Conception Vessel 22, Ren-22, Tiantu, Heavenly Rushing, is the 22nd acupuncture point on the very important Conception Vessel. This acupuncture channel, or meridian, runs up the middle of the front of the body, ending at the mouth.
On the anterior mid-line, in the depression at the middle of the suprasternal fossa. Some texts put it 0.5 cun above the suprasternal notch, or 1.6 cun above Conception Vessel 21, but in most people it’s pretty obvious where it goes.
In someone with very swollen thyroid glands, you might need to measure the distance, though I’ve never done this because I needle where I think it should be and if I don’t gain Deqi I know I’m in the wrong position.
Needle Ren 22 at first one quarter of a cun directly into the skin, then direct it inferiorly, so that the needle shaft lies immediately behind the sternum and parallel with it and the needle’s handle is almost parallel with the skin of the throat above it. Depth when inserted is up to 1.5 cun.
If you haven’t needled Conception Vessel 22 before, do it after you’ve seen how it’s done correctly! Like Bladder 1, once you’ve done it a few times it holds few fears, but the first time you need to breathe in before you insert it and breathe steadily out as you do it.
(Encourage the patient to do this too and it will seem merely that you’re showing him – or her – what you want them to do!)
The difficulty is aiming it right. It needs to be in right behind the manubrium (the top bit) of the sternum.
You don’t want to insert it vertically to the skin too far because of the underlying oesophagus.
It can feel like a needle, or fishbone, in the throat! However, deqi can go either downwards or upwards.
Moxibustion: up to 7 cones.
Heavenly Rushing, Conception Vessel 22, Ren 22, is one of the Windows of the Sky points, used to descend disturbed Qi from the Head, whether it be pain, as of headache, or inner turmoil, or twitching or severe thirst or epilepsy; all examples of energy pushing upwards and not descending.
Conception Vessel 22 is one of the points through which the Yin Wei (Yin Linking) vessel flows. The Yin Wei Vessel is another of the so-called ‘Extra-Ordinary’ vessels. Unlike the Conception and Governor vessels, it has no points of its own, using points from other channels, as here with this point, Heavenly Rushing, Ren-22.
The Yin Wei vessel mainly benefits the Blood and the Heart so has many applications in acupuncture. Notably it helps steady the Heart making it really useful for many problems where there is a sense of loss with a feeling of rising anxiety.
This point is one of only two points on both the Conception and the Yin Wei vessels, and it helps descend energy.
That it also helps clear phlegm means that it can be used not just for the real phlegm that you can cough up and spit out but for the phlegm that ‘mists’ the Heart: confusion of thinking against a background of emotional turmoil such as grief, for instance.
In such conditions, energy falls away and we lose our voice, or our voice doesn’t work properly because of a lack of Yin-moistening fluids, making it dry and awkward. This point helps clears the phlegm in our mind, descend our anxieties, and moisten and strengthen our speaking apparatus. You can see why, together with other Yin Wei points, it may be used in case of grief – for example.
Grief is an emotion that affects Heart, Liver but mainly Lung Qi. The Yin Wei vessel has a particular effect on the upper part of the thorax, containing the heart and lungs, but mainly affects the Heart. Although it is called the Yin Linking channel, and therefore, you might think, would link all Yin channels, it doesn’t! It omits the Lung channel.
However, this point, Tiantu, Heavenly Rushing, lies on the Conception Vessel, which does have a strong effect on the Lungs. So this point may be said, of all the Yin Wei points, to have most effect on both Lungs and Heart. Actually, there’s another point – Conception Vessel 23 – which also lies on both Extra-Ordinary Vessels, but for various reasons isn’t used so much for emotional applications unless they affect the voice. (End of slightly recondite bit of information)
Qi can get blocked in many places, where it stagnates, causing problems. Ren 22’s name, Tiantu or ‘Heavenly Rushing’ is a good one and it is sometimes really useful at descending Qi when ‘stuck’ in the head or chest.
Not many people think of it for Qi stagnation, (see my book below) but it can be very useful, especially where there are symptoms of grief, for example.
Click to return from Conception Vessel 22 to Acupuncture Point Location.
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