Conception Vessel 8   Ren-8
Shenque: Spirit Palace Gateway

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Conception Vessel 8, Ren-8, Shenque, Spirit Palace Gateway is at the centre of your belly button! It is the eighth point on the Conception Vessel, one of the so-called 'extraordinary' acupuncture channels. But don't needle it - for reasons explained below.

It's a great point for warming and strengthening your system, when that's what's you need. And there's a way to do it right, as well as a way to do it wrong. Read On!

Location of Ren-8

In the centre of the umbilicus.

Needling Conception Vessel 8? NO!
Don't needle this point!

All the acupuncture books I've ever read have been quite clear on this. I suspect this is because a needle might penetrate directly into the bowel beneath.

Instead ...

Moxa or massage it!

If you moxa it, first place a slice of ginger or some salt or crushed garlic in the umbilicus up to the surrounding skin level, then place the  moxa cones on this, lighting one after the other as they finish burning  through, and replacing with the next.

If you are doing this yourself, when alone, please be very careful! It is extremely easy to set light not just to the moxa but to clothing or bedsheets, with disastrous results. It is easy for hot moxa ash to fall onto your skin: painful and disfiguring. I urge you to get someone else to do it, taking precautions against burns and upsets. This is definitely where you should know your fire safety drill in advance!

If your umbilicus is quite flat, then you can moxa directly onto it. If a blister forms here, you should NOT pierce it: just let it dry out naturally. (If a blister appears, you've probably overdone it. There are, in Chinese Medicine, sometimes benefits from having blisters appear, but these are not normally appropriate for self-treatment!)

A moxa stick held over it is also effective but depending on the topology, may burn the surrounding skin before effectively warming the point itself, so take care. With a moxa stick you don't need to fill the umbilical cavity first.

Salt, ginger, ground garlic and even a slice of aconite have been used for 'infill', each having its own particular characteristics. (Beware: Aconite is a poison, banned in some countries.)

Best Advice? Get a professional acupuncturist to show you how to do it before you do it to someone else. Dissuade your friends from doing it to themselves. Always get someone else to do it for you if you're the patient.

Why do I make such a fuss about this? Because when burning ash hits your skin, or your clothes burn, it happens fast, and your natural reactions are galvanised, compounding the situation. Please take care!

This is a great point, but please respect it.

ACTIONS of Conception Vessel 8

Restores Yang, consequently strongly tonifies Qi (original Qi) and warms the abdomen

Rescues Yang
Yang is the original source of energy that, with Yin makes life. This point is where our bodies received life in our mothers womb from her Ming Men. At that time what becomes our umbilicus was indeed our life-support system.

Moxa on Conception Vessel 8 helps re-energise our first, or original, life-source again.

Yang is warming and the first action of this point is to warm, not just the local area but the body and indeed soul when it might have seemed that it had 'given up'.

What sort of situations might this be appropriate for?

  • Resuscitation in sudden collapse
  • Applications of this are for situations of deficiency or cold causing:
  • Oedema
  • Ongoing diarrhoea from weakness of digestion (babies breastfeeding and elderly, for example - but err on the cautious side when treating very old, very weak or very young people. The older or weaker patients may not be able to tell you soon enough before their skin burns, and babies respond VERY fast to moxa here. A little goes a long way.)
  • Borborymous - abdominal noises
  • Coldness in the abdomen
  • Infertility from Yang deficiency
  • Distension of the abdomen (could be used in some cases of starvation to help the needy digest food)
  • Sudden loss of consciousness from shock or following an epileptic fit - in Chinese medicine, known as 'windstroke' - causing collapse and flaccidity. So don't use this point if there is great tension in the patient, signs of which might be clenched fists or teeth, limbs in spasm and hunched shoulders etc.
  • Prolapse of rectum
  • Haemorrhoids from weakness
  • Frequent miscarriage

Yang warmth then nourishes Spleen Yang, which not only transports nourishment throughout the body, but holds things in place:

  • Undigested food in stools
  • Poor digestion from cold and weakness
  • Runny tummy from cold
  • Urinary pain from Qi stagnation
  • Dryness and hypothermia of extremities
  • General debility
  • Swelling in bladder from inability to urinate
  • Prolapse of the abdomen
  • Acute conditions of gastrointestinal weakness eg dysentery and cholera
  • Incessant lactation from cold or weakness

COMMENT on Conception Vessel 8

In developed economies Conception Vessel 8 isn't used much these days because we have Accident and Emergency services that are called upon for the serious states of collapse which using this point might otherwise merit.

However, it can so powerfully generate Yang that I can think of cases of debility and illness in the elderly where I've found it enormously helpful.

In some cases I've arranged for the patient's partner to apply the moxa daily, with impressive results that enlivened the individual much faster than expected.

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

Click to return from Conception Vessel 8 to Acupuncture Point Location.

Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott Books

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