8 Extraordinary Vessels – what are they?

8 extraordinary vessels closer to source qi8 Extraordinary Vessels – extraordinary indeed!

Most people who are familiar with Traditional Chinese medicine are familiar with the twelve meridians, but are not so clear about the 8 Extraordinary Vessels. There are many layers to the meridian system of Chinese medicine. The 8 Extraordinary Vessels are said to be deeper than the 12 meridians.

Deeper, meaning further away from the surface, and closer to the Original or Source Qi. For me, because the vessels are closer to the Source Qi, it is more challenging to discuss them in a linear way. Source Qi literally means the Qi (or energy) that is the Source of our life. The closer we get to our Original Source, the fewer words we have to describe it. However, there are some basic facts that can be expressed!


Eight Extraordinary Vessels:

  1. Du, Governing Vessel
  2. Ren, Conception Vessel
  3. Yang Qiao, Yang Heel Vessel
  4. Yin Qiao, Yin Heel Vessel
  5. Yang Wei, Yang Linking Vessel
  6. Yin Wei, Yin Linking Vessel
  7. Dai, Belt or Girdling Vessel
  8. Chong, Penetrating or Thrusting Vessel

Of these 8 Vessels, only the Du and Ren have acupoints of their own.
In order to activate the Qi within the Vessels, we rely on Master Points. Master Points are found on the some of the 12 regular meridians. The use of Master Points is a potent way to activate the 8 Extraordinary Vessels.

I frequently work Master Points to activate some of the Extraordinary Vessels during my Meridian Massage sessions. I find it most effective to apply the Master Point combinations toward the end of the session to “lock in” the balancing effects of the entire session.

Master point combinations are deeply calming to the entire system.
Our intention with Meridian Massage is to support the abundant and smooth flow of Qi. By adding in Master Point combinations to activate the flow of Qi within the 8 Extraordinary Vessels, we support the balance of Qi at the deepest level.

Master Points of the 8 Extraordinary Vessels

  1. Du, Governing Vessel – Small Intestine 3
  2. Ren, Conception Vessel – Lung 7
  3. Yang Qiao, Yang Heel Vessel – Bladder 62
  4. Yin Qiao, Yin Heel Vessel – Kidney 6
  5. Yang Wei, Yang Linking Vessel – San Jiao 5
  6. Yin Wei, Yin Linking Vessel – Pericardium 6
  7. Dai, Belt or Girdling Vessel – Gallbladder 41
  8. Chong, Penetrating or Thrusting Vessel – Spleen 4

Dive into the mystery!

8 Extraordinary Vessels

Click here for instant access to The 8 Extraordinary Vessels course!


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Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Pete on October 24, 2018 at 10:21 am

    The link to dive into the mini series did not work?

  2. […] Points.” Master Points are acupoints on meridians that regulate, or activate, the 8 Extraordinary Vessels. Let’s take a closer look at each of these […]

  3. Rajeswari on August 3, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks a lot for giving me an opportunity to know about special 8 extra meridians
    May God bless you

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on August 3, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      You are welcome!

  4. Genesis M. Roy, LMT, ISHA on July 30, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    A Great review … thanks Cindy Blessings & Love

  5. Donna on July 30, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you for this opportunity

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