Accessing and Treating the Divergent Channels

With Guest: Josephine Spilka

Episode Qi002

Every acupuncturist is intimately familiar with the points and functions of the 12 commonly used acupuncture channels, as well as the functions and use of the 8 extraordinary meridians. In our studies we might have heard about the divergent channels, but for the most part we don't use these in everyday practice. For many of us, they are a bit of mystery and remain so as we generally can go about our business of helping patients with the 12 regular channels and 8 extras. In this episode with Josephine Spilka we explore the use, function and treatment of the divergent channels. 

If you have patients autoimmune disease, or chronic issues seem to cycle but go nowhere, this conversation with Josephine Spilka will give you insights on how help your patients break these cycles of dysfunction.
In this conversation we discuss:
  • Working with the divergent channels is working with the essence, and the essence moves slowly.
  •  The divergent channels are about the interaction between wei and jing-essence.
  •  Divergent channels 101
  • The difference in function between the 8 extra and the divergences.
  • It can take some time and retreat to clear something via the divergences.
  • Walking through a divergent channel treatment.
  • Working with the divergences when there is not the luxury of lot of time or space
  • Educating our patients to work with a process that is not all about suppression of symptoms.
  • Movement in the healing process and the difference between suppression and repression.
  • Ways of accessing the divergent meridians.
Josephine Spilka
Josephine Spilka is a licensed acupuncturist, practicing since 1994 with a Master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Samra University in Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating she was introduced to the synthesis of classical teachings and the modern practice of Chinese medicine by Sharon Weizenbaum, then went on to study extensively with Jeffrey Yuen beginning in 1998.

 Josephine teaches, mentors and consults in Chinese medicine and Buddhist meditation. Additionally, as a faculty member of Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts in Asheville, North Carolina, she taught core curriculum courses utilizing classical systems such as Divergent Meridians, Luo Vessels and Eight Extraordinary Vessels as well as supervising students in the college clinic and conducting case review.

 In all that she does, Josephine is focused on investigating the relationship with essence in its many forms. Growing and innovating from her foundation in Chinese medicine, she teaches on essential oils and Chinese medicine, shares contemplative photography, and serves others in finding and mining their own essence. 
Links and Resources

You can find more about Josephine's work with essential oils at

Take Josephine's class on the Five Meridian System on Health Seminars and get CEU credits.

Josephine's blog 
is a wander through the wonder of medicine, healing and muse. Highly recommended!

The book, Advanced Acupuncture Clinical Manual, that Josephine mentioned in the podcast that goes into the divergent channels is not easy to find, but the great river of books can hook you up.

Transcripts and recording 
of Jeffrey Yuan can be found at the Jade Purity Foundation.

Michael Max

Acupuncturist, Podcast Host
About me
I've always been more drawn to questions than answers. And the practice of medicine seems to more lively when infused with a sense of curiosity and inquiry. It's been delight and honor to be able to discuss our medicine with so many thoughtful and skilled practitioners.

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