For acupuncture or tuina practitioners, master the correct location and function of acutunnels is the most important knowledge. We teach what missed in common text.

What is acutunnels or acupuncture tunnels? 道家彩色经络图-督脉经

Acutunnels are sites to locate acupuncture practice with needles, which lies at different levels of depth on the bioenergy network that runs all over the body system.

In acupuncture classics, they were referred as “xue dao” in Chinese. Xue means cave, and dao means tunnel. The locations are mostly in depression-like sites that like little caves in the body system if you imagine the whole body like a mountain.


Acupoint vs. tunnels

They look like points in acupuncture chart, hence commonly are named as acupoints, but could be misunderstood with the points only indicating surface display. Actually, the points only mark their existence at the skin layer, while their true location depends on the layers allocated by joints movement. In the original meaning of acupuncture network, they are like the orbits of stars running in regular turns. The acupuncture tunnels are places where the flow in energy network, the channels changes in accordance with locations. When needle inserts into one tunnel, the practice of stimulation will be followed to tune the needle inside the tunnel to promote energy flow at the key location. They are more like the function of terminal extension of a computer network or radio station channel.

Clinical position

Of course, confusion of the precise location of each tunnel and knowledge of its property, the acupuncture work will not be effective. When looking into the tunnel location, we will find its composition is differentiated with the layers of a skeletal system, muscular tissues, vessels and etc. As the flow of energy turns when movement of joints direct changes, each tunnel has a clinical position when to apply needle poking. Therefore clinical experience is very important in study acupuncture tunnels, a glance of chart surely not enough.

Associated networks

Bio-energy channels are multi-networks that go together with other systems like tendon and connection tissue network or skin pore sections etc. which also mean a lot when working with acupuncture tunnels. These physical networks impact on the location of tunnels. A multidimensional study of acupuncture tunnels is very important. Thanks for the modern anatomy and classic text of oriental medicine, an integrated research on the tunnels will disclose its secret in a better way.

Hand on manipulation

To locate the acupuncture tunnels, hand on experience is also very important as individual condition vary and the preliminary manipulation will be helpful to stimulate the tunnels to be ready for poking needles. The manipulation over certain tunnels will direct the bio-energy flow enter appropriate layers demanded in treatments. In the first acupuncture classic, Ling Shu, said the expert of acupuncture trusted his left hand doing manipulation than the right hand holding needles.


Each acupuncture tunnel has a specific name that indicates its location and function. The ancient Chinese names are so important for accurate understanding that they can never be replaced simply by the later international coding with Initial numbers. Most western learners are losing the original knowledge as the textbooks ignored the key meanings. The Chinese names are applied to help practitioners to understand the true meanings. According to the methods in the study of Chinese philosophy, the direct observation is composed with an inner look of mind to the body and its circumstance including living place and outer space.