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The effectiveness of the Four Gates Protocol



I am currently writing a piece of research on the Four Gates protocol and its effectiveness on 'general' stress levels.

I have been looking for literature on the Four Gates Protocol (LI4 & Liv3) and have been finding it difficult to find much printed literature on the subject, in particular a bit of history; where the protocol first came from (someone suggested the classics to me but I cannot find where!), how it was developed, who developed it etc. and some decent printed literature that I could reference (i.e. not blogs or forums) regarding what this point combination actually does! I was wondering whether anyone would be able to help or point me in the right direction?

I would be extremely grateful if anyone would be able to assist me with my research into this - I believe that no one else has yet done any research on this protocol - well, not that I can find anyway!!! Please let me know if you know any different!!

If anyone would be interested in my findings for this research project, please let me know.

Thankyou in advance!


<img alt="" class="pictureframe" src="/files/u2/applied-channel-theory-ju-yi.jpg" style="width: 73px; height: 110px; float: right"/>The text "Applied Channel Theory in Chinese Medicine" has probably the most thorough discussion of these points (click on the image to find out more from the text). Most use them just out of training and by understanding their mechanism - both individually and collectively. Which in short they spread out energy and are useful for stress/anxiety and any number of physical and psychological complaints.

I don&#39t want to enter in everything he says on the subject, but here are the basics.

"the four gates are the gates of qi on the yang ming channel and the gates of blood on the jue yin channel. This pair moves both qi and blood, and, although both are source points on their respective channels, they are not used for tonification. ... The yang ming channel is said to have &#39more qi and more blood&#39 and the jue yin channel is said to have &#39less qi and more blood&#39 ... by combining the source points of both channels, a synergistic and wide-ranging effect on blood circulation can be achieved...." 4 primary functions of the "four gates" are:

1. Scatters external wind (painful joints, fever w/no sweating, etc.)

2. Extinguishes internal wind (twitching, spasms, etc.)

3. Tracks wind in the hundred joints (pain that moves around in chronic arthritis, etc.)

4. Regulates the channels and collaterals (can help balance from excessive or frequent incorrect treatments that have not helped the patient and confused the body, among other reasons...).


Li4 and Lv3 are Yuan points of Large intestine and Liver channels, Yuan points in acupuncture means the points have more true energy(Yuan Qi) inside. they can release out energy and tonify body&#39s energy cycle. Li4 is Large intestine channel points, behind Large intestine is Lung, Lung control whole body&#39s Qi and Blood vessels cycle, so Li4 is Qi points and very important for body&#39s Qi movements. Lv3 is Liver channel points, in TCM Liver is the organ store blood, so Lv3 is very important blood points, it can active blood cycle, So Li4 + Lv3 means Qi Points + Blood Points which can active whole body&#39s Qi and Blood cycle. In TCM Liver control emotion, so Lv3 can sooth liver Qi, Qi move then blood will move, and Li4 also can move the blood stagnation, so Lv3 + Li4 can move Qi and Blood stagnation and make the person feel more comfortable and reduce the stress feeling.


Hi Chad,

Thankyou so much for your reply - it is very much appreciated!!

I will try and get a copy of the book that you have recommended for further investigation!!

Thankyou again and kind regards,



Hi Mr Mai

Thankyou too for your reply - it has certainly helped me to understand the usage of the protocol from a TCM perspective - we have quite limited teachings of &#39protocols&#39 when studying Five Element Acupuncture!!

I will certainly use your information in my research project!

Kind Regards,



There is also a direct balancing relationship between the Liver ( Jue Yin) and LI ( Yang ming) meridians and that will become more apparent when you read the Wang Ju Yi book mentioned above. Simiarly, Tai yin balances Tai Yang, Shao Yin balances Shao Yang.

Another great protocol is the Chen Chao configuration, named after Dr. Chen. It balances the ren (Lu 7) and du (SI 3); the yin wei (PC 6) with yang wei (SJ 5); yin qiao (K 6) with yang qiao (UB 62); and chong (Sp 4) with the dai mai (GB 41).

There are so so many other ways this is a balanced formula... one of which is Lu7 and K6, Sp4 and P6, SI3 and UB62, SJ5, and GB 41 are all paired confluent points.

This one has very broad applications.

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