Conception Vessel 12, Ren-12
Zhongwan, Middle of the Earth

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Conception Vessel 12, Ren-12, is the 12th point along the Conception Vessel, which is an channel or meridian that runs up the anterior mid-line of the body.

  • Front-Mu or Alarm point of the Stomach
  • Meeting point with the Small Intestine, Three Heater and Stomach channels
  • Meeting point of the Five Yang or Fu organs.

Location of Zhongwan

4 cun above centre of umbilicus, ie half way between umbilicus and sternocostal notch.

Sometimes the point is slightly above where you expect it to be.

In palpating for it, in very 6-pack types, whilst the point should be obvious, I haven't found it always to be so, especially if the 3-pack on one side isn't congruent with the 3-pack on the other!

Needling Conception Vessel 12

Vertically up to 1.5 cun but it can take time to find the Qi.

Have patience and try from a slightly different angle, but you may still have to wait.

Around the point.


Moxibustion is fine on this point although perhaps not for too long. Up to 15 cones.

Someone who is very deficient but suffering from say, Damp, may find moxa very uncomfortable.

In this case you must clear the Damp first.

ACTIONS of Ren-12

  • Strongly harmonises and strengthens StomachSpleen and the Middle Jiao (=equals the upper half of the abdomen)
  • Calms and fortifies the Spirit

Regulates Stomach Qi

This has been called the Tsusanli (or Stomach 36) of the Conception Vessel. (I forget who said this and am happy to credit the attribution if someone can tell me!) However, it doesn't work so fast nor so vigorously as Stomach 36. It seems to be more a harmonising point that helps improve the zang-fu.

This point is probably used more used for deficiency conditions, meaning poor appetite or digestion, inadequate food absorption, digestion and elimination, than for excess conditions.

However, it is a harmonising point so can be used for both deficiency and excess. As when in drought a river lacks the force to carry away rubbish and starts to get blocked up, the point can certainly be used for excess conditions arising from deficiency.

The Stomach qi should descend and digest ('rotten and ripen') food so this point helps that process. Use it for:

  • Anorexia or Lack of appetite
  • Nausea (caused by ascending Stomach qi or Stomach qi rebelling), belching, sour regurgitation
  • Vomiting
  • Hiccough
  • Weakness of digestion in general
  • Pain and distension of stomach and abdomen
  • Stomach cramps, inflammation, bleeding, ulcers
  • Gastro-enteritis
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysentery type conditions
  • Constipation
  • Prolapse of Stomach
  • Gastric ulcer

Helps clear Dampness

  • Does this by stimulating Stomach Qi
  • Transforms mucus (for this, use with Stomach 40 Fenglong)
  • Abdominal distension

Comment on Conception Vessel 12

This is a generally fortifying point, that nourishes people both physically and emotionally, so that their Blood is improved and they feel more confident and resourceful - think of its other name, Great Granary.

Consequently where indicated by its appropriate syndrome in Chinese Medicine it may be useful for

This point is approximately the deep inner point where the Lung channel originates and so it can be used in support of other treatments for respiratory conditions including asthma, where appropriate.

It helps circulation of Qi.

Moxa on this point and Conception Vessel 4 tonifies KidneySpleen and Stomach energies.

In some ways, Conception Vessel 12 can be used for any problem to do with digestion, including any condition of the actual stomach organ itself. 

To access other points on the Conception Vessel, click below:

Ren-1 Huiyin Yin Meeting Place
Ren-2 Qugu Crooked Bone
Ren-3 Zhongji Utmost Middle
Ren-4 Guanyuan Source Gate
Ren-5 Shimen Stonegate
Ren-6 Qihai Sea of Qi
Ren-7 Yin Jiao Yin Intersection/td>
Ren-8 Shenque Spirit Palace Pathway
Ren-9 Shuifen Water Separation
Ren-10 Xiawan Lower Stomach Duct
Ren-11 Jianli Earthing Within
Ren-12 Zhongwan Utmost Middle
Ren-13 Shangwan Upper Stomach Duct
Ren-14 Juque Great Palace Gateway
Ren-15 Jiuwei Dovetail
Ren-16 Zhongting Central Hall
Ren-17 Shangzhong Middle of the Chest
Ren-18 Yutang Jade Hall
Ren-19 Zigong Purple Palace
Ren-20 Huagai Flower Covering
Ren-21 Xuanji Jade Pearl
Ren-22 Tiantu Heavenly Rushing
Ren-23 Lianquan Clear Spring
Ren-24 Chengjiang Fluid Container

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