Underlying Theories of Acupuncture Treatment (24) How We Use Eight Extra Meridians

△ Every Eight Extra Meridians could be applied to acupuncture treatments to maximize the efficacy of a session. imageⓒDollarphotoclub_Unclesam

Physiology and Pathology, Indications, and Application of Eight Extra Meridians

By Brandon SJ Oh, L.Ac.

▲ Pathology of Eight Extra Meridians ①

The first brief mention of the eight vessels was found in the Classic of Difficult Issues (難經, Nei Jing) and chapter of the book Huangdi’s internal Classic Plain Questions (素問, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic, Han dynasty, 00-300 BC). It was not until the 16th century that all eight vessels were deeply studied by Li, Shi Zhen (1518-1593 AD.)


Conception Vessel (Ren Mai, CV): CV has a major role in Qi circulation, directing, and being responsible for all Yin meridians. According to classics, conception vessel is closely related to pregnancy and childbirth and raising a fetus.

The conception vessel could be used to treat symptoms:

  • Hemorrhoids, malaria, diarrhea, dysentery, phlegm, coughing, hematuria, and spitting blood.
  • Symptoms like toothache, sore throat, difficulty in urination, pain in the heart, chest, stomach, and difficulty swallowing saliva. The difficulty of speaking due to tongue stiffness after childbirth and low back pain, and coldness in the umbilical cord.
  • Difficulty in removing a dead fetus from the womb, coldness in the diaphragm, and a tumor on the nipples could be resolved using LU7.

Indications of the conception vessel: genito-urinary diseases, digestion-related symptoms, and respiratory-related symptoms.

Tips for tracing the conception vessel’s problem: an unbalanced or abnormal sensation could be detected on the median line of the stomach and CV4.


Governor Vessel (GV): Governing all Yang meridians in the body.

GV treats:

  • Conversion of hands and feet and speech disturbance due to stroke and epilepsy.
  • Headache with swollen eyes, shedding tears, pain on one leg, knee, back, and lower back.
  • Stiffness of back of the neck, chronic cold symptom, toothache, cheek swollenness, and sore throat.

Paralysis of hands and feet and night sweat, start acupuncture treatment with inserting needles on SI3.

Indications of GV: △ Any symptoms on the vertebrae, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, neuralgia, pain on the head, neck, and shoulder △ any abnormal sensation on the feet or symptoms due to excessive Yang Qi △ heat sensation around GV14, allergies, common cold, neurasthenia △ symptoms showed on or near the acupuncture points located on the neck, and stroke, and postpartum.

Tips for tracing a problem of the conception vessel: Any uncomfortable feel on the vertebrae.


Thrusting Vessel (Chong Mai, TV): The Chinese character “Chong(衝)” means major crossroads. CV has a role in connecting, communicating, and supporting CV. TV is called “the sea of meridians.”

TV treats:

  • Nine different heart pains(九種心痛) and dry mouth with chest congestion and constant vomiting undigested food.
  • Indigestion of food and alcoholic beverages, sounds from the stomach or intestines, bloating sensation due to indigestion, and symptoms in the diaphragm.
  • Pain in the umbilical cord and stomach, bloating sensation on the rib, bloody stool, malaria, and heart pain.
  • SP4 treats placenta accreta, dizziness, and diarrhea.

– Indications of TV: △ Symptoms in the circulatory system, heart pain, angina pectoris, heartburn, cerebral edema △ Symptoms in the digestive system, loss of appetite, gastrospasm, gastritis, abdominal sounds, and various stomach pain. △ urosis, a decrease of sexual desire, infertility, menopausal disorder △ autonomic dysfunction, hormonal disorder.

– Tips to trace a TV problem: anischuria, swollen and painful testicles with lower stomach pain, chest pain with having sensation something is refluxing from the lower stomach, urine dyspnea, and dry throat.


Girdle (or Belt) Vessel (Dai Mai, GV): “Dai, 帶” in Chinese means a girdle or a belt, and “mai 脈” means vessel or meridian. Like its name, all Yin and Yang meridian are tied by the GV horizontally to control or regulate horizontal Qi movement along meridians. GV also intersects with twelve meridians and regulates each meridian’s function.

GV treats:

  • Difficulties in lifting hands and feet, paralysis, pain, heat-sensation, distortion of the extremities due to the stroke.
  • Pain and swelling from the head to neck and both sides of the chin, eye redness due to ophthalmia, and tension-type headaches.
  • Tooth pain, deafness, swelling in the sides of the trunk, itchiness, and pulling sensation on the ligaments or tendons due to stroke.
  • GB41 treats leg pain, swelling side of the trunk, and tilted upper body.

– Indications of GV: Various symptoms on the genital and gynecological part, quadriplegia, pain and distortion of the extremities, shooting and pulling pain from the waist to lower stomach through sides of the trunk, and pain on limb nerve.

– Tips tracing a TV problem: A symptom like bloating stomach and coldness on the waist. Females could have pain on the lower stomach, irregular menstruation, and which and to have red color discharge.







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