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San Jiao/Triple Burner in Theory and Practice

Updated: Oct 2, 2023



San Jiao is interchangeably translated into English as Triple Warmer, Triple Heater, Triple Energizer and Triple Burner. This bilateral Yang meridian is so named because of its three parts, known as the upper, middle and lower Jiao or burners respectively.


The Triple Burner is extraordinary in that is does not correspond to a specific organ. Rather it helps to regulate all the organs and energy in the body by opening passageways and facilitating free and proper flow. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to in the West as Metabolism.


It is paired with the Yin Pericardium channel (see The Point of Precision blog) that relates to the pericardium sac that contains, protects and lubricates the heart and houses the roots of the great blood vessels.


The Triple Burner has 23 acupoints starting on the outer nailbed of the ring finger, traveling up the outer arm, across the back of the shoulder, around the ear and ending in the depression at the outer end of the eyebrow.


Its influence is considerable, affecting respiration, the heart and food processing, and therefore its state of balance and harmony has a direct effect on production and circulation of Qi throughout the entire body.


The Upper Burner is located above the diaphragm, and encompasses heart and lungs and regulates respiratory functions. The Middle Burner extends from the diaphragm to the naval. This burner oversees the transformation of food and liquids and involves stomach, spleen, liver and gallbladder. Located below the diaphragm, the Lower Burner mediates the functions of kidneys, bladder, large and small intestines.


There are many Qigong movements that ameliorate Triple Burner function. Of note,

Shibashi Set 2’s opening move, Regulating the Qi, encourages the lifting of cool Yin Qi from the Earth up through the Dantiens, thus regulating the temperature of the Triple Burner.


Image: Diagram showing anatomical locations of Triple Burner. Me & Qi 2023. https://www.meandqi.com/tcm-education-center/basic-concepts/triple-burner (accessed 18 July 2023)


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