For those needing proof of Chinese Medicine’s Genius, Look no further! We found this organ thousands of years before western medicine, which has only recently (since 1995) begun to evaluate and study the connective tissue in any serious way. Please watch the video before proceeding.
[separator headline=”h1″ title=”Part 2: the San Jiao and TMM Channels”]
Last time I talked about the connective tissue. But I also mentioned that the SJ is a channel and a diagnostic system referring to the three regions of the body: upper, middle, lower burners. In particular, the middle and lower burner are of extreme importance in Chinese Medicine for the cultivation of vitality and longevity, respectively, although as a rule the upper jiao is what controls your enjoyment of life, being the seat of consciousness in the upper chakras.
The SJ however has a lesser known secret, called these days “anatomy trains” or more accurately to be known as the tendenomuscular meridians (TMM), aka “sinew channels”. The TMM are long, strangely shaped structures which can be felt doing yoga and Qigong/Daoyin/yijinjing, connecting vast tracts of the body. For exmaple, the indications of LI15, a shoulder point not unlike SJ14 are as follows:
“Pain in the shoulder and arm, motor impairment of the upper extremities, rubella, scrofula.”
Now one could try to link the scrofula and rubella to the colon, but that is a long roundabout. The reality is that several channels, including the Lung channel “anchor” to the anterior acromian tuberosity via the connective tissues of the ligaments and tendons, and a lot of channels pass through these tight areas, making them important “transportation” regions in the shoulder.
What this means is that if the TMM is torqued, the regular flow of Qi in the immune defense system will also be torqued and unable to handle certain conditions as varying as headache and hives to hernia and hemorrhage. In other words: the SJ system of water-fire interaction is governing us again. Let’s take a look at the San Jiao:
[testimonial author=”Alberta College of Acupuncture & TCM”]
This organ-energy system, which is not recognized in Western physiology, is called the ‘Minister of Dykes and Dredges’ and is responsible for the movement and transformation of various solids and fluids throughout the system, as well as for the production and circulation of nourishing energy (ying chee) and protective energy (wei Qi). It is not a single self-contained organ, but rather a functional energy system involved in regulating the activities of other organs. It is composed of three parts, known as ‘burners’, each associated with one of the body’s three main cavities: thorax, abdomen, and pelvis. An ancient Chinese medical text states: ‘The Upper Burner controls intake, the Middle Burner controls transformation, the Lower Burner controls elimination.’
The Upper Burner runs from the base of the tongue to the entrance to the stomach and controls the intake of air, food, and fluids. It harmonizes the functions of heart and lungs, governs respiration, and regulates the distribution of protective energy to the body’s external surfaces.
The Middle Burner runs from the entrance to the stomach down to its exit at the pyloric valve and controls digestion by harmonizing the functions of stomach, spleen, and pancreas. It is responsible for extracting nourishing energy from food and fluids and distributing it via the meridian system to the lungs and other parts of the body.
The Lower Burner runs from the pyloric valve down to the anus and urinary tract and is responsible for separating the pure from the impure products of digestion, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating solid and liquid wastes. It harmonizes the functions of liver, kidney, bladder, and large and small intestines and also regulates sexual and reproductive functions.
Some medical researchers believe that the Triple Burner is associated with the hypothalamus, the part of the brain which regulates appetite, digestion, fluid balance, body temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure, and other basic autonomous functions.
For fun, please enjoy some of the more interesting graphs of the TMM channels!
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Ever notice the old farmers of the 18th-early 20th century used to “hitch up their britches”? Do these codgers strike you as image conscious or fashion conscious? Of course not. So why do it? Clearly they know something we do not. What they knew is that belts and jean pants block the flow of the colon and Dai Mai (girdle vessel), severing the middle and lower burners.
This leads to what is in the vernacular called “Dunlap syndrome” which may appear to the ignorant to be a repugnant state of fat in the gut, but is actually a breeding ground for diseases, cancers, hernias, diabetes, and other maladies that can start as early as in the 30s and usually lead to shortened lifespans. You see, farmers since the ancient times have understood that your energy comes from the dan-tian and kidney regions of the lower body and this is how you get strength. In pull-ups, you don’t bend your biceps to get up, you pull your core to the bar!
So the reality is that all this sitting around, driving, wearing belts and pants, and hunching over with big guts has been shortening our lives. I myself have noticed if I wear too tight pajama pants at night the next day doing squats I am more weak in the inguinal area. So hitch up your britches and protect your San Jiao Organ! Do it for longevity, life, and style!