Conception Vessel 15, Ren-15, is the fifteenth acupuncture point on the Conception Vessel, one of the body’s ‘Extraordinary’ channels.
Its location, at the base of the zyphoid process, looks like the tail of a turtledove, with the bank of ribs on either side resembling the bird’s wings.
However, I think the Chinese may have chosen its name because the tail of the bird suggest that it is ascending, that it has a strong affect on the mind (as it does), with the wings beating downwards to push the bird upwards. Also of course, the back-end of the bird faces the stomach and abdomen, where food goes to power the flight.
All these images suggest uses for the point.
It is also:
1 cun down the mid-line from the sternocostal angle, or 7 cun above the centre of the umbilicus. Traditionally this is supposed to be at the tip of the zyphoid process, but in practice it isn’t, because the zyphoid process can be so long that it reaches almost to Conception Vessel 14, the next point. So the point can lie above, on or below the tip of the zyphoid process. You just have to feel for it!
I find it’s usually sore on pressure if you need to use it. When you do the right treatment, the soreness on pressure disappears. Before using it, if it’s sore, find a point on the Pericardium channel distal to P3 which, when pressed, clears the discomfort at Ren 15. The point you need could be several inches distal to P3. Needle this point (distal to P3) in the exact direction and place that eased the discomfort. You’ll find that Ren 15 will now work better.
Diagonally downwards, up to 1 cun. If needling below the tip of the ziphoid process, take care not to penetrate too deep, especially in thin people, in case of puncturing the peritoneal cavity.
If the point is inferior to the tip of the zyphoid process, never needle this point obliquely upwards towards the heart.
Locally and upwards, inside the chest.
Up to 5 cones. However, some texts forbid moxa here.
The point is one example of points for opening the orifices of the Heart, meaning it helps to clear Phlegm from the Heart. That means it helps many situations of unclear mind, including:
In the above situations Conception Vessel 15 is used to dissipate excess or fullness. However, it can be used to strengthen Yin and Blood, to provide a stronger basis for the personality.
The point is also used, with Governor 20, for anal prolapse. For example one might moxa Governor 20 and this point.
However, some people have both manic conditions and anal prolapse in which case probably their condition is more one of excess. In that case one might initially calm or dissipate energy at these or other points.
Later when yin and yang are more balanced, you might strengthen these points, perhaps with moxa.
You ask – perhaps – how can it be right to dissipate energy at the point then to strengthen it? Well … Take a child having a tantrum! First you have to let it blow it off, then steady and comfort it until it is calm again. After it has calmed down, you can give it the food (and possibly a good talking-to) that it needs.
The point is also listed as being for the results of excessive sex causing exhaustion in youths, perhaps because it helps to tonify yin and Blood via the 5 Yin, at the same time as regulating them mentally to adopt a steadier approach to life.
I don’t know why they single out youths (presumably male?), however. I’ve had patients of other ages also suffering from exhaustion from excessive sex! However, it seldom occurred to me to use this point, though perhaps it should have.
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