Creative Eldering – Oct. 2020 – Your Triple Warmer

You do have a Meridian in the upper half of your body called the Triple Warmer Meridian. Historically, there has not been a specific organ ascribed to this energy pathway.  Thinking of this Meridian as a group of physiological functions, rather than a discrete anatomical organ is a helpful point to remember.  Your Triple Warmer Meridian is a controller or regulator of numerous physiological functions.  Another analogy might be to think of the Triple Warmer Meridian as a catalyst for normal physiology and a support system and coordinator for other organ-related meridians.

In the most basic sense, I describe the Triple Warmer Meridian as representing and overseeing your body’s metabolism functions.  Various translations from the original Chinese texts provide a variety of terms.  One of the most common is Triple Warmer, another is Triple Burner, another is Tri Burner.  A more traditional term is San Jaio

Ancient Chinese texts describe the Triple Warmer as that function that brings in, modifies and transforms fluids and solids, then transports them throughout the entire body before eliminating the unused portions.  The Triple Warmer Meridian is credited with circulating Chi or the vital energy of the body throughout the entire body and all its other meridians.  Your Triple Warmer Meridian is intimately connected with your immune system function and your lymphatic system’s circulation.

The original concept was to visualize three small flames or burners superimposed over the three segments of the human torso.

Your upper burner is historically described as regulating intake.  We could think of intake as useful fuel to be extracted from food and water as well as from air.  Ancient descriptions liken this energetic quality to intake from food, water, and air as a “mist” or a “fog” emanating from the heavens.  Your upper burner is considered to regulate organ functions above the diaphragm, basically your heart and lungs.  Your pericardium, your throat, your head, and your lymphatic system are also regulated by your upper burner.

Your middle burner controls functions that are considered transformative.  We might consider those to be related to digestive functions.  The traditional description of the middle burner’s functions indicate that these are earth based and have to do with a metaphoric fermentation of the ingested foods causing “foam” and “bubbles”.  In the strict traditional Chinese medicine sense your Triple Burner is assisting the body in extracting the energy from the foods being processed but is not directly controlling the chemical and enzymatic aspects of your digestive process.  Your middle burner presides over organs between the diaphragm and navel and is described as controlling and regulating the functions of your stomach and your spleen.  Your liver and gallbladder are also influenced by your middle burner.

Your third, or lower burner regulates functions of organs below the navel, those focused on elimination and reproduction.  This burner is correlated in the ancient acupuncture texts as being closely associated with the water element, and the draining off of excess water through “ditches”.  The traditional Chinese medicine description of the lower burner’s functions include separating out the useful components from food and liquid and energetically assisting the body to eliminate unneeded waste products.  Your lower burner regulates your kidneys and bladder, your large and small intestines, and your reproductive tract (and related hormones).   

From a practical viewpoint, the functions of your Triple Warmer Meridian correlate with many functions of your thyroid gland and your thymus gland.  In my book, YOUR BODY CAN TALK, second edition (on page 42), you will find more description relating to upper respiratory issues, eye, ear, nose and throat issues, immunity challenges, musculoskeletal issues, and hormonal issues.

You may want to contact an acupuncturist or a holistic practitioner who understands the acupuncture meridians and related energetic balance considerations, if you are experiencing some of the issues above, or those that follow.  Difficulty with body temperature regulation including cold hands and feet is a classic triple warmer imbalance.  Other triple warmer related conditions include headaches, dizziness, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and sleep difficulties.

Some who suffer from substance abuse issues may find some help with getting their Triple Warmer Meridian balanced in combination with more traditional treatments for their substance abuse issues.  

It is likely that many who began reading this article did not have any information about their Triple Warmer Meridian and its functions.  My hope is that if you now recognize that your Triple Warmer Meridian may be out of balance or somehow compromised, that you will seek appropriate help to rebalance your three internal burners, and enjoy more ease and balance in your life.

Article by Susan L. Levy, D. C.
Author of “Your Body Can Talk, 2nd Edition” and “Your Aging Body Can Talk”  |

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