Conception Vessel 20, also called Ren 20 – ‘Flower Covering’, is the 20th point on the ‘extraordinary’ acupuncture channel called the Conception Vessel, which runs up the anterior mid-line of the body.
Location of Ren 20
On the sternum mid-line, at the level of the first inter-costal space, usually in a depression.
Needling and Moxa for Huagai
Needling: Transversely upwards or downwards, just under the skin. Up to 1 cun.
Obtaining deqi isn’t always easy, I find. Also, in thin people, there may be no depth of flesh at all, so transverse insertion of any distance is almost impossible without considerable stretching of the skin, which may cause discomfort.
I haven’t used this point often enough to be clear about the needle sensation, other than locally.
Up to 5 cones.
ACTIONS of Conception Vessel 20
- Opens the chest: asthma, cough, fullness in the chest
- Descends uprising or rebellious Qi
Although this point, together with Conception Vessel 18 and 19, each has a different name, they all do much the same, although perhaps their different names bestow important distinctions that I don’t understand.
They are helpful where patients feel stuffy or tight-chested, or where something swallowed is causing local pain, or won’t go down.However, I find that other points, such as chest points on the Kidney and Stomach channels, are often better for respiratory and Qi stagnation conditions, together with Lung 1, for example.
- Throat swelling or pain
- Fullness in the chest
- Pain in the chest
- Anxiety arising from chest pain
Comment on Conception Vessel 20
The name of the point, Huagai, Flower Covering, refers to a canopy over the Emperor’s carriage in ancient China. Here the point lies over the space occupied by the Heart and Lungs.
If that name does indeed mean this, then one might assume that, because winters were cold and the Emperor probably needed a bit more than just a nice flowery canopy, this point refers to hot conditions as of summer, rather than deficient conditions, as of winter. At least the conditions suggested by the implications of the name suggest to me that this point is more for excess conditions.
When using it for a sense of blockage, or of a lump in the chest, I might also use points or other treatments to clear phlegm, even though there may be no substantive phlegm in sight.
When thinking of the Emperor under the canopy, I speculate that this point is useful not just for helping patients to breath more deeply but to have a clearer sense of purpose.
Why? Well, I speculate, but …. because the Emperor in Chinese medicine represents our innermost being, he needs a clear big hall to inhabit. If the roof is too cramped or the space too cluttered he would be uncomfortable, unable to manifest properly, to express his needs and know his thoughts.
To access other points on the Conception Vessel, click below:
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