Conception Vessel 1
This first point – Conception Vessel 1 (Ren-1) – on the Conception Vessel acupuncture channel, is where three of the most powerful yin acupuncture channels emerge from the body.
These are the Conception Vessel (Ren-Mo – this one), the Governing (Du-Mo) and the Penetrating (Chong-Mo) channels.
This location is between two of the most yin entrance/exit places – the anus and urethra/sexual organs.
Ren 1 has particular and special qualities, but because of its location is not much used.
Other points share some of its qualities, such as Conception Vessel 2 and Kidney 1, so there are rarely overwhelming reasons for using this point.
Location of Conception Vessel 1
On the perineum, on the mid-line, midway between anus and labia or anus and scrotum. In practice, that’s very imprecise. They speak of it as being midway between the anterior end of the anus and the posterior end of the labia, which is understandable and observable in women.
In men it is said to lie midway between the anus and the scrotum, but where the posterior of the scrotum ends and the perineum begins isn’t clear, unless the man is having an erection, when its junction with the perineum is more obvious. (However, is acupuncture during an erection appropriate?)
So, failing that, needle it about half to one inch, or between 1.5 cm to 2.5 cm in front of the anus. Insert vertically to the skin.
Needling Conception Vessel 1
If you are of different gender to the patient and there is any possibility of a misunderstanding, however, remote, I advise you to get a chaperone of the same gender as the patient. Indeed, this is good advice whenever using Conception Vessel 1 even if you share the same gender as the patient.
If circumstances preclude the presence of a chaperone or if, even with a chaperone there still remains any possibility of misunderstanding, and you are still sure that this is the appropriate point for treatment, it may be as well to get written permission signed from the patient before using the point. Get the chaperone to countersign it, if possible.
Depth of Needling
Textbooks suggest half to one cm but in practice about half an inch, unless the patient is drowning, when up to an inch may be used.
(However, if the patient is drowning, do you have his or her permission to use acupuncture, especially at this point? Different cultures deal with this matter in different ways, so be sure you understand the local mores.)
Although I’ve never needled deeper than that, I’ve seen a man needled there to a depth of nearly 3 inches (8 centimetres) – and he insisted it was very beneficial, at one time returning weekly for a ‘top up’ session.
Patient’s Position during use of this point
The best way to needle conception vessel 1 is to ask the patient to lie on one side in a foetal position.
If a male patient insists on lying supine, you must ask him to hold his scrotum and penis out of the way while you locate and needle the point.