Directing Vessel Primary pathway

Chinese: 任脉

Pinyin: Rèn Mài

Pathway for Directing Vessel Primary pathway

The external pathway:

  • Like the Governing and Penetrating Vessels, the Directing Vessel originates from the Uterus in females and the lower abdomen in males, right below Zhongji REN-3
  • It then emerges at Huiyin REN-1 in the perineum. 
  • It goes anteriorly to the pubic area and ascends along the interior midline of  the abdomen, chest, throat and jaw. 
  • The external pathway ends at Chengjiang REN-24, which is on the chin in the mentolabial groove.

The internal pathway: 

  • From Chengjiang REN-24, it runs internally, curving around the inner surface of the lips and meeting the Governing Vessel at Yinjiao DU-28, located beneath the upper frenulum. 
  • Splitting into two branches, they pass through the cheeks and terminate below the eyes at Chengqi ST-1, which is the meeting point for the Directing Vessel, Stomach Channel and Yin Stepping Vessel


  • An internal branch starts from the pelvic cavity, running through the perineum and entering the spine at Changqiang DU-1. It then goes up the spine and terminates in the neck. 

Directing Luo-Connecting Vessel

Chinese: 任脉络脉

Pinyin: Rèn Mài Luò Mài

Directing Luo-Connecting Vessel

Pathway for Directing Luo-Connecting Vessel

  • The Luo-Connecting Vessel of the Directing Vessel starts at Jiuwei REN-15, which located at the tip of the xiphoid process. 
  • It then spreads over the skin of the abdomen.