Conception Vessel 5: Ren-5
Shimen: Stone Gate

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Conception Vessel 5, Ren-5, is the fifth point on the Conception Vessel, one of the 'Extra-Ordinary' acupuncture channels.

It is the Front Alarm (Mu) point of the Sanjiao.

Ren 5, together with adjacent points Conception Vessel 4 and Conception Vessel 6, form the Dantian, the centre of gravity of the body. As such, they are important points in Eastern forms of meditation and energy development.

Location of Ren-5

On the midline, 2 cun inferior to the umbilicus, the distance from the centre of the umbilicus to the superior border of the pubis symphisis bone being 5 cun.

So Conception Vessel 5 is two-fifths of the way down, or three-fifths of the way up.

Needling Conception Vessel 5

Perpendicular, from 1 to 2 cun

Old books forbid its use in women. Whatever you believe, don't needle this point on a woman who is pregnant.

Moxibustion: old books forbid its use in women. Otherwise, up to 25 cones.

In lower abdomen and down to urethra.

ACTIONS of Conception Vessel-5

Warning: Conception Vessel 5, Ren-5, is said to cause sterility in women. Having warned you about this, I report merely that many excellent acupuncturists say that, at the request of the patients concerned, they have tried to use it for this purpose, without any success.

Some even say the women got pregnant faster than usual.

However, perhaps we shouldn't totally ignore these old warnings so I advise that this point not be used before puberty in females or, less certainly, on virgins who may wish to conceive later.

But if a woman has already conceived a healthy baby, I would see no reason not to use this point, other things being equal. And in fact, in a healthy woman, I really see no reason not to use it.

Perhaps because of that ancient warning, I think Conception Vessel 5 is used less often than it might be. The problem is that two very powerful and much used points lie adjacent to it, Conception Vessel 4 below, and Conception Vessel 6 above it. These do so many different things that we forget this point or perhaps are cautious about using it.

But being the front Mu or Alarm point of the Sanjiao makes this point potentially very powerful and useful. 'Mu' is translated also as Collecting point, which is a better way of explaining it once you understand a little about the way acupuncture theory works. (Not much use to you if you're new to all this, of course!)

Being a Gate, the point can be used for allowing unwanted energy to dissipate and for 'putting in' energy in case of deficiency. (Actually, acupuncture doesn't really 'put in' energy: it stimulates the body to perform more efficiently in the manner described by the actions of the point in question.)

The Sanjiao is hard to understand, even for us acupuncturists, partly because it has several different meanings and uses. It seems every generation of acupuncturists produces a new theory about it.

What we do know is that the Sanjiao is able to collect what is called the 'Yuan' or 'Original' Qi, from its source at Conception vessel 4, Yuan Guan ('Original Gate') and spread it throughout the body, lying as it does immediately above Yuan Guan, Conception Vessel 4, the Source of Original Life.

The point also has local uses derived from its location in the lower abdomen.

So the way I understand this point is as follows.

  • Spreads Original (Yuan) Qi across the all compartments of the body. In so doing, it strengthens Kidney qi, especially Kidney Yang qi.
  • Raises Sinking Qi
  • Regulates the lower abdomen and the water passages
  • Helps balance and regulate the actions of the Upper 'Burning Space' ie the Chest or Thorax
  • Helps regulate the Middle 'Burning Space' being the upper abdomen function

Here are examples of what those actions might mean, in practice:

Spreads Original (Yuan) Qi across the all compartments of the body

  • Strengthens Kidney Yang and Qi
  • Coldness, Tiredness, Debility, Deficient conditions
  • Loose stools
  • Weak voice
  • Incontinence
  • Retracted testes (but the cause of this isn't always deficiency in Yuan Qi, in which case using this point might make no difference)

Raises Sinking Qi

  • Weak function of uterus
  • Prolapse of uterus, abdomen, anus
  • Menorrhagia from deficiency
  • Prolonged vaginal discharges
  • Bearing-down, labour-like, dragging, pressing-down sensations in abdomen and uterus or vagina
  • Ongoing or continuous but light menstrual bleeding

Regulates the lower abdomen function and the water passages

  • This means it helps clear damp and damp-heat
  • Genito-urinary conditions
  • Chronic blood-loss after childbirth
  • Inflammation of the caecum (the appendix: but don't assume this point can cure a highly inflamed appendix that is about to burst: seek urgent medical help.)
  • Heat and pain or itching of genitals
  • Hot, painful, swollen abdomen
  • Oedema
  • Amenorrhoea
  • Acute, twisting type pain in abdomen
  • Hernia
  • Strong pain around umbilicus
  • Difficulty urinating

Helps balance and regulate the actions of the Upper 'Burning Space' ie the Chest or Thorax

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness of Chest
  • Swollen breasts
  • Mastitis

Helps regulate the Middle 'Burning Space' being the upper abdomen function

  • Poor or weak digestion (but read Spleen and Stomach)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Undigested food in stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Dysentery

Comment on Conception Vessel 5, Ren-5

  • Although you'll notice from above that more is written about the points ability to raise and strengthen Qi and Yang, actually most acupuncturists, if they use this point, seem to use it for clearing excess such as signs of Damp, Damp-Heat and Qi stagnation.
  • I doubt if many acupuncturists would think of this point for mastitis, however, but given that it is the Mu point of the Sanjiao, which spreads Qi and fluids throughout the body including the Upper Jiao (the chest area), and that it is so good at regulating the water passages, (think swelling from damp and heat in the breasts) it's a good ancillary point for this. 

Click to return from Conception Vessel 5 to Point Categories

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

Ren-1 Huiyin Yin Meeting Place
Ren-2 Qugu Crooked Bone
Ren-3 Zhongji Utmost Middle
Ren-4 Guanyuan Source Gate
Ren-5 Shimen Stonegate
Ren-6 Qihai Sea of Qi
Ren-7 Yin Jiao Yin Intersection/td>
Ren-8 Shenque Spirit Palace Pathway
Ren-9 Shuifen Water Separation
Ren-10 Xiawan Lower Stomach Duct
Ren-11 Jianli Earthing Within
Ren-12 Zhongwan Utmost Middle
Ren-13 Shangwan Upper Stomach Duct
Ren-14 Juque Great Palace Gateway
Ren-15 Jiuwei Dovetail
Ren-16 Zhongting Central Hall
Ren-17 Shangzhong Middle of the Chest
Ren-18 Yutang Jade Hall
Ren-19 Zigong Purple Palace
Ren-20 Huagai Flower Covering
Ren-21 Xuanji Jade Pearl
Ren-22 Tiantu Heavenly Rushing
Ren-23 Lianquan Clear Spring
Ren-24 Chengjiang Fluid Container

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