Zhongwan REN-12 Acupuncture Point

Zhongwan REN-12

Chinese: 中脘

Pinyin: Zhōng Wǎn

Location

On the midline of the abdomen, 4 cun above the umbilicus and 4 cun below the sternocostal angle. 

How to locate

On the midline of the abdomen, divide the distance between the umbilicus and the sternocostal angle into 8 cun. Zhongwan REN-12 is located 4 cun above umbilicus. 

Or find the middle point between the umbilicus and the sternocostal angle. 

Main actions

  1. Tonifies the Stomach and strengthens the Spleen
  2. Regulates Qi and remove pain
  3. Expels Dampness and Phlegm
  4. Harmonizes the Middle Burner
  5. Calms the Mind

Needling

0.8–1.5 cun vertically or obliquely towards surrounding points of Liangmen ST-21, Xiawan REN-10 or Jiuwei REN-15

Commentary for Zhongwan REN-12

As the Gathering-Hui point of all Yang Organs (Fu Organs), Zhongwan REN-12 has a general tonifying function. However, it is used more in Stomach or Spleen Deficiency patterns as it gently tonifies their Qi. Therefore it can treat symptoms such as poor appetite, fatigue, weak limbs and desire to lie down. It is often used together with Zusanli ST-36

In additional to Deficiency/Empty pattern , this point can also be applied in Excess/Full patterns such as Qi Stagnation or Rebellious Qi. It promotes Qi movement so as to removes pain, especially in the Middle Burner (the Stomach and Spleen). The typical symptoms are epigastric pain, poor digestion, easily full, nausea, sour regurgitation, nausea, vomiting and epigastric distension. 

Expelling Dampness and Phlegm is another important function of REN-12. It is because it strengthens the Spleen's Body Fluids transporting and transforming ability. In fact, it is often used in all Excess patterns of Dampness or Phlegm. 

It is also the best point to expel Empty-Cold from the Stomach and the Spleen, particularly with moxa method. Direct moxa cones, indirect moxa stick or moxa boxes are all recommended. 

Finally, some traditional TCM books also claim that Zhongwan REN-12 is able to calm the Mind. The emotional stress such as worry, anxiety or pensiveness can cause digestion issues. 

The epigastric area can be divided into three equal parts and each part is controlled by an Acupuncture point to treat various Stomach disorders. 

The upper part, including the fundus of the Stomach and oesophagus, is controlled by Shangwan REN-13. It is used to subdues the Rebellious Stomach Qi so as to stop hiccups, nausea and belching. 

The middle part covers the mid Stomach and is controlled by Zhongwan REN-12. It has impact on the Stomach digestion. 

While the lower part, covering the lower Stomach and duodenum, is controlled by Xiawan REN-10. It works more on descending the Rebellious Stomach Qi to move the accumulated foods to the Small Intestine