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The Mysterious and Mystical TCM Triple Energizer (san-jiao, sanjiao, triple heater, triple burner, triple warmer, triple energizer, three heaters, three burning spaces, tri-heater) Meridian and Organ


My name is Dr Louis Gordon and I am an acupuncturist. I practice acupuncture from ANTRAC Acupuncture Clinic in Middle Ridge, Toowoomba, 4350, Queensland, Australia. Just as fresh clean water bubbling up from a natural well is vital to sustain life, my WELLNESS information will help YOU to sustain a healthy vibrant life beaming with optimal wellness. Call for more information on (07) 4636 6100.

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The TCM Triple Energizer Meridian Contains the Sanjiao Channel Acupoints Sanjiao 5, Sanjiao 6, Sanjiao 3 and Sanjiao 17 which are dynamic Acupoints on the San jiao Meridian. But, what is the ‘Mysterious’ and ‘Mystical’ TCM Triple Energizer (aka san-jiao, sanjiao, triple heater, triple burner, triple warmer, triple energizer, three heaters, tri-heater, three burning spaces) Organ? 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there are 12 Main organs, where the stomach is simply called the stomach and the liver is called the liver. However, one of these 12 Main Organs of TCM has been surrounded in mystery for thousands of years. In keeping with that theme of enigma, depending on where you were educated, it has numerous names, including san-jiao, sanjiao, triple heater, triple burner, tri-heater, triple warmer, triple energizer, three heaters and the three burning spaces. While the Triple Energizer is definitely an ORGAN, many TCM practitioners believe that it is NOT an organ, but rather a series of biological functions that occur throughout the body. I have spent 4 long years researching this misunderstood organ in detail, and have written a book which proves that the Triple Energizer is an actual organ complex. Below are some citations from my book titled The ‘Mystical’ TCM Triple Energizer. Its Elusive Location and Morphology Defined. You can securely purchase the book by clicking the ‘BUY NOW’ button on the bottom of this page.

13.7 The Ancients Regarded the Sanjiao as the Biggest Organ Inside the Body

Regarding the large size of the Sanjiao, in the Journal of Chinese Medicine article titled ‘The Location and Function of the Sanjiao’, the authors Qu Lifang and Mary Garvey (43), state, ‘The Sanjiao is one of the six fu. The ancients regarded it as the biggest of the organs inside the body. In fact, its location is given as inside the body and outside the other zangfu, in a sense enclosing or holding the other organs’ (emphasis is mine).

13.9 The Two Distinct Qi and Water Passageways of the Sanjiao are Omnipresent and Coexist

Regarding the omnipresent coexisting Qi and Water passageways of the Sanjiao, in the Journal of Chinese Medicine article, the authors Qu Lifang and Mary Garvey (43) explain that while the Water and Qi pathways of the San Jiao assist and support each other, they are stand-alone entities and distinct from each other. The Water pathway facilitates hydration and irrigation of the Zangfu and regulates and maintains body temperature and ensures that body fluid balance is harmonized throughout the entire body. The three Qi (Yuan Qi, Zhen Qi, and Wei Qi) are meticulously transported and distributed via the Qi pathways that permeate the body so that Pathogenic Qi is repelled and good health and vitality are maintained. While the Sanjiao supplies the infrastructure and governs the waterways, various Zangfu specifically perform individual roles associated with body fluid metabolism and circulation. Way beyond the three burning spaces that house the Zangfu, Sanjiao’s domain embraces all the diverse cavities and spaces throughout the entire body such that every single cell in the body is benefited due to the omnipresent circulation and transformation of Water.

Thus, it can be seen that the microcosmic Sanjiao exists beyond the macrocosmic three Burning Spaces. The couli are a body-wide network extension of the three major Sanjiao body cavities. The couli could be likened to the capillaries of the Sanjiao Qi and Water circulatory system, and it is via them that the periphery of the body in its entirety is irrigated, nourished, and moisturized by this circulatory system and, at the same time, detoxified through the sweat glands.

13.12 The Triple Burner Guides the Yuan Qi through the Secret Circulation of the Entire Body

In the commentaries on the 38th Difficult Issue on pages 395–396 of Unschuld’s (1) translation of Nan Ching, Hua Shou states, ‘The Triple Burner governs all the influences; it is an additional transmitter of original influences. [That is to say], the original influences depend on the guidance of the [Triple Burner] in their ceaseless hidden movement and secret circulation through the entire body.’

Summary of Chapter 13

The analogy of the Triple Energizer is like the available access of electrical power and treated water to every nook and cranny within the city limits. Thanks to the engineers employed by the local authority, the distribution of power through the established infrastructural grid of electrical power lines from the power station and the availability of water via the underground water mains surging with treated water sourced from local reservoirs or bores are assured. Perhaps with the addition of extension leads or hoses, you could supply power and water to every conceivable spot within your property if you needed to. The analogy to ‘it acts to produce all the effects that this qi commands in every place in the organism’ is this. The electricity delivered to our home can be used to light up our nights, refrigerate our foods, warm us using electrical heaters, provide us with entertainment from sound-producing radio devices and televisions and can be used to heat frying pans and boilers so we can prepare meals. All these different requirements are energized from the same source of Qi (power).

Likewise, thanks to modern mobile phone service providers, you can communicate with every person within the city limits using the electromagnetic bandwidths supplied by your provider. I propose that the Triple-Energizer Metasystem is analogous to this description, except I suggest that apart from the established neural system, the water reticulation system also carries the major component of the energy supply system, namely the EZ water through the ‘ceaseless hidden movement and secret circulation through the entire body’. It is the fourth phase of water [H3O2]-, which is energized water or living water, and it flows alongside and through the ubiquitous omnipresent Connective-Tissue Metasystem that has unbounded or universal presence throughout the entire body and is also known essentially as the Triple-Energizer Metasystem. I further propose that all the acupuncture meridians constitute a part of the Connective-Tissue Metasystem, and so the EZ water flows through them also, along with biophotons from the sun, free electrons from the earth, and the resultant piezoelectricity.

Nielsen (20), on pages 32–33, further explains that the therapeutic and restorative effect of Gua Sha, acupuncture, and even physiotherapy is predominantly due to the relationship between the San Jiao and the Cou Li. She notes that when the body surface is stimulated superficially (massage, physiotherapy) or penetrated by acupuncture or Gua sha, it is the Cou Li that conduct the therapeutic effect internally. She notes that the Cou Li correspond to ‘fascial connective tissue and the potential transduction of chemical and mechanical signalling’. She aptly describes the Cou Li as ‘the outermost of the San Jiao interconnecting network of bags’. Here both the Chinese-English Medical Dictionary and Nielsen state very plainly that the Cou Li are the outermost defensive structure in the skin. Nielsen states further that the Cou Li correspond ‘to fascial connective tissue and the potential transduction of chemical and mechanical signaling’ that allows for communication between the outer body and the inner organs. I propose that the Cou Li are just one more bag of relatively superficial differentiated fascia making up the omnipresent continuum of hydrophilic connective tissue that is an integral part of the San Jiao and that the life-sustaining energized EZ water generated within this hydrophilic structure is responsible for powering the battery that drives the superficial defense mechanism responsible for keeping pathogenic forces from entering the body and causing disease processes. I will now discuss the Cou Li (couli) subsystem of the Triple-Energizer Metasystem in more detail.


(1) Unschuld, P. U., Nan Ching: The Classic of Difficult Issues (e-book edn, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986), 771. With commentaries by Chinese and Japanese authors from the third through the twentieth century.

(20) Nielsen, A., Gua Sha: A Traditional Technique for Modern Practice (New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1995).

(43) Lifang, Q. and M. Garvey, ‘The Location and Function of the Sanjiao’, Journal of Chinese Medicine, 65 (2001), 26–32.


I wish to sincerely thank Dr Paul U. Unschuld for the selfless and tireless work he has committed to make many ancient Chinese medical classics available in English for study and research. My book is based predominantly around his scholarly work ‘Nan-Ching: The Classic of Difficult Issues’. I also wish to sincerely thank Professor Unschuld for permission to use citations of his translation in my book. His translation of ‘Nan-Ching: The Classic of Difficult Issues’ can be purchased from the following link:

To Securely Purchase the Book, Click the ‘BUY NOW’ Button!




             Sanjiao’s Mystique Demystified


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