Conception Vessel 21, Ren-21 Xuanji

Conception Vessel Points

Conception Vessel 21, Ren-21, Xuanji, Jade Pearl, is the 21st acupuncture point along the Conception Vessel, at the top of the chest. We should probably use it more in these sceptical times.

Its name denotes something of great value, but also is or was the name of a star, so connects the upper part of the sternum with the Heavens. To some acupuncturists this is a load of tosh; to others it suggests a point of great value, when rightly used.

Location of Conception Vessel 21

On the sternum mid-line in the depression just inferior to the top of the sternum. Technically it lies at the level of the superior margin of the 1st rib.

Conception vessel 21

That’s all very well, but in some people, well-endowed with flesh, the first rib is sometimes obscured, so just let your finger drop into the point as it descends over the lip at the top of the sternum.

Needling and Moxa for Xuanji

Transversely up to 1 cun. Ideally needle downwards or towards where the chest feels uncomfortable. Up to 1 cun.


Needle Sensation

Local, or with great skill, may be directed towards the area of discomfort.


Moxa on Ren 21

Moxibustion: up to 5 cones.


ACTIONS of Conception Vessel 21

  • Opens the chest: asthma, cough, fullness in the chest
  • Descends uprising or rebellious Qi
  • Clears lumps in the stomach or abdomen from stagnant food – see also food retention. For this, use with Stomach 36, Zusanli
  • Benefits the throat and larynx

Comment on Ren 21

Conception Vessel 21 is more powerful, or at least I find it more powerful, than Conception Vessel points 18, 19, and 20. It has more effect on Qi and Stomach Qi.

Being at the upper end of the sternum it helps clear local problems but also those at the lower end, in the stomach organ or arising from poor eating habits, such as diarrhoea.


Its name Xuanji – Jade Pearl

The name and use of the point are much discussed in several ancient classic texts, like the Yellow Courtyard and the Ode to Elucidate Mysteries.

Its position at the top of the sternum, the uppermost part of the structure of the thorax, gives it significance as the point touching Heaven (neck and throat) and yet made of Earth (bone).

Whether it really has useful psychological properties is not so certain, unlike the next point on the channel, Conception Vessel 22.

However, we should not ignore points with names of such quality. The ancients obviously thought this point was important. We just have to work out why.


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


Jonathan Brand colours

Stay in Touch!

No spam, only notifications about new articles and updates.

The latest books
Book a Consultation
Book Consultation
Acupuncture consultation

Book a Video consultation if you want to know more about your symptoms

$MMT = window.$MMT || {}; $MMT.cmd = $MMT.cmd || [];$MMT.cmd.push(function(){ $MMT.display.slots.push(["d2755178-d048-4d00-aedf-899470b89852"]); })

Related Articles

photo of person showing silver-colored ring
Causes of disease

Knee Pain

Knee pain has five main causes. It’s certainly worth trying acupuncture before you resort to surgery!

Read More »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *