the lateral side of the lower abdomen near the femoral artery at the inguinal region. From there it runs superficially along the margin of the public hair and goes traversely into the hip region.

The straight portion of the meridian rune downward from the supraclavicular fossa, passes in front of the axilla along the lateral aspect of the chest and through the free ends of the floating ribs to the hip region where it meets the previous branch. Then it descends along the lateral aspect of the thigh to the lateral side of the knee. Going further downward along the anterior aspect of the fibula all the way to its lower end, it reaches the anterior aspect of the external malleolus. It then follows the dorsum of the foot to the lateral side to the tip of the 4th toe. The branch of the dorsum of the foot springs from Zulinqi runs between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones to the distal portion of the great toe and terminates at its hairy region, where it links with Liver Meridian of Foot.Jueying(Fig. 2.11).

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes gallbladder and liver.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of the lateral side of head, ears, eyes, throat, the region of chest and Costa and lateral side of lower extremities.

12. The Liver Meridian of Foot-Jueyin
Circulation and Distribution: The Liver Meridian of Foot-Jueyin starts from the dorsal hairy region of the great toe. Running upward along the dorsum of foot, passing through Zhongfeng in front of the medial malleolus, it ascends to an area 8 cuns above the medial malleolus, where it runs across and. behind the Spleen Meridian of Foot-Taiyin. Then it runs further upward to the medial side of the knee along the medial aspect of the thigh to the pubic hairy region, where it curves around the external genitalia and goes up to the abdomen. It then runs upward and curves round the stomach to enter the liver, its pertaining organ, and connect with the gallbladder. From there it continues to ascend, passing through the diaphragm, and branching out in the costal and hypochondriac region. Then it ascends along the posterior aspect of the throat to the nasopharynx and connects with the "eye system." Running further upward, it emerges from the forehead and meets the Du Channel at the vertex.

The branch which arises from the "eye system" runs downward into the cheek and curves around the inner surface of the lips.

The branch arising from the liver passes through the diaphragm, flows into the lung and links with the Lung Meridian of Hand-Taiyin.(Fig. 2-12)

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes liver, gallbladder, stomach, lung, brain and eyes.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of genital system, urinary system, the region of head, eye, hypochondria, abdomen and medial side of lower extremities.

As state above twelve regular meridians are the passages of flowing of vita-vapor and blood through which vita-vapor and blood can reach the internal organs and the body surface, and limbs to nourish the whole body and form a circling system. The flowing order is:

From Zhongjiao of the Lung Meridian of Hand-Taiyin to the index finger where it connects with the Large Intestine Meridian of Hand-Yangming.

From the index finger of the Large Intestine Meridian of hand-Yangming to the side of nose where it connects with the Stomach Meridian of Foot-Yangming.

From the side of nose, the Stomach Meridian of Foot-Yangming reaches the big toe to connect with the Spleen Meridian of Foot-Taiyin.

From the big toe to the heart, the Spleen Meridian of Foot-Taiyin goes along and connects with the Heart Meridian of Hand-Shaoyin in the end.

The Heart Meridian of Hand-Shaoyin goes from the heart to the small finger where it connects with the Small Intestine Meridian of Hand-Taiyang.

The Small Intestine Meridian of Hand-Taiyang goes from the small finger to the inner canthus where it connects with the Bladder Meridian of Foot-Taiyang.

The Bladder Meridian of Foot-Taiyang goes from the inner canthus to the small toe where it connects Kidney Meridian of Foot - Shaoyin.

The Kidney Meridian of Foot-Shaoyin goes from the small toe to the chest where it connects with the Pericardium Meridian of Hand-Jueyin.

The Pericardium Meridian of Hand-Jueyin goes from the chest to the ring finger where it connects the Sanjiao Meridian of Hand-Shaoyang.

The Sanjiao Meridian of Hand-Shanyang goes from the ring finger to the outer canthus where it connects the Gallbladder Meridian of Foot-Shaoyang.

The Gallbladder Meridian of Foot-Shaoyang goes from the outer canthus to the big toe where it connects the Liver Meridian of Foot-Jueyin.

The Liver Meridian of Foot-Jueying goes from the big toe to the lung where it connects with the Lung Meridian of Hand-Taiyin. (Fig. 2 - 13)

Du Meridian and Ren Meridian

1. The Du Channel
Circulation and Distribution: The Du Meridian originates from the inside of the lower abdomen. Descending, it emerges at the perineum. Then it ascends posterior along the interior of the spinal column to Fengfu at the nape, where it enters the brain. It further ascends to the vertex and winds along the forehead to the columella of the nose.

Connection of Zang-fu organs includes brain, spinal cord, liver, kidney and womb.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the mental diseases, neuropathy, the diseases of circulatory system, the diseases of urinary and genital system, lumbar and sacral diseases, the diseases of head, neck and corresponding internal organs. To treat the acute lumbar muscle sprain, Shuigou point may be punctured

 2. The Ren Channel
Circulation and Distribution: The Ren Meridian starts from the inside of the lower abdomen and emerges from the perineum. It runs anteriorly to the public region and ascends along the interior of the abdomen, passing through Guanyuan and the other points along the front midline to the throat. Running further upward, it curves around the lips, passes through the cheek and enters the infraorbital region. The branch arising from chest region runs downwards into the lung, and links with the lung meridian.

Connection of Zang-fu includes lung, womb, etc.

Symptom and Indication: This meridian is used for treating the diseases of abdomen, chest, neck, head, face and corresponding internal organs,

Twelve meridians, Ren Channel, and Du Channel are the 14 main components of the meridian system.

 


Please browse the following contents for further study:

1. Disease Prevention
2. Effective Herbal Formulas for Treating Cancer
3. Effective Herbal Formulas for Treating Neurological System Diseases
4. Effective Herbal Formulas for Treating Mental Disorder
5. The Concept of Qi(qi),
6. The Concept of Blood, Body fluid and Qi
7. DaMo Qigong Chinese Medicine World
8. Inner Canon of Yellow Emperor
9. Treatise on Cold-induced Febrile Diseases
10. Mechnism of Yin-yang Operation
11. Five Element System
12. Visceral Symptoms
13. Pathogenic Factors
14. Mechnism of Chinese massage
15. The Acupuncture treatment Principle
16. Famous Chinese Doctors and works
17. The theory of external Qi therapy
18. The history and origin of Chinese acupuncture
19. The general introduction of meridians and channels
20. DaMo Qigong Chinese Medicine World

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