Clear Heat with San Jiao 5

 San Jiao 5San Jiao 5 is famous for clearing heat

San Jiao 5 (SJ 5) is almost always included in sessions aimed at clearing heat.

Let’s locate San Jiao 5:

SJ 5 is on the back-side (posterior surface) of the forearm.  The San Jiao meridian runs down the center of the back of the forearm and ends on the 4th finger. SJ 5 is 2 cun (“tsoon”) closer to the elbow (proximal) from the center of the wrist crease.
See the image below:
San Jiao 5

The acupoints that clear heat act like removing lids on hot pots.

San Jiao 5In the same way that you take the lid off a hot pot to reduce the heat of the contents, we can use certain acupoints to reduce the heat in our body-mind. When contacting acupoints to reduce heat, I usually add a little circular motion and/or jiggling. I do this because I want to stimulate the point to open up and release the heat from the meridian system.

Clockwise or counter clockwise?

A common question I hear is: “Which way should I make the circles in order to open a point rather than close a point?”  There are many theories about this. Some say that clockwise motion opens a point and counterclockwise will close a point.
As a person who has a hard time following rules, I follow my instinct in the moment with each particular person I work with. I find that my ability to stay focused on the Qi and follow the guidance of the Qi is the most important skill of my work with acupoints. Whether I am using hands-on contact or acupuncture needles to activate a point, it is my focused attention that makes the difference.
Acupoints are most often used in combination with other points. To clear heat, it is common practice to use San Jiao 5 and Large Intestine 11.
To continue learning, check out the “All About the San Jiao Meridian” video on demand.

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. Beverly Townsend on May 30, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Can you please tutor me for exchange of me doing marketing for you please. I am an acupuncture student. Help. Thank you

    • Cindy Black on May 30, 2021 at 1:04 pm

      Hi Beverly,
      Let’s talk! Please get in touch via the Contact form at the bottom of this page

  2. liviu on April 17, 2017 at 10:54 am

    What is mean ,,cun,,?

  3. Marta Delline Ketzer on March 24, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I received your new book, Meridian Massage and I could not be more pleased. So much information to dwell upon. Thank you for writing such a great learning tool, now if I can get this 63 year old brain of mine to still remember what I read. I am retired now so my massage practice is not an everyday thing but I do like to keep my knowledge and experience ready for when I need it.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT on March 24, 2016 at 9:25 am

      Thank you for writing, I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying the book! One benefit of a great reference is that as long as we can remember to “look it up”, we can relax on remembering all the details ourselves! 🙂
      I’m not sure that Massage Therapists ever really retire, there is so much to keep exploring and wondering about. Thank you for all of your years of service to others. Wishing you joy, relaxation, plentiful, and flowing Qi.

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