What are Acupuncture Channels?

There are many different types of acupuncture channels, or meridians, as they’re sometimes called.  The channels you are probably most familiar with are pathways on the body where acupuncture points are located. There are 12 channels in total, one for each organ system. This includes Lung, Pericardium, Heart, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Triple Warmer (an acupuncture “organ system”), Spleen, Stomach, Gallbladder, Liver, Bladder and Kidney. There are two additional channels that run the length of the torso on the front and back of the body. 

Each channel can be found directly beneath the skin and eventually travels deep into the body to connect with its corresponding organ. This connection allows acupuncturists to use acupuncture points on the Stomach channel to treat digestive issues or stomach pain. 

The twelve channels are also connected to each other and work together to transport Qi (energy), pronounced “Chee”, and blood throughout the body. This is how the body behaves as a holistic, integrated system, and how we can alleviate neck pain by needling your foot! 

The channels also protect the body from injury, infection, and disease. If one channel becomes injured or weak, the body can move energy from another healthy channel to assist with healing. Acupuncture treatments sometimes work this way. Often symptoms are created by energy imbalances: there is too much energy in one channel because the energy flow is cut off in another channel. Acupuncture can remove these blocks and help the excess energy make its way to the deficient channel, thus correcting the imbalance and alleviating symptoms.