Eight Extraordinary Vessels #3 Yin and Yang Heel Vessels and their opening points

(Extraordinary vessels – 3)

If you have missed previous two articles click on these links: Eight extraordinary vessels – Introduction and Eight Extraordinary vessels in general and Yin and Yang linking vessels

In this article I will introduce to you another pair of extraordinary vessels named Yin and Yang Heel, Stepping or Qiao vessels, and their opening points. I will also explain where and for what purposes these vessels can be used.

Yin and Yang Heel Vessels

Meridian point Bladder 62

Bladder 62, BL-62 or Shenmai is a point on a Bladder meridian. This point is not hard to find, as it is just below external bone embossment in level of ankle (lateral malleolus). It is useful when treating sprain, headache, vertigo, in cases of over active or irritated sympathetic nervous system, unbalanced rhythm of heart beat , insomnia and with cramps anywhere in the body.


An opening point for Yang heel vessel

Bladder 62 is  an opening point for extraordinary vessel Yang Qiao Mai or Yang heel vessel, which got its name because it begins in the area of heel. Its course runs on the external side of your body all the way up to your head.

Function of Yang heel vessel


Its main function is, as it’s a case with all extraordinary vessels, storing energy, and in this case it’s yang energy. Beside that, it is also responsible with its polar pair Yin heel vessel (Yin Qiao Mai) for daily and nightly cycles. Yang heel vessel is responsible for daily awake state. Yin and Yang heel vessels also balance left and right brain hemisphere and ground you, when needed.

How I use them

It’s good to open both vessels, Yang and Yin heel vessels, at the same time because in this way you get the most beneficial results. The reason is that Yin and Yang balance each other and usually (in today’s world) there is no shortage of Yang but rather of Yin, and where is a problem with one there’s a problem with another.

Working with extraordinary vessels is in its fundaments very clear and uderstandable and offers great rewards in direction of harmony and health to the one who lets them unwind.

I hold both points at the same time, on the inner side of my foot below ankle:  Yin heel vessel opening point KI-6, and for Yang heel vessel BL-62. I hold these two points for some time with awareness on energy flow until the sensation of electricity and tickling calms. At that point I know that my work is done.

And this is an action that was done without action, or wu wei. I just let the nature or the energy system do its own work and balance the energy.


Meridian point Kidney 6

Kidney 6, Ki-6 or Zhaohai is a point on Kidney meridian. It is useful in conditions such as sprained anckle, with lameness of feet, absence of menstruation, vulvitis, with epilepsia, sleeplessness and melancholy.


yinqiao-300-webOpening point for Yin heel vessel

Kidney 6 is an opening point for extraordinary vessel Yin heel vessel or Yin Qiao Mai. Its name derives from its beginning as it starts on your ankle or heel and it goes way up to your head on the inner side of your body.  Like all extraordinary vessels the function of this one is also conserving energy. In this particular case this is Yin energy. With its polar partner Yang heel vessel  or Yang  Qiao Mai,  they balance and take care of daily and nightly cycles. It means that they have influence on Pineal gland, which is a gland that supposedly has only one function, secreting melatonin which is responsible for balancing circadian rhythm. Which means that it balance daily and nightly cycles.


Influence on a third eye

On one hand pineal gland’s purpose is maintaining and balancing these cycles. On the other hand this is also our atrophied third eye or as some others think not yet developed third eye, so I would guess it might have a major role in our spiritual development. It is located on the rear part of the third ventricle in our brain, or you might say our midbrain.


Heel vessels and balance

Yin and Yang heel vessels balance left and right brain hemisphere. Yin heel vessel is responsible for sleeping cycle and when it’s empty you can’t sleep. Best way is to open both of them at the same time. In this way you let the organism balance Yin and Yang in the body on its own.

Working with extraordinary vessels is simple, non dramatic and offers big shift in consciousness of every Qigong practitioner, healer and physician (if working in the field of acupuncture or energy medicine).

Yin heel vessel and physical aspect

Yin heel vessel (Yin Qiao Mai) has a deep relationship with eyes. If its energy is in excess it will make person sleepy during  the day. However it will be very useful for treating insomnia, since it will balance Yang.


It might be used in the cases of inner leg muscles athrophy where foot turns inward, in abdominal pain treatment, especially in the area of lower burner and in urinary problems. It can be used during a hard labour or after a labour for relieving pain and problems with retention of placenta. For male it can be used with blood stasis in outer genitalia, swollen scrotum and undescended testis cases.

Area of influence of Yin and Yang heel vessels

Yin and Yang heel vessels function as reservoirs of energy is to absorb excess of energy from primary meridians. But this happens in different parts of the body. Yang heel vessel absorbs yang from head and neck area or upper part of body and grounds it, and Yin heel vessel absorbs energy from abdomen area and also grounds it. When Yang heel vessel is overfilled it is said yang is tensed and yin is slack and a person has difficulties with insomnia or sleeplessness.

Influence of Yang heel vessel on a head and psyche

Because of its influence on head Yang heel vessel is applicable in cases of facial paralysis and any pain in facial area. Excess of Yang in head can cause mental problems (Fire Qi in the head), especially when combined with phlegm both clouding the mind. This can cause  manic behaviour and agitation. Second thing that this vessel is useful for is headaches, since cause for headaches is usually Fire Qi, especially Liver yang rising and Fire of Liver. Absorbing extra wind* from the head and grounding it in cases such as epilepsy, facial paralysis and facial pain is also one of the key applications. (*Note this is internal wind.)



Yang heel vessel and mental health

It can be used in cases of deep fright, depression, manias, agitations and insomnia. In cases of deep sadness because of recently passed relative. Seeing ghosts, hallucinations.

Yang heel vessel for backache and sciatica

Yang heel vessel can be used in one sided back pain and sciatica. For example if there’s pain in more than one primary meridian area it is wise to use extraordinary meridian going through that area. If for example pain is located in area of Bladder, Gall bladder…


sinus-webTreating nasal sinuses

One can also open these two vessels during common cold when nasal sinuses are inflammed and there’s a large discharge of mucus. Heel vessels will help clean and calm down the symptoms, especially Yang heel vessel.


Other uses of Yang heel vessel

Yang heel vessel is usefull for hip problems, urinary problems (retention and pain, not even stream). Relaxing side muscles in legs, hips, torso, neck area. One of the major things that we practitioners forget is external wind that can cause all sorts of problems and this is where Yang heel vessel can help and lead it away and out of the body. Internal wind as I mentioned before can have even deeper consequences on body/mind, so Yang heel vessel can also be used for expelling it.

Influence of Yang and Yin heel vessels on eyes and brain

As I have mentioned both Yang and Yin heel vessels are deeply connected with eyes, a head and with a brain.

How these two balance left and right brain hemispheres and actually the whole body can be seen in their pathways. They both begin their pathway in completely opposite side of the same part of the body, beneath the ankle malleoluses.

Now, Yin heel vessel goes up on the inner side of leg and Yang heel vessel on the outer side of the body, Yin enters the trunk and Yang still goes up but being more on the surface. In the neck area, area of eyes and head area they meet and come more closely together.

In the brain they intersect in the area of optic chiasm.


In this way they interchange energy of the left side of the body with the right side of the brain and the right eye. And vice versa. That is why these extraordinary meridians can have such a deep impact on our bodies, nerves and psyche.

Remember that even though these extraordinary vessels are Yin and Yang in their nature, they still have the ability to bring system into a deeper unity and oneness as they function on a deeper level of energy matrix, where duality or polarity is less apparent or even absent.


May the Qi be with you!



Watch also videos about this topic on our YouTube Channel:

#3 Use of meridian points: KIDNEY 6 (Zhaohai) and YinQiao Mai Extraordinary Vessel

#4 Use of meridian points: BLADDER 62 (Shenmai) and YangQiao Mai Extraordinary Vessel


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  1. Thank you Peter for this amazing article. It has helped me clarify how to use these two extra meridians. I never realized before the importance of their balancing power for the brain.

  2. Thanks. Lots of good information in what you posted. I also use Ki-6 along with Lu-7 to balance the yin between the left side and right side of the body (holding both at the same time. And GB-41 along with TH- 6 to balance the yang side to side. I use them when meridian imbalances are presenting on only one side of the body, or for things like minor injuries happening a lot on one side and not the other. It also helps affect the emotions when someone does not have equal respect for both the yin and yang aspects of life…it helps to speed up their change in beliefs.

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