Bladder Primary Channel

Chinese: 足太阳膀胱经

Pinyin: Zú Tài Yáng Páng Guāng Jīng

Pathway for Bladder Primary Channel

The external pathway: 

  • The Bladder Primary Channel starts at Jingming BL-1 at the inner canthus of the eye. It is reached by a branch that separates from Quanliao SI-18 of the Small Intestine Primary Channel. This forms the Hand-Foot second great circuit of Taiyang
  • From BL-1, it ascends the forehead, passing Shenting DU-24, Toulinqi GB-15 and other Bladder Channel points to Baihui DU-20 at the vertex
  • It then descends to Tianzhu BL-10 in the occipital area, where the external pathway splits into two branches:
    • The medial branch first travels to Dazhui DU-14 below the 7th spinal process of the cervical vertebra (C7), where it meets the other Yang Primary Channels. From there, the Channel descends parallelly 1.5 cun lateral to the posterior midline.
      • At the level of the 2nd lumbar vertebra (L2), one internal sub-branch penetrates deep into the abdomen and connects to the Kidneys and the Bladder.
      • The main external medial branch continues descending through the gluteal area and the thigh to Weizhong BL-40 on the popliteal fossa, where it rejoin the lateral branch. 
    • The lateral branch descends to Fufen BL-41 which is 3 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of the 2nd thoracic vertebra (T2). From there, it continues descending, 3 cun parallel to the posterior midline until reaching Zhibian BL-54 at the level of the fourth sacral foramen. It then runs further down to Huantiao GB-30 at the on the buttock and continues along the posterolateral aspect of the thigh to Weizhong BL-40 to meet the medial branch
  • From Weizhong BL-40, the Primary Channel continues descending along the posterolateral aspect of the foreleg. 
  • It then reaches Kunlun BL-60 at the lateral malleolus and latterly runs along the lateral border of the foot to Zhiyin BL-67 at the lateral corner of the little toenail. From there, it connects to a branch of the Kidney Primary Channel at Yongquan KID-1 and forms the Foot Yin-Yang second great circuit

The branches: 

Bladder Divergent Channel

Chinese: 足太阳经别

Pinyin: Zú Tài Yáng Jīng Bié

Pathway for Bladder Divergent Channel

  • The Bladder Divergent Channel separates from the Primary Channel at Weizhong BL-40 in the popliteal fossa
  • It runs up to Chengfu BL-36 at the center of the gluteal crease. 
  • It then winds around the anus, passes the Bladder and disperses in the Kidneys
  • Continues ascending along the spine, it spreads again in the Heart
  • From there, it ascends further to the occiput and joins Kidney Divergent Channel and Bladder Primary Channel at Tianzhu BL-10

Bladder Sinew Channel

Chinese: 足太阳经筋

Pinyin: Zú Tài Yáng Jīng Jīn

Pathway for Bladder Sinew Channel

  • The Bladder Sinew Channel originates on the lateral aspect of the little toe. 
  • Running along the lateral border of the foot, it arrives and binds at the lateral malleolus. From there, two branches separates: 
  • From the lateral malleolus, the main Sinew Channel ascends along the Achilles tendon and binds in the area of the two heads of the gastrocnemius muscle.
  • Continuing ascending the posterior aspect of the lower leg along the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle, it binds again on both sides of the popliteal crease
  • The Sinew Channel ascends further along the posterior aspect of the thigh and binds at the center of the gluteal crease
  • It then ascends further as a broad band along the spine. Two branches separate from the main Channel in the back at the level of the axilla:
    • One branch reaches Jianyu LI-15 on the shoulder. 
    • The other branch crosses beneath the axilla, then ascends the chest to supraclavicular fossa. Two subbranches separates from here: 
      • One goes up further and bind at Wangu GB-12 behind the ear. 
      • The other crosses to Quanliao SI-18 on the lower border of zygoma. 
  • The main Channel continues ascending and binds at Tianzhu BL-10 in the occipital area. 
    • A small branch penetrates deep to the root of the tongue and binds there. 
  • The main Channel ascends further, crosses the head to the midline and reaches the inner eye canthus. Two more branches separate from here: 
    • One descends the cheek and binds lateral to the nose. 
    • The other circles the eyes and form a network around the eyes with the Stomach Sinew Channel. It then penetrates deep to connect with the other branch at the root of the tongue. 

Bladder Luo-Connecting Vessel System

Chinese: 足太阳络脉

Pinyin: Zú Tài Yáng Luò Mài

Pathway for Bladder Luo-Connecting Vessel System

  • The Bladder Luo-Connecting Vessel System separates from the Primary Channel at Feiyang BL-58, at the posterior border of the fibula and at the lower border of the gastrocnemius muscle. 
  • It connects with the Kidney Primary Channel interiorly and exteriorly.