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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Do please realise that this point – conception vessel 1 – is only 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.
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Ren 1 lies at the lowest point on the body – the trunk, (excluding the extremities), opposite both
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.
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.
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-1||Huiyin||Yin Meeting Place|
|Ren-6||Qihai||Sea of Qi|
|Ren-7||Yin Jiao||Yin Intersection/td>|
|Ren-8||Shenque||Spirit Palace Pathway|
|Ren-10||Xiawan||Lower Stomach Duct|
|Ren-13||Shangwan||Upper Stomach Duct|
|Ren-14||Juque||Great Palace Gateway|
|Ren-17||Shangzhong||Middle of the Chest|