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INTRODUCTION TO CHANNEL THEORY | Acupuncture Channels and Points

19 372 views | 13 May. 2020

This is an introduction

This is an introduction to the channels (or meridians) for acupuncture students. If you were taking and acupuncture series in a school, this is what the first lecture might look like.

? Download the handout that goes with this video: http://tcmstudy.net/handouts/A01_Intro.pdf

? Applied Channel Theory in Chinese Medicine by Wan Ju-Yi: https://amzn.to/2OrFzyl

You can also get it at Eastland Press (they have an ebook too): https://www.eastlandpress.com/collections/east-asian-medicine/products/applied-channel-theory-in-chinese-medicine-wang-ju-yi-s-lectures-on-channel-therapy

? Help me buy more peanut m&m's by joining the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/tcmstudy


0:00 Intro

2:33 History (Where did the channels come from?)

4:38 Meaning of the Term Jing-Luo

8:17 Naming the Channels

15:38 Order of Qi Flow/Circadian Flow

18:53 Cheat Sheet

21:32 Channel Orientation

22:45 General Channel Functions

?:Want to listen in the car? You can download the audio version of this video from the Patreon feed: https://www.patreon.com/posts/37090596

? : This channel, and the website TCMStudy.net, is all about creating free resources for students of traditional Chinese medicine. If you would like to support it, consider joining the Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/tcmstudy


?: Canon T7i (https://amzn.to/2pNoK5e)

?: 24mm Lens (https://amzn.to/2UoGtM3)

?: Rode VideoMic NTG (https://amzn.to/33ymNcy)

Some of the above links are Amazon affiliate links, meaning if you click on them, I will get a small commission on anything you purchase. This is a way you can help support this channel at no additional cost to you.

Disclaimer: This video is intended as an educational resource for students of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is not affiliated with or endorsed by any school or licensing board. The information presented here should not be used to self-diagnose or treat any medical condition and is not a substitute for advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Cassie Does Acupuncture

Awesome video! I love your channel, so much good content!

Qing Yi

Good video with good sense of humor, yes so many points to take care and we TCM students do need so much snacks!!! enjoyed it! Thank you very much to make this. Qing

Qing Yi

“Acupuncture Tests by Channel” are great helpful! can't wait for the rest!

Mohammed Salahuddin

Fantastic sir ,God bless you

Ruslan Kleytman

Amazing, suddenly everything began to make sense. Thank you

anand kumar

Very nice.

Lilly Body Mind Care

I love it! You are an excellent teacher! So interesting and well explained! Thank you ?

Sally Raspberry

Thank you Nicholas! I’m nearing the end of my first year at Jung Tao, and this review creates congruency in everything we’ve learned this year by filling in some missing pieces! ? I’m grateful for you, and so lucky to be learning this ancient wisdom medicine! ? ?



Pinito Parra

Awesome, Nicholas. I love how well you present channel theory so clearly. Have a great day : )

Ezer Olubalang, LMT

Thanks for the presentation


So clear. Excellent summary Nicholas. I enjoy your videos so much. Big heart felt gratitude!

Bella Pei

perfection perfect perfecto!!!!


do you give online classes?

Pia Simanjuntak

Thank you so much, Nicholas! This is just what I need ??

David G O

So I'm just wondering why the difference between the 6 levels 8:48 and the Shang Han Lun theory of cold damage? Shao Yang and Yangming are in switched position. It's rather confusing.

Alejandro Almarza

You are an excellent profesor ....please keep on bringing this exceptional knowledge to us westerns ...your humorous way to focus and explain are A+ thanks

Andrea Lencse

thank you for being so organized in your delivery. as a first year student, i find your videos encouraging and easily digestible. this one was super helpful. much appreciated!!



Sarabjit Kaur

Hello sir all meridian have u covered

Henry Kang

amazing. This video is more clear than my professor.

Justin Feasel

You sir are awesome. I see some of my classmates have already commented on your channel. I just want to say thank you.

Sufyaan Kemp

Does acupuncture and tcm herbs cure heartburn/gerd ?

Sateesh Chirputkar

Can one use acupuncture points for acupressure also? Does it give some benefit. Infact i am using it. so the quesion. thanks in advance.

Megan Tsai

This is very helpful. Thank you!

aybüke ece ulutaş

which channels/meridians are related with (secondary) lymphedema at lower extremities (after hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy), could you please give me the name of your video link about that, thank you for reading and answering, thank you for sharing your knowledge here with us. :)

Adel L

Great video! Thanks for sharing and helping to make TCM learning more interesting grasp!
On a side note, i think there is a tiny error under the Six Level Shao Yang Pairing of the Foot and Hand? Its reversed and perhaps it was by mistakes due to the lots of M&M intake. Heee... currently in my first year and I am so excited to learn along with your inputs! Thank you Nicholas!

Srta Carla

According to the web The circulating pathways of the twelve Meridians flow from the face to the feet, from the feet to the chest, from the chest into the hands, and from the hands back to the face. Is that correct why is different on the directions you teach ?

Jazmine Javier


Vinthi Neufeld

Channels sound so annoying. Meridians please


Hi Nicholas, thank you for your excellent videos and resources. I'm just starting acupuncture and you've helped me so, so much already. I'm looking for the second video - 'secondary channels' but can't find it anywhere. Are you able to point me in the right direction?


Just wow. Concise and clear explanation. Thank you.


Really, thanks so much for this! I'm watching after taking my Meridian and Acupuncture Theory course - wish I'd seen this before :) Excellent review of basics.

Geerte De Boer

I cant seem to find the secondary channels video you refer to in the last seconds of this video. Can you copy the link? Thank you so much!!

Estêvão de Oliveira Passos

My goodness, that was absolutely great! Thank you so much for your generosity.

Sherene Ramstad

YOU are the BEST ! Saving me in 1st Sem Acu rn ! THANK YOU ?


Could you do a video on tips for those who are considering TCM? I am still finishing my undergrad and feel lost!!!

Sridhar Laxmi

Great. I'm very me to tcm and inspired a lot after listening you past one week. Thank you. As I'm a bigginner naturally having lot of doubt, so i went to your play list and downloaded a few selected - 5 organs- video. Right now i have a? . What is exterior and interior means? And I'm from India and Flint to join in an university soon. Thanku...


Just basic. The body look like a mobile phone.if you don't unlock the keyboard.You do nothing for the body


Very good teacher

GRant Holzemer

Thank you this is also great Intro to Master tung/ Tan acupuncture

Fanny Saavedra

I wish I met you when I was in school..! You are my favorite one.!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Surya Devi

Enjoying your classified information of channels... once again thank you for your effort nicolas...

Johan Blomdahl

Great video!
Is that the best book for materia medica? And Whats the namn of it?


Thanks for this! Its a great review.


absolutely amazing job creating this channel. Much needed within this space

Sistematik Akupunktur

Thank you Nicholas for this beautiful presentation. Greetings from Turkey?

Total Health

Hello, theres an error on your six levels chart at approx 9:40. SJ should be hand, and GB should be foot. Thanks so much for these videos. Excellent delivery and very good for understanding the the concepts behind the channels, not just the facts

C. Thomas

Good job Nicholas.

David G O

What do you think of Giovanni Marciola's text books? I've got Bensky, Chen, and many others but so far have avoided GMs books for some reason. I've heard lots of criticism such as poor layout, confusing terms, and so on. I want to get as many good books on TCM as I can but there are quite a few and sorting them out to find the good ones will be hard.


Can channels he damage?
If so how are they repaired?

I love the history and clear explanations. Its the best on YouTube! The illustration makes it all the better. Great book references.

Anna Sadra

Great explanations of 3 weeks class in 27 min lol

Iron Fang

Good video! Channels are the spaces which the Qi can get trough. Points are the places where you can manage the Qi.

Sarabjit Kaur

Thank u for clear information..

Igor Reda

Like always, great job man :) thank you

Deirdre Boylan

Your videos are ALL amazing, thank you so much. Your channel is my go-to! I'm learning everything for my course through them and really appreciate how you give us tricks to break it down/remember. Míle buíochas!

Nicholas Duchnowski

⚠️: There's a mistake in the slides around 9:20 - the "hand" and "foot" for the Shao Yang are flipped. This was probably a mistake in copy/pasting the table, but it should be correct in the downloadable handout: http://tcmstudy.net/handouts/A01_Intro.pdf

Sorry about that!

mehrdad sadeghi

It is really superb, Thanks a million Nicholas!

Create Happy Minds

Love your videos, love listening to your voice. Very genuine. Thank you for sharing. Much appreciated.

Veronica DeLeon

Thankyou so much for making this video. I am in my 2nd term of year 1 and your vids are helping so much information retention. Are there any apps you recommend for students?

Gemini Flower

You are my hero, I’m learning this exact information right now that we’ve just started 2nd semester of year 1, you’re explaination is so valuable. Thank you!!! I’ll be making my own chart as you taught. So grateful ? sharing this with my classmates!

Jon Pontrello

Great work!

Ruth Elia

You are simply the best, Nicholas!


Wow I wish there were more channels like your explaining concepts so well ! You are a genius my friend ! Can you recommend any other channels to follow for easy concepts to understand about TCM ? Thanks for everything !

Lori T.

Thank you for another awesome video.

Surfside Malibu

@15 min is priceless!
You are hilarious. Thanks for the review.

prakhar maru

Can't believe how smoothly u took on a ride of TCM....salute and respect...you are my light house sir....

Ginette Sawaya

Very informative! Excellent teacher! Thank you!

patricia marshall

I love your videos!!!

David Madison The Guardian

Amazing video. They say if you can teach something to a five year old; you have a pretty good grasp of it. I felt majorly enlightened on this; and I'm not even a student!

I actually stumbled on to this when searching out more specific information to help me with James MacRitchie's, "The Eight Extraordinary Meridians" Internal Qigong manuscript. He listed 16 points in the system; but my manuscript did not have the charts that he was referring to.

I turned to his stuff after practicing telekinesis/psychokinesis (you might just call them chi experiments). Trebor Seven and many other practitioners speak of having a foundation of strong energy, along with faith, and mental and bodily calm. Qigong seemed to be the way to go to get that kind of energy; so I started looking into it; and then practicing it.

So, I was incredibly glad and relieved to come across your super easy to understand primer video on accupuncture pathways.

Thanks so much,


Thank you Nick. Great video! I'll share with my classmates.

Джемма Кюри

您好! Could you please tell us where you've been studying? Like the uni or someting

Karma Kona

I'm a first year student, I have a question. Did you guys practice ren1on each other while in school or have you ever used it clinically?

John-Kyle Service

This is such a great video! There is a lot of important information here and these are some of the best studying methods I've heard on these topics. I'll be watching this video over and over again until every word sticks. Thank you for making this video and sharing this info!

Michał Śliczny

Nicholas, in the circadian clock there is more qi in a particular channel, but while each primary channel reaches it's organ, it is also its moment of highest activity. What do you think about it?

Shalin Lakhani

Woww it was really interesting to learn in this way , you have explained it so nicely, thanks for that... please continue to make videos like these as students like us need this kind of educational videos.

David G O

What an interesting and informative lecture. I think the origin story is particularly fascinating, were the channels discovered first or the points? I think it's also interesting that other cultures seem to have used acupuncture. The frozen ice man of the Alps had tattoos in patterns that resemble acupuncture points. Some folk traditions cauterized points on the body, especially the ears, to treat various illnesses. Auricular acupuncture was used by the ancient Egyptians apparently. Were those distinct cultures independently discovering the channels or was there wide spread knowledge at the time. Hard to say.

Tara Chellani

Hi Nicholas. I'm doing a course in acupuncture in India and was wondering which channel addresses issues of the female reproductive organs? Also, is it important to remember the elements such as Fire, Earth etc?


Hi, the book you have recommended seems very costlier and could not buy in my country. Is there any website where i can subscribe and read or any other options to get the book.

Adina Magallon

Love it! Love it! WOW simple and easy teaching gracias I really enjoy I will be following you on your video I learn more with you of what i been learning at school lol Many blessings.

Tzadika Shemuel

laughing about the M & M break with the music.!! OMG!!

Rebecca B

You are one of the most amazing teachers ever!

Marcus Holbert

But how do I shoot Qi blasts out of my hands?

Naphtali Exiled

Nah.. there’s a story of an Angel of God, showing and teaching Noah about plants, vegetations, and roots and all that and their benefits.. and Noah wrote all these knowledge down and passed it down to Shem.. so all the healing of life, nature, healing properties, and health was passed down from Noah to Shem.. the Mesopotamiaans, People in India, Australia, Pacific Islands, and Americas are all brown Shemitic people from Shem, they’ve always had the healing knowledge, but throughout the generations it was used with forbidden arts taught by fallen angels..

So for most areas it was forbidden arts knowledge and healing knowledge.. but when you separate the two knowledge, you only have the knowledge of the forbidden arts, and the knowledge of healing.. the two shouldn’t be mixed, but it was for many generations..

Healing knowledge was passed down to Shem and further passed down to his Children.. you can hear it in their stories.. they were just cut off from those knowledges. But people in Mesopotamia and India regions still hold on to it. And the Asians obtained it from them, and named it theirs.

Meenakshi & Meghna Sajeeshkumar

Thanks a lot for this wonderful video........!!!!!
Waiting for the next one..

Rita Dewett

thank you really made it very easy to understand

Brian Birdwell

Once again another brilliant video. I’m in my second year of acupuncture school, and this video, just brought everything together, and now it makes sense, thank you. When do you open your TCM university? I’ll be there, without question. Idea, in the near future, write an easy to use workbook created by you for students, to tie it all together? With similar written material, fill in the charts etc....Dude, your a master! Once again brilliantly done. 5***

Brandon Chung

i am amazed with your knowledge on TCM theory. i would most of western students do not understand basic theory of yin yang and 12 channels. very impressive!!!


Thank you Nicholas for sharing this knowledge. I would love to have you explaining kidney channel.

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Deconstructing the Legitimization of Acupuncture: How Science Helped Move Acupuncture to Mainstream

10 920 views | 9 Jul. 2019

Rick Harris,

Rick Harris, PhD

Associate Professor, Anesthesiology and Medicine

Director, Pain and Fatigue Neuroimaging

University of Michigan


eastern medicine IS the main stream and allopathic is the real quackery

Borealer Nadelwald

My problem with traditional medicine is the explanation, or rather the lack of explanation.
If you give someone a drug you can explain: ok this bacteria is causing that wich results in this kind of pain, and this medicine is binding to that protein changing its structure here resulting in bacteria-cell-death.

But acupuncture is based on the belief of "Qi", and thats more of a philosophy or belief than actual medicine, I mean there is no proof for some "life essence" inside you

Sean Contin

You mean just because science can't prove means it's not real? LOL! For some, intelligence is their sanctuary. Intelligence and science is good but I hope they open up to faith as well.

Fast Track to Health

yes it actually works for most people, I see results in my patients on a daily basis


That chart in 4:40 is very misleading. Pay great attention to the Y axis; it's FOLD INCREASE, not NUMBER OF. So the number of acupuncture publications could have gone up from 2 to 10 (5 fold) in the 20 years, but this does NOT mean that it has "Outpaced actually the amount of research that has been done in biomedicine". Biomedical research could have gone up from 20000 to 40000, with the research budgets in the billions of US dollars.
In summary, that chart shows jack all.

head trip industries - [A minor]


ka'cha'va + baileys almande = ?!

cannabis + nirdosh = ?!

David R

Back in the day, I saw videos of people undergoing surgery with acupuncture for pain mitigation. My question is, does Chinese acupuncture work for general health, mental and physical...especially physical.

Sebastian Jezierski

Seriously if someone believe this BS just listening what he said at 4min5sec
Chanise acupuncture is different than korean and Japan and europe. Whit this sentence he just discredited whole acupuncture woo how can be different but still work and did u ever see the list what can cure it literally MMS one think cure everything.

MrLeeSensei - Psychology Tips

the p levels are all less than 0.2. so even lesser than small, meaning real acupuncture is not much better than sham acupuncture, meaning acupuncture is basically placebo effect. it's not statistically significant why does he keep saying that?

Jason Reviews TECH

Uh Qi is real. Western science hasn't found a way to prove it. Since it's been around 2000 years by the great sages and qi masters. What you eat matters the most. Herbs and chinese dietetics. western food makes me very sick. So I had to stop eating western food. LOLs.

In asia they've been implementing both east and west. China, japan, and korea use TCM. in the USA we just go to chinatowns. LOLs. The 6 evils of TCM are so real. Taoism is pseudo science. Yet it works. LOLs. Big corporation don't want anything to do with it because it actually heals people.

The Empowered Healers Academy

Acupuncture can be very effective when used in conjunction with healing the root cause of pain or emotional trauma.



jose aponte

This was great, thanks, I've been looking for "how does traditional chinese medicine work?" for a while now, and I think this has helped. You ever tried - Aananielon Wordless Authority - (search on google ) ? It is a good exclusive product for discovering how to de-program your negative thoughts and emotions minus the normal expense. Ive heard some amazing things about it and my co-worker got great results with it.

Beyond Acupuncture Institute

I appreciate your informative speech. I hope the acupuncturist can treat not only dregs but also timely patients.

Robert Bright

No evidence....


Me as an east asian had tried east asian medicine, and I think acupuncture is the most effective one than other things

Eliaz Ruis

Medicine:Acupuncture as Astronomy:Astrology

David Marks

Bla bla bla.
There's more than meets the eye.

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Acupuncture and Electroacupuncture

26 706 views | 15 Apr. 2010

This video provides

This video provides footage of an acupuncturist demonstrating the practice of acupuncture and electroacupuncture. Learn more about acupuncture at http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/introduction.htm.