The Yin Linking Vessel or the Yin Wei Mai, is the Earth Vessel that controls the interior of the body. It is considered a “Linking” Vessel because it connects all the Yin channels at point P-6 Neiguan. The vessel nourishes the Blood and the Yin that circulates; Because of the Heart-Blood connection, mental stress, including anxiety, insomnia and depression, is cleared through this vessel.
The Yin Wei Mai starts at point KI-9 Zhubin above the ankle and proceeds into the center of the muscle. Then, from the inner leg, the path reaches the lower portion of the abdomen at point SP-13 Fushe which connects the Liver, Spleen, Kidneys, and Stomach. At the abdomen, the path reaches the Spleen at points SP-15 Daheng and SP-16 Fuai, and the Liver at point LIV-14 Qimen. Once the Vessel passes through the chest and the throat within the Directing Vessel at points Ren-22 Tiantu and point Ren-23 Lianquan, it finally reaches the forehead.
In the pathology of the Yin Wei Mai, the Heart experiences dull pain in an Empty condition; pain in a full condition is pathology of the Chong Mai. To treat heart ache, the opening point KI-9 Zhubin is used with points P-6 Neiguan and SP-4 Gongsun. The point KI-9 is an important point that provides communication with the Heart and the Kidneys. Because of its connection to the Heart, the Yin Wei Mai calms the mind and nourish the Heart.
Chest and Hypochondrium
The chest opens through the Linking Vessel in order to relieve Qi and Blood Stagnation. In pathology, the chest feels full and stiff, and lumps become apparent near the Hypochondrium. In men, the pulse will appear irregular and staggering, whereas women experience pain in the genitals which simulates sores. In the case of Blood deficiency, Empty conditions, and chest ache, the opening point and coupled points on the Vessel used are P-6 Neiguan and SP-4 Gongsun in conjunction to the points Ren-15 Jiuwei, lu-7 Lieque and ST-40 Fenglong.
Blood and Yin
The Yin Linking Vessel connects and directly affects all the Yin Channels with the exception of the Lung Channel. The Directing Vessel influences Yin channels in the Upper Middle and Lower Burners in the body and has a special influence with the Lungs. The Yin Wei Mai, however, governs the Yin Channels mainly in the Upper Burner and connects with the Directing Vessel at the throat. Therefore, when the Yin Wei Mai fails, the individual loses their voice. The points to nourish Yin are P-6 Neiguan and SP-4 Gongsun, paired with the points KI-9 Zhubin and SP-6 Sanyinjiao.
The failure of the Yin Linking Vessel sometimes causes an itching and the manifestation of painful Obstruction (Bi) Syndrome. Though the joints do not swell, they feel numb and tingle with a general ache. In the case of Obstruction Syndrome, the points L.I.-11 Quichi, ST-43 Xiangu, Ren-4 Guanyuan and ST-36 Zusanli and SP-6 Sanyinjiao are used in combination with the open point and coupled point P-6 Neiguan and SP-4 Gongsun.
The Yin Wei Mai treats the Blood and the Heart; this also includes mental conditions, especially in women. When the Vessel is lacking, the Yin and Yang channels are unable to connect. Therefore, it produces depression, anxiety, pensiveness, poor memory, slurred speech, inability to recognize people and/or loss of self control. Furthermore, the chest experiences a sensation of oppression. The points used include Ren-15 Juiwei, Du-24 Shenting, Ren-4 Guanyuan, KI-9 Zhubin and SP-6 Sanyinjiao, paired with the P-6 Neiguan and SP-4 Gongsun.
However, in postnatal depression from Liver and Blood deficiency, the points used include; P-6 Neiguan, SP-4 Gongsun alongside points Ren-4 Guanyuan, Ren-15 Jiuwei, Du-20 Baihui, ST-36 Zusanli, KI-9 Zhubin and SP-6 Sanyinjiao.
The Yin Linking Vessel connects with the three Yin channels within the leg, so the Vessel is also connected to the genitals. The sore, and dry conditions are due to Yin deficiency, without any actual sores created compared to the Damp-Heat. The points P-6 Neiguan, SP-4 Gonsun in conjunction with Ren-2 Qugu, SP-6 Sanyinjiao and LIV-5 Ligou treat these conditions.
The Yin Linking Vessel treats headaches starting at the back of the neck because of its connection to the Triple Burner. Treatment is highly effective in women when Liver-Yang rises. Yin deficiency and Internal winds could cause Epilepsy. Therefore, either the Yin or the Yang Wei Mai treats it.
Yin Linking Vessel, Yin Stepping Vessel, the Directing Vessel
The Yin Linking Vessel influences mainly the Upper Burner, the chest, the Heart and the Yin channels with minor influence on the Lungs. It also nourishes the Yin and Blood. Pathology in this Vessel is Empty and it maintains a staggering pulse.
On the other hand, the Directing Vessel influences all three Burners, the abdomen, and the Yin channels, mainly the Lungs. Pathology in this Vessel is both Full and Empty, and the pulse appears weak in the Kidneys. Contrarily, the Yin Stepping Vessel affects the Lower Burner and the Leg Yin Channels including the Liver, Spleen and Kidneys. Though the Yin Stepping Vessel does not nourish Yin, it redirects Yin to the eyes and ultimately absorbs the Excess of Yin from the main channel. The Pathology of this vessel includes a Full condition and a Full/Wiry pulse.
Herbs that aid in treating the Yin Linking Vessel include
- Dang Gui Radix Angelicae sinensis
- Chuan Xiong Radix Ligustici Chuanxiong
Herbs that aid both the Yin and Yang Linking Vessels include
- Lu Jiao Shuang Cornu Cervi degelatinatum
- Xiao Hui Xiang Fructus Foeniculi vulgaris
- Dang Gui Radix Angelicae sinensis
- Gui Zhi Ramulus Cinnamomi cassiae
- Bai Shao Radix Paeoniae lactiflorae
- Huang Qi Radix Astragali membranacei