Conception Vessel 3: Ren 3 – Zhongji

Conception Vessel 3 Point
Conception Vessel 3 Point - Copyright

Conception Vessel 3 is the third point on the Conception Vessel, one of the so-called ‘extraordinary’ acupuncture channels.

It is also the

  • Mu point (Alarm point) for the Bladder
  • Meeting point with Liver, Spleen and Kidney channels


Location of Zhongji

This point, Ren-3, lies 4 cun below the umbilicus on the mid-line.


Finding Conception Vessel 3

Zhongji is usually where it says, ie 4/5 of the way from the umbilicus to the upper edge of the pubic bone.

But sometimes you have to search around for it. Start with Conception Vessel 2, locating it by pressing the tip of your finger against the superior edge of the pubic bone just to the side of the midline, and working it in towards the actual midline and beyond. By working back and forth you’ll eventually find the small dip in the centre, technically called the linea alba.

From there, work upwards towards the umbilicus, until you find a point that is either slightly or very tender to the touch (from the patient’s point of view) or seems tight to you, about 1/5 of the way up. That’s Conception Vessel 3.


Needling and Moxa on CV3

Conception Vessel 3 should not be needled on pregnant women!

Otherwise, when needling, direct the needle either perpendicularly half to 1 cun, or diagonally from the side, up to 2 cun.

Don’t go too deep because the bladder and uterus lie under the point!

In any case, ask your patients to void their bladders first before using this point!


Both in the area and downwards towards the urethra.

If the sensation is strong and unexpected, patients may feel as if they need to urinate.

And, indeed, they may! Which is why getting them to void their bladder before you needle Ren 3 is a good idea.

ACTIONS of Conception Vessel 3

  • Strengthens the bladder functions
  • Drains Dampness and Damp Heat from the lower abdomen
  • Regulates the Uterus and the menses
  • Moves stagnation in the lower abdomen
  • Is a meeting point for the 3 leg yin muscle channels (ie Liver, Spleen and Kidney)
  • Strengthens Kidney and Jing-essence


Strengthening and adjusting the bladder function

For example:

  • Diuretic point 
  • Enuresis
  • Oedema
  • Frequent Urination
  • Lack of urination
  • Incontinence


CV3 Drains Damp and Damp-Heat

Typical conditions include:

  • Leucorrhoea
  • Nephritis
  • Urethritis
  • Peritonitis
  • Dysmenorrhoea
  • Menorrhagia
  • Itching, pain, swelling and heat in the genitals or cervix
  • Tumours or masses in the lower abdomen (see also Blood Stasis)


Zhongji Regulates the Uterus and Menses

For problems such as:

  • Irregular menses
  • Sterility
  • Vaginal itch and pain
  • Vaginal discharges
  • Prolapse of the uterus


Moves stagnation in the lower abdomen

  • Helps bring down the placenta after birth
  • Retention of urine
  • Vaginal pain


Meeting point of 3 leg-yin muscle meridians

  • Sciatica
  • This makes this point another major point for stimulating yin qualities, like Sanyinjaio, Spleen 6.


Strengthens Kidney and Jing essence

For Yang deficiency, apply Moxa.

Moxa on needle
Lighting the moxa – Photo by Katherine Hanlon
  • Weakness or coldness of the whole body or lower abdomen eg ongoing diarrhoea from weakness
  • Coldness and lack of Yang
  • Revitalising point after labour, as for example where there are continuing discharges
  • Improves internal secretions, eg of hormones
  • Spermatorrhoea
  • Impotence
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Back pain from deficiency

To access other points on the Conception Vessel, click below:


Ren-1HuiyinYin Meeting PlaceRen-13ShangwanUpper Stomach Duct
Ren-2QuguCrooked BoneRen-14JuqueGreat Palace Gateway
Ren-3ZhongjiUtmost MiddleRen-15JiuweiDovetail
Ren-4GuanyuanSource GateRen-16ZhongtingCentral Hall
Ren-5ShimenStonegateRen-17ShangzhongMiddle of the Chest
Ren-6QihaiSea of QiRen-18YutangJade Hall
Ren-7Yin JiaoYin Intersection/td>Ren-19ZigongPurple Palace
Ren-8ShenqueSpirit Palace PathwayRen-20HuagaiFlower Covering
Ren-9ShuifenWater SeparationRen-21XuanjiJade Pearl
Ren-10XiawanLower Stomach DuctRen-22TiantuHeavenly Rushing
Ren-11JianliEarthing WithinRen-23LianquanClear Spring
Ren-12ZhongwanUtmost MiddleRen-24ChengjiangFluid Container
Jonathan Brand colours

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