The Pathway of the Directing Vessel

The Directing Vessel starts at the abdomen near the Ren-3 Zhongji and reaches the edge of the pubic bone at the Ren-2 Qugu. It reaches the end of the hairs at Ren-3 Zhongji and connects the channels of the Liver, Spleen and Kidneys. Then it reaches the throat and circles the chin, connecting to Ren-24 Chengjiang. This connects the Governing Vessel and the Stomach and Large Intestine channel. Lastly, it goes through other organs until it reaches the lips, mouth and eyes.

Nourishing Yin

The Yin is nourished by the Directing Vessel, therefore this vessel is in control of the uterus and the 7 life cycles of women. The points LU- Lieque and KI-6 Zhaohai and Ren-4 Guanyuan are used to cure night sweats, anxiety, dry mouth, dizziness and insomnia. 

In menopause, the body suffers from Yin deficiency, but the Directing Vessel controls the Yin and Blood to rid of Empty-Heat symptoms. Blood is supplied by the Directing Vessel and can be useful in infertility, and disorders including amenorrhea, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia can be treated by the Directing Vessel.

Moving Qi

Pathology of the Directing Vessel involves internal Qi stagnation presented as hernias in men and abdominal masses in women. The point LU-7 Lieque encourages Lung-Qi to flow down and moves blood. KI-6 Zhaohai tonifies Yin and promotes it upward. Both points LU-7 and KI-6 are used in treatment of stagnation.

Aside from the Lower Burner, this Vessel has power over the Middle and Upper Burner. It influences the Lung-Qi the Kidneys receive. Thus LU-7 and KI-6 and Ren-17 Shanzhong are used in Chronic Asthma.

Transforming, Transporting and Excreting fluids

Oedema and urinary problems can be treated through the Directing Vessel.

In oedema, Lung-Qi does not go down nor does it transform fluids, Spleen-Yang makes fluids stagnate and Kidney-Yang does not transform and excrete fluids.

Qi is directed down by using LU-7 Lieque and KI-6 Zhaohai, along with the Ren-9 Shuifen and Ren-5 Shimen. Also, to treat urination problems, the points LU-7 and KI-6 are used alongside Ren-3 Zhongji and Du-20 Baihui or Du-26 Renzhong in stagnation.

Triple Burner

Points within the Directing Vessel can activate the Triple Burner. Firstly, the Lower Burner is activated with the Ren-3 Zhonggji and the Ren-5 Shimen. Secondly, the Middle Burner is activated with the Ren-6 Qihai. Lastly, The Upper Burner is activated with the Ren-17 Shanzhong, Ren-12 Zhongwan and Ren-9 Shuifen.

Fat Tissue (Gao) and Membranes (Huang)

‘Gao’ and ‘Huang’ refers to the connectivity of tissues that cover the body under the skin layer. For instance, this layer connects muscles, muscle fibers, bones and organs. The points Ren-15 and Ren-6 are used to regulate the tensions within the membranes of the abdomen and thorax. Furthermore, superficial fascia in the Yin surfaces are thick and the Directing Vessel facilitates access in the abdomen and thorax. Stagnation of the Membrane mainly occurs within the Penetrating Vessel.

Relationship of the Governing and Directing Vessels.

The Directing Vessel and the Governing Vessel flow similarly and are considered Yin and Yang of one channel. Combining points from both channels can provide clarity and peace since they both lead to the brain.

A Combination of:

• Du-19 Houding and Ren-15 Jiuwei calms and nourishes the Mind and relieves anxiety. Du-19 removes internal Wind while Ren-15 nourishes the Heart.

• Du-20 Baihui and Ren-15 Jiuwei calms and lifts the mood especially on people with depression and anxiety. Ren-15 calms and improves the mood and lifts depression with Du-20. 

• Du-14 Dazhui and Ren-4 Guanyuan tonifies Yang with direct moxa cones. Du-14 warms the Yang channels and the Bladder, while Ren-4 tonifies and warms KidneyYang, the foundation for all the Yang energies of the body.

• Du-16 Fengfu and Ren-24 Chengjiang treats occipital headache 

• Ren-12 Zhongwan and Du-20 Baihui tonifies the Stomach, Spleen and lifts depression.

• Du-24 Shenting and Ren-4 Guanyuan nourish the Kidney-Yin and strengthen the Original Qi; treats anxiety in the Original Qi and draws it away from the Mind.

• Yintang and Ren-4 Guanyuan nourish the Kidneys, strengthen the Original Qi & cure insomnia 

• Du-20 Baihui and Ren-4 Guanyuan nourish the Kidneys, strengthen the Original Qi and lift mood. It is used for depression and anxiety with KidneyYin deficiency. 

• Du-20 Baihui and Ren-6 Qihai tonify and raise Qi. Ren-6 tonifies Qi in general while Du-20 raises Qi: treating  prolapses or sinking of Qi. It also provides a mood lifting effect.

Pathology of the Directing Vessel

In pathology, there will be Internal stagnation of the Directing Vessel, which causes 7 different types of hernias in men and Abdominal masses in women such as Leukorrhoea. 

These abdominal masses are Zheng- Jia and Ji-Ju type meaning containing fixed and non- substantial masses. Zheng- Jia relates to the gynecological problems in women and Ji-Ju occurs in men and women.

Pellet-like pulses in the abdomen means accumulations of Qi and they will experience rigidity and inability of bending the body. On the other hand, if the pulse feels tight and long towards the middle of the body, there will be pain in the pubic bone and genitals. When the Directing Channel is full, there is pain in the abdomen and in Emptiness there is itching in the abdomen.

Herbal Therapy

Herbs that subdue empty heat are:

  • Herbs Gui Ban Plastrum Testudinis
  • Bie Jia Carapax Trionycis
  • E Jiao Gelatinum Corii Asini
  • Zhi Mu Radix Anemarrhenae asphodeloidis
  • Huang Bo Cortex Phellodendri
  • Xuan Shen Radix Scrophulariae ningpoensis 
  •  Sheng Di Radix Rehmanniae glutinosae 

The tonifying Yin Pill is the Da Bu Yin Wan Great