Jianli: Earthing Within
Conception Vessel 11, Ren-11, Jianli, is one of those acupuncture points that’s very useful but isn’t much used. It’s often not really much discussed in lectures or in many books on acupuncture points. It lies on one of the acupuncture channels called the Conception Vessel.
It’s difficult to understand why because although it may not be as high-profile as some of its neighboring points, like Conception Vessel 12 it is, in my opinion, just as useful as some other much more used points.
Location of Ren 11
3 cun above the centre of the umbilicus, being 3/8 of the distance upwards from the umbilicus on the midline to the sterno-costal angle.
That’s the position in theory. In practice, because of the different sizes of people’s sternum etc, the point may lie less than 3/8 of the distance upwards from the umbilicus to the sterno-costal angle.
However, if you can find Zhongwan, Conception Vessel 12, it is nearly always 3/4 of the way up from the umbilicus to that point.
Vertically, up to 1.5 cun but not deeply in thin patients in case of penetration of the peritoneal cavity.
Usually just local to the point, an ache or a gripping sensation.
Moxibustion. Avoid during pregnancy. Otherwise, up to 15 cones.
ACTIONS of Ren-11
- Clears excess patterns caused by Spleen and Stomach deficiency and weakness in the descending function of the Stomach
- Supports Spleen and Stomach functions
Examples of the kind of conditions for which the above syndromes might be diagnosed:
- Abdominal distension and pain from food stagnation or oedema
- Weak digestion
- Stagnation from food getting stuck (“food retention“)
- Cramps and spasms in the lower abdomen
- Pain in the chest or heart as if energy is moving up from below towards it.
Comment on Conception Vessel 11
I first became aware of the excellence of this point by mistake when, misjudging its position, I had meant to needle Zhongwan, Conception Vessel 12 (Ren-12).
When I re-took the pulses after inserting the needles, I was surprised by how big the change had been and discovered my mistake when I removed the needle.
Since then, I’ve used it almost as often as Ren-12.
Although mostly used for clearing excess patterns, I’ve often used this point to support deficiency of Spleen and Stomach Qi.
Sometimes I’ve used it instead of Conception Vessel 12 Zhongwan, if I think I’ve used the latter too much in a case of deficiency.
Or, if I’m applying moxa to CV12, I may tonify Ren-11 with needle.
Tonified, Ren 11 seems good for empty Stomach conditions, and for the intestinal function in general. It seems to move and harmonise Spleen and Stomach, regulate Qi and diminish stagnation due to pieces of food.
So, supposing you are reading this but know nothing about acupuncture, this is an acupuncture point that can really help your digestion, when you know what to do with it.
But if you’re reading this and know nothing about acupuncture, may I respectfully suggest you start reading at one of our other pages, like this one? It might be more relevant for you and easier to appreciate!
To access other points on the Conception Vessel, click below: