Roots and Knots Theory


[The 5th International Baltic Congress on Medical Acupuncture and Related Techniques,
Jurmala, May 28-31, 1998, (abstracts), pp. 55-56

Mikhail Teppone, Romen Avakyan

To fulfill the defensive function against the Exogenous Pathogenic Factors, the Regular Channels are coupled according to the Yang-Yang and Yin-Yin principle, realizing the «Upper-Lower» connections. The pairs of channels are disposed at various depths relative to the skin layers (fig. 1).




Tai Yang

Shao Yang

Yang Ming

Tai Yin

Shao Yin

Jue Yin


Figure 1. Horizontal structure of Six levels of channels.

Level or pair of Channels

«Root» Points of the Hand Channels

«Root» Points of the Foot Channels

«Knot» Points

Tai Yang

SI-1 (Shao Ze)

B-67 (Zhi Yin)

B-1 (Jing Ming)

Shao Yang

SJ-1 (Guan Chong)

Gb-44 (Zu Qiao Yin)

SI-19 (Ting Gong)

Yang Ming

LI-1 (Shang Yang)

St-45 (Li Dui)

St-8 (Tou Wei)

Tai Yin

L-11 (Shao Shang)

Sp-1 (Yin Bai)

Ren-12 (Zhong Wan)

Shao Yin *

H-9 (Shao Chong)

K-1 (Yong Quan)

Ren-23 (Lian Quan)

Jue Yin

Pc-9 (Zhong Chong)

Liv-1 (Da Dun)

Ren-18 (Yu Tang)

Defensive function of the levels is realized by the normal (fluent) circulation of Defensive Qi (Wei Qi) between the layers from Tai Yang outside towards Jue Yin and Shao Yin inside and upwards from «Root» to «Knot» points (fig. 2).

Hand channel,
for example Lung

1-st level,

Tai Yang

Bladder and Small Intestine;

2-nd level,

Shao Yang

Gallbladder and Triple Burner;

3-rd level,

Yang Ming

Stomach and Large Intestine;

4-th level,

Tai Yin

Spleen and Lung;

5-th level,

Shao Yin

Kidney and Heart;

6-th level,

Jue Yin

Liver and Pericardium.


Foot channel,
for example Spleen

Figure 2. Vertical structure of the level




Diseases originating in the level or layer system are caused by invasion of «extreme pathogenic energies» (Evil Qi), i.e. those which are not specific for the particular season. This extreme Evil Qi do not invade the Regular Channels or Organs but affect the Collaterals causing thus the «strange diseases». Except the clinical manifestations of affected Collaterals there are symptoms of Qi circulation disturbance in the affected layer.


Symptoms of Levels

Tai Yang

Diseases originate on the body surface:
- pain syndromes are distinctly expressed;
- due to reduced protection reserves, the organism is highly vulnerable to various diseases;
- thinned skin and muscles of patient are notable in external examination.

Shao Yang

Yang Qi circulation is disturbed which gives stagnation of pathogenic Qi:
- muscles and joints are weakened and painful;
- the patient is unable to assume a vertical position and run.

Yang Ming

Defensive Yang Qi is blocked and does not penetrate inside the body:
- muscle weakness is increased, limbs become powerless;
- there appear paralyses.

Tai Yin

Stomach Defensive Yang Qi may not penetrate deep and feed Zang Organs:
- Qi and food transportation to the organs is disturbed;
- symptoms of reduced energy are present, including violent diarrhea;
- Zang Organs are blocked with symptoms such as abdominal distension and pains in the epigastrium region.

Shao Yin

Level does not close Yin inside:
- Wei Qi is extremely deficient;
- the patient permanently sighs and moans.

Jue Yin

Connection between the Yin channels is disturbed:
- energy flood is reduced, stagnation exist, accompanied by symptoms such as general weakness, difficult labor and short breath in a rest position;
- tendency to depression and mental diseases.

The aim of treatment of such syndromes is to restore the normal circulation of Defensive Energy (Wei Qi, or Yang Qi) both along the channels from «Roots» to «Knot» points, and between the layers. The affected channel must be «opened», i.e. reinforced in case of Deficiency and sedated in case of Excess.

The Deficiency is caused by the lack of Defensive Energy (Wei Qi), therefore «Knot» and «Roots» points should be reinforced. When acupuncture is used, the needling should be shallow to prevent the penetration of Exogenous Factor into deeper parts of organism.

Excess is caused by the Exogenous Factor which should be dispersed in the same points.

Affection of some level is usually accompanied by symptoms of Collaterals affection, including the Extra Channels. Thus the 3 Yin Channels affection is combined with Ren Mai; while Shao Yin affection is related with the entire Yin Wei Mai; Shao Yang and Yang Ming may combine with Dai Mai, while Tai Yang is related with Yang Jiao Mai, etc.

In this case one should combine treatment of levels with treatment of exact secondary vessels.

* In classic Chinese books Shao Yin Channels are on the 5th level, but Jue Yin Channels are on the 6th level. In the book of Chamfrault A. & Nghi N.V Shao Yin Channels are on the 6th level and Jue Yin Channels are on the 5th level [Chamfrault A., Nghi N.V., Traite de Medecine Chinoise: L'Energetique Humaine en Medecine Chinoise. — Coquemard, Angoulкme, 1969, V 6, 463 p.

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