Guarding the Frontier

CustomsIn recent posts, we explored two of the officials that protect the Heart, namely the Heart Protector* and the Small Intestine. The third of these officials is the Triple Heater. It is the outermost of the Fire officials, concerned with protecting the borders of the kingdom. This relates to protection of the exterior of  the body and to negotiating social and societal relationships.

At the physical level, the Triple Heater maintains homeostasis in the body. In particular it is the thermostat, keeping the body’s temperature in the Goldilocks zone, neither too hot nor too cold. It regulates conditions in the three burning spaces (lower abdomen, upper abdomen and chest) for which it is named, and maintains the crucial balance between Fire (yang) and Water (yin). It plays a role in the immune system, keeping harmony among all other officials, coordinating the functions of all the organs and ensuring harmonious interaction between them.

At the psycho-emotional level, Triple Heater manages social relationships, deciding who in the world it is safe to befriend, who can be trusted to enter the kingdom of the Heart. In this sense it sets boundaries, restricting the entry of people who may harm us, and guiding our own appropriate social behaviour. In this arena, Triple Heater works closely with Heart Protector which we looked at previously.

When Triple Heater falls out of balance, there can be disruption to the heating system of the body, causing us to feel very hot or very cold, and sometimes both in rapid succession. A person might hate the winter and love the summer, or vice versa. At an emotional level, it can make for difficulty in distinguishing between social and intimate relationships, falling in love quickly and repeatedly, behaving in socially inappropriate ways, even becoming an exhibitionist.

The point Waiguan – Outer Frontier Gate is perhaps the most important point on the meridian. It is effective for keeping balance and harmony between the Heart and the wider world, resolving conflicts between the inner and outer. It connects to the Heart Protector meridian through HP 5 and is often used with it to balance the channel with its yin partner.

Another of its roles is as the master point of the Yang Linking Vessel which rules the exterior of the whole body and connects to all of the yang meridians. Therefore it can be used for all external pathogenic invasions from wind, cold, heat and damp, as well as fever and many types of headaches.

Waiguan treats ear disorders including tinnitus, deafness, earache and itching ears. It is a also good for pain and stiffness of the neck, shoulder, elbow, arm and hand.

Forearm yourself against external invasion from disease and guard your heart from harmful influences by strengthening the guard at the Outer Frontier Gate.

Location of Triple Heater 5

TW 5 bThe point lies on the back of the forearm between the ulna and radius bones, 2 cun (approximately 3 fingers width) above the wrist where it bends when flexed.

Hold the point for 2 to 3 minutes or until you feel the Qi move. Treat the left side first, then the right.




* In previous posts I used the term Pericardium; I have chosen to change to the term Heart Protector as this is more evocative of its functions.