Conception Vessel 1: Ren 1: – Yin Meeting Place

Abdomen Acupuncture
Image by Aus Acu from Pixabay

Key Learning Points

  • Conception Vessel 1 is a powerful yin-tonifying point
  • Seldom used because …
  • … its proximity to the sexual organs invites misunderstanding at best, and accusation of assault at not-so-good
  • Before using it enlist a chaperone and get written permission

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.

Acupuncture Needle with Paperclip. One does not normally needle Ren-1 deeper than the length of this needle.

(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.

Moxa at Ren-1

Moxa - not usually done at conception vessel 1


If you’re a patient reading this page, refresh yourself about moxa by clicking here!

Use up to 3 moxa cones. Be aware that this area around conception vessel 1 is more than usually sensitive for many people, that it has many sexual connotations and that heat here can be quite disturbing for some patients. It may be better to use a Tiger-warmer.

So before using moxa, explain why you need to use it and what you’ll be doing.

Make sure you have their understanding and permission – preferably in writing!


ACTIONS of Conception Vessel 1 – Huiyin – Meeting of Yin


Because Conception Vessel 1 has a number of different functions, it can be an important and powerful point. I have listed examples of conditions that might arise under each of its actions.

For example, I list headaches under Regulates Yin, but Conception Vessel 1 can also help headaches due to deficient Yang, although perhaps less effectively than headaches from deficient Yin.

  • For yin deficient headaches
  • Cold penis – a condition usually but not always associated with a lack of sexual desire
  • Amenorrhoea and irregular menses
  • Heat in the chest (arising from yin deficiency! Personally I wouldn’t use this point for symptoms of Heat in the chest due to Yang Excess! If I wanted to treat the latter, there are many other points I might use, possibly including Kidney 1.)
  • Pain in the skin of the body, especially of the abdomen and perineum
  • Impotence, infertility and sterility, possibly frigidity
  • Calms the Mind: used for mania but can be used in less extreme conditions

Do please realise that this point – conception vessel 1 – is very seldom the first point to think of when trying to regulate Yin. Many other acupuncture treatments regulate Yin, and lack the sexual connotations connected with Huiyin. Using this point on a whim could, if its use were misconstrued, adversely affect your right to practise acupuncture.


Regulates the genito-urinary area

  • Inability to urinate or defecate
  • Hernia
  • Anal and vaginal problems (see also below)
  • Pain in the urethra, the penis, anus, labia, vulva or vagina


Conception Vessel 1 Drains Damp and Damp-Heat

  • Pruritis vulvae – intense itching of the vulvae
  • Swelling in the vulva and vagina
  • Anal itching
  • Constant erections
  • Swollen testes
  • Chronic piles
  • Prostatitis and swelling of the prostate



  • In coma or after shock
  • After drowning. Some sources say that acupuncture at conception vessel 1 to a depth of 1 inch (2.5cms) will produce urination and defecation if the patient is alive. (If otherwise, not – presumably! I haven’t tried it on anyone claiming to be dead.)


Regulates Yang

  • Prolapse of anus, vagina or uterus
  • Enuresis (involuntary urination)
  • Involuntary Seminal emissions
  • Sweating of the genitals
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Comments on Conception Vessel 1

Ren 1  lies at the lowest point on the body  – the trunk, (excluding the extremities), opposite both

  • Dazhui Governor Vessel 14, a very yang point lying between the seventh cervical vertebra and the first dorsal vertebrae at the top of the dorsal spine, and
  • Baihui (Governor Vessel 20), at the vertex, the highest point in the body, and therefore (from the point of view of Chinese medicine) also a very yang point.


Apart from conditions of Damp and Damp-heat, and pain, I wouldn’t like to drain this point too much, but treatment here does bring energy down from above, hence its use in mania and for promoting urination and defecation.

Its main use is to strengthen Yin which tonifies, if that is the word, yin energy within the body. Yin is nourishing, hence its use in cases of impotence and amenorrhoea (absence of menses).

Being such a dynamic yin-strengthening point, this point strongly supports treatments requiring yin tonification for other reasons, such as in yin deficiency insomnia or anxiety.

However, I’ve never seen it listed for this purpose in combinations of points! That’s almost certainly because those problems can be treated by many other points on the body and the use of this point might be invasive.

Once Again …

In those countries where personal invasion is treated seriously, the use of Conception Vessel 1 for resuscitation purposes is probably confined to hospitals and situations where the patient has given prior approval for treatment with acupuncture.

I think even people who understood the benefits of acupuncture might be willing to have acupuncture at almost any other point in an emergency. But without prior approval they would be very un-amused to find this point – conception vessel 1 – being needled to bring them back to consciousness.

Because of where it is, use of Conception Vessel 1 needs to be carefully explained beforehand and the patient’s agreement obtained. A chaperone may be necessary.

When the properties of this point are needed but the patient is unhappy about its use, there are other points that do something similar, such as Conception Vessel 2, just above the pubic bone on the abdomen.

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

Ren-1HuiyinYin Meeting Place
Ren-2QuguCrooked Bone
Ren-3ZhongjiUtmost Middle
Ren-4GuanyuanSource Gate
Ren-6QihaiSea of Qi
Ren-7Yin JiaoYin Intersection/td>
Ren-8ShenqueSpirit Palace Pathway
Ren-9ShuifenWater Separation
Ren-10XiawanLower Stomach Duct
Ren-11JianliEarthing Within
Ren-12ZhongwanUtmost Middle
Ren-13ShangwanUpper Stomach Duct
Ren-14JuqueGreat Palace Gateway
Ren-16ZhongtingCentral Hall
Ren-17ShangzhongMiddle of the Chest
Ren-18YutangJade Hall
Ren-19ZigongPurple Palace
Ren-20HuagaiFlower Covering
Ren-21XuanjiJade Pearl
Ren-22TiantuHeavenly Rushing
Ren-23LianquanClear Spring
Ren-24ChengjiangFluid Container

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2 Responses

  1. Hi –
    I’m wondering about the case of needling CV-1.
    What if the patient’s only social resource is his/her opposite gender partner?
    In the case of obtaining a chaperone – is having the patients partner come in suitable; or is it necessary to find some other means?
    Thanks for the clarification!

    1. The necessity for a chaperone is not just the sensibilities of the patient but to cover the legal situation for the practitioner. If all parties are in agreement, and especially so if the patient is new for the practitioner when a signed form should clearly elucidate the circumstances, then I see no problem. Perhaps a reader with a legal mind can expand on this?

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