Sometimes in qigong class I refer to the “Triple Heater,” such as when we’re tapping our way through all the meridians (energy pathways). Also, near the end of each qigong class, we do the Triple Heater’s sound and action, which is the sixth of the Six Healing Sounds. But what the heck is the Triple Heater, anyway? A very good question, but not quickly answered or explained in the middle of a class, so I thought I’d do so in this week’s blog post.
First of all, it may help to know that the Triple Heater is also sometimes called the “Triple Warmer,” the “Triple Energizer,” the Triple Burner,” and “San Jiao,” in its traditional Chinese. I always call it the Triple Heater, simply because that’s how I learned it form my teacher.
The Triple Heater has a meridian and a Six Healing Sound just like the physical organs we work with, but it isn’t an organ and has no associated colour, emotions, virtues, element, or season. The Triple Heater refers to the three energy centres of the body—basically the upper, middle, and lower sections of the torso, but including the head. The Triple Heater’s function is to regulate water and energy within these areas.
The upper energy centre (or Heater) of the Triple Heater includes the chest area and organs and is considered “hot,” in temperature. The middle energy centre of the Triple Heater covers the area and organs between the diaphragm and the navel and is considered “warm,” in temperature. The lower energy centre of the Triple Heater includes the area and organs below the navel, and is considered “cool,” in temperature.
This knowledge isn’t required information for an effective qigong practice, but for those of you who are curious, it helps to explain why sometimes in the Inner Smile Meditation we breath into the sexual organs (a cool, pink energy comprised of the red from blood-building energy and the white of the female egg or male sperm energy). We bring that cool, pink energy up through the heart and to the brain where a bit of cooling energy can be beneficial.
Knowing the above may also help you to understand why, in class, I say that when doing the Triple Heater sound (“Heee”) and action, we are balancing out hot and cold in the energy body. We are guiding and allowing warmth to be brought to the lower body, and fresh, calm, cool energy to rise up to the chest and head. I also have recommended doing the Triple Heater Six Healing Sound and action (even if the action is just in your mind) when you have insomnia, because balancing the temperature of the three energy centres (or areas) helps to release stress and bring a deep and relaxing sleep.
In short, the Triple Heater helps us bring balance to our energy, and that is a positive thing for our whole body, physical and energetic.
© Sandra Tonn