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!
In the centre of the umbilicus.
All the acupuncture books I’ve ever read or lectures attended have been quite clear on this. I suspect this is because a needle might penetrate directly into the bowel beneath.
Moxa or massage it!
To moxa it, first place a slice of ginger or some salt or crushed garlic in the umbilicus up to the surrounding skin level. What you do next is 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 bed-sheets. Guess what happens next? You burn too.
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. But if a blister forms here, you should NOT pierce it: just let it dry out naturally. So 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, you 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 – fuzi – is a very yang 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.
So consequently it strongly tonifies Qi (original Qi) and warms the abdomen.
Yang is the original source of energy that with Yin makes life. That means that this point is where your body received life in your mothers womb from her Ming Men. At that time what becomes your umbilicus was indeed your life-support system.
Moxa on Conception Vessel 8 helps re-energise your 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 your body as a whole and indeed your ‘soul’ when it might have seemed that it had ‘given up’.
Just to repeat, this point seems to reinvigorate the original thrust of life that came from your mother’s Ming Men and Blood.
In developed economies Conception Vessel 8 isn’t used much these days because we have Accident and Emergency services that we can call on 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. (Here I used salt or ginger to transmit the warmth – see above. Not aconite!)
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.
But please, don’t moxa Conception Vessel 8 on yourself!
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