Energy Medicine: Triple Warmer and Radiant Circuits
The triple warmer meridian starts on the outside of the ring finger, traces up the arm, over the shoulder, up the neck, to the base of the ear and around it to the temple, and ends at the outer corner of the eyebrow.
You can reprogram your immune system to go from invading foe to protective friend with simple energy medicine tools.
Scientists who study the immune system can only marvel at its capacity for memory, recognition, discrimination, anticipation, learning, and self-organization. But in spite of its remarkable sophistication, the immune system is operating on a battleground that has changed beyond recognition since it originally evolved. You can, however, greatly enhance the effectiveness of your immune system with a few well-chosen conscious actions from the energy medicine toolkit such as tracing meridians, holding acupuncture points, and opening energy blocks. You can literally reprogram your immune system.
The immune system can, in fact, be conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs. In one experiment, a group of people were given sherbet along with an injection of adrenaline, which increases the activity of the immune system. After several of these treatments, the injection was changed to an inert substance, yet the sherbet and the placebo injection continued to increase immune cell activity(1). I know a woman who, as a girl, was eating red grapes at the moment she learned her mother had just died in a car crash. She has been violently allergic to red grapes ever since.
In addition to physical threats, your immune system is responsive to your emotional states, to psychological interventions, and to energy work. When you are angry, your antibody production increases(2). Relaxation training can significantly improve the immune system’s functioning(3). So can directed imagery. Patients who prepared for surgery with guided imagery that helped them mentally rehearse effective coping experienced less postoperative pain, requested less pain medication, and had more favorable blood chemistry measures than patients who did not use such imagery(4).
Your immune system operates at the physical levels of the thymus, spleen, lymph, and bone marrow, but it is ruled by two energy systems. The Chinese practitioners named them triple warmer and the strange flows (also known as the radiant circuits). These energies are vastly different from each other in nature and in this article we will focus on the triple warmer.
Triple warmer is traditionally recognized as simultaneously operating both as a meridian and as a radiant circuit. It is a meridian, but it functions in ways that are beyond the scope of any other meridian in that it networks the energies of all the meridians to counter an invader. It also operates as a radiant circuit. Radiant circuits do not follow specific pathways. They are more diffuse and intersect all the meridians. Rather than stay on its own meridian line, triple warmer energy jumps its course and, like a radiant circuit, hooks up with the other meridians and organs to network information. It also works to heat up the body in conjunction with the hypothalamus gland, the body’s thermostat and instigator of the fight-or-flight response.
Though triple warmer seems to be a radiant circuit as well as a meridian, it also conspicuously different from the other radiant circuits, which ensure cooperation, synergy and peace. Triple warmer prepares the body for war!
The Militia Within
The cellular level of the immune system — with its lymphocytes, thymocytes, memory B cells, helper and killer T cells, antigens, and antibodies — is a military display that is dazzling in its design, complexity, and intelligence. The triple warmer aggressively mobilizes all the systems in your body to fight. For your health, triple warmer ignites fevers and infections to fight disease. For your safety, triple warmer prompts the release of adrenaline to meet an emergency. Triple warmer is like the king who conscripts an army from the various locales, organs, and systems, although it never conscripts energy from its queen, the heart. But if it chooses, it can draft so much energy from any other part of the body that important systems become temporarily incapacitated — all presumptively for the common good.
As commander in chief, the king has available numerous and intricate strategies passed down from one generation to the next where it has learned to recognize and destroy foreign intruders. I used to resist military analogies when speaking of the immune system. I am a peaceful person, and I find the implication that a warlike intelligence in my body is necessary to keep me alive hard to embrace. The closer you look, however, the more the parallels become inescapable between the immune system and a nation’s military (protecting against outside invaders) and its police force (patrolling the local inhabitants). And it is more apt today because triple warmer, like our exceedingly militarized civilization, has become as much a threat to the common good as the antagonists it was designed to oppose. Autoimmune diseases, for instance, where the immune system turns terrorist and attacks the body’s cells and tissue, are a new breed of pestilence and on the docket as the illness of the future.
One of the most difficult changes for modern armies is distinguishing between friend and foe. Triple warmer’s habit for millions of years has been to treat whatever it does not recognize as an enemy. While this strategy did sometimes result in kindred forces being decimated by “friendly fire, “ triple warmer was not confronted with much it did not already recognize. Today’s enemies are not so easy to identify. Terrorist cells emerge from within the society and blend into the population, just as cancer cells can be a worse threat than outside microorganisms.
Moreover, we pump a greater variety of substances into the atmosphere in one day than were, not so long ago, generated by all of humanity in a century. Your body cannot possibly fight or even distinguish among all it encounters, and the job of triple warmer has become daunting. Autoimmune and immune-deficiency disorders are, respectively, internalized fight responses and internalized flight responses, both in the extreme. In autoimmune disorders, an overactivated triple warmer fights its allies. In immune-deficiency disorders, triple warmer has gone into retreat. The immune system faces unprecedented challenges in finding a balance between maintaining a strong protective force versus spiraling into overkill and self-destruction. If triple warmer continually sets false alarms or sics the immune system’s troops on the good guys, it can keep you on perpetual red alert and exhaust the body.
Conscious action is required to retrain our immune systems for our modern world. To begin reprogramming your immune system, the first thing you can adjust is your attitude. For instance, self-judgment triggers different biochemical pathways in your immune response than does self-compassion. Activating compassion for yourself can be a critical step in reversing autoimmune disorders. Rather than be angry at your body because of an allergy or autoimmune disease, you can help a crazed triple warmer meridian loosen its grip by entering into conscious partnership with it. Individually and collectively, we also need to become smarter about what we are doing to our habitat and about the foods we ingest.
Sedating the Triple Warmer
Anytime you are feeling overwhelmed of a little crazed, you can sedate the triple warmer meridian. A quick method is to flush it (time — under 20 seconds).
- To flush the triple warmer, trace it backward (see illustration). Breathing deeply into your abdomen, place the fingers of one hand on the opposite temple, trace around your ears and down your shoulders and pull the energy off your fourth finger.
- Repeat several times on each side.
- Angelika Buske-Kirschbaum, Clemens Kirschbaum, Helmuth Stierle, Hendrick Lehnert, and Dirk Hellhammer, “Conditioned Increase of Natural Killer Cell Activity in Humans, “ Psychosomatic Medicine 54 (1992).
- Glen Rein, Mike Atkinson, Rollin McCraty, “The Physiological and Psychological Effects of Compassion and Anger, “ Journal of Advancement in Medicine 1995.
- Herbert Benson, Beyond the Relaxation Response (New York: Times Books, 1984).
- Anne Manyande, Simon Berg, Doreen Gettins, and S. Clare Stanford, “Preoperative Rehearsal of Active Coping Imagery Influences Subjective and Hormonal Responses to Abdominal Surgery, “ Psychosomatic Medicine 1995.
Excerpted and adapted from Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine (Revised Edition). New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2008.
Donna Eden is among the world’s most sought after spokespersons for energy medicine and her abilities as a healer are legendary. Her bestselling book, Energy Medicine, is the authoritative text in its field and recently won U.S. Book News “Book of the Year” award in the self-help category. Learn more about her books and classes at www.LearnEnergyMedicine.com.