Conception Vessel 21, Ren-21Xuanji, Jade Pearl


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Conception Vessel 21, Ren-21, Xuanji, Jade Pearl, is the 21st acupuncture point along the Conception Vessel, at the top of the chest. We should probably use it more in these sceptical times.

Its name denotes something of great value, but also is or was the name of a star, so connects the upper part of the sternum with the Heavens. To some acupuncturists this is a load of tosh; to others it suggests a point of great value, when rightly used.

Location of Conception Vessel 21

On the sternum mid-line in the depression just inferior to the top of the sternum. Technically it lies at the level of the superior margin of the 1st rib.

That's all very well, but in some people, well-endowed with flesh, the first rib is sometimes obscured, so just let your finger drop into the point as it descends over the lip at the top of the sternum.

Needling and Moxa for Xuanji

Transversely up to 1 cun. Ideally needle downwards or towards where the chest feels uncomfortable. Up to 1 cun.

Needle Sensation
Local, or with great skill, may be directed towards the area of discomfort.

Moxa
Moxibustion: up to 5 cones.

ACTIONS of Conception Vessel 21

  • Opens the chest: asthma, cough, fullness in the chest
  • Descends uprising or rebellious Qi
  • Clears lumps in the stomach or abdomen from stagnant food - see also food retention. For this, use with Stomach 36, Zusanli
  • Benefits the throat and larynx

Comment on Ren 21

Conception Vessel 21 is more powerful, or at least I find it more powerful, than Conception Vessel points 18, 19, and 20. It has more effect on Qi and Stomach Qi.

Being at the upper end of the sternum it helps clear local problems but also those at the lower end, in the stomach organ or arising from poor eating habits, such as diarrhoea.

Its name Xuanji - Jade Pearl
The name and use of the point are much discussed in several ancient classic texts, like the Yellow Courtyard and the Ode to Elucidate Mysteries.

Its position at the top of the sternum, the uppermost part of the structure of the thorax, gives it significance as the point touching Heaven (neck and throat) and yet made of Earth (bone).

Whether it really has useful psychological properties is not so certain, unlike the next point on the channel, Conception Vessel 22.

However, we should not ignore points with names of such quality. The ancients obviously thought this point was important. We just have to work out why.

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

Return from Conception Vessel 21 to Acupuncture Points.


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