Acupuncture Points Notebook

Location Guides:

: Mingmen : Gate of Life

Du-4 : Extraordinary Governing Vessel 4

Alternative Name(s): Jingong, Jiajiguan
Translation: Palace of Essence, Lumbar pass

Doorway to the Earth Point
Master Tung's Three Rivers

Meeting of Governing Vessel with Bladder Divergent and Kidney Divergent

On the midline of the lower back, in the depression below the spinous process of the second lumbar vertebra (L2).

Perpendicular insertion 0.5 - 1 cun, or transverse inferior insertion up to 6 cun in "xiangwei needling" to connect with other Yangguan Du-3.

The spinal canal lies between 1.25 and 1.75 cun deep to the skin surface, varying according to body build. According to a number of classical texts, this point is contraindicated to moxibustion in those who are under 20 years of age.

TCM Actions:
Clears heat
Regulates the Du Mai
Tonifies the kidneys
Benefits the lumbar spine

TCM Indications:
  • Heat in the body like fire, absence of sweating, steaming bones, heat of the five zang, malaria with alternating chills and fever.
  • Shaking of the head with open mouth, tinnitus, dizziness, opisthotonos, splitting headache, childhood epilepsy, fear and fright.
  • Seminal emission, white turbidity, red and white leucorrhoea, shan disorder.
  • Prolapse of the rectum, haemorrhoids, blood in the stool.
  • Stiffness of the lumbar spine, pain of the lumbar spine radiating to the abdomen, Kidney deficiency lumbar pain, all types of lumbar pain due to deficiency, spinal rigidity with inability to flex and extend the back, cold painful obstruction of the hands and feet.

    Superficial Innervation: Medial branches of dorsal rami of L2
    Dermatome Segment: L2

    Mainly used for treatment of heat whether excess or deficient and tonification of Kidneys.

    Possible location for the middle barrier of internal alchemy (Deadman, 2001). See also Shendao Du-11.

    This point is also on the 3rd trajectory of the Chong mai connecting the Chong with the Du for Invigorating Yang in cases of Bi Obstruction due to Blood Stagnation (Yuen, 2005, The Extraordinary Vessels).

    This point is also indicated in issues with the Second Level of Manifestation of the Soul, or Svadhishthana chakra manifesting in deficiency in ability to make subconscious associations, along with Jingming Bl-1 and Yongquan Kid-1. They represent individuality, ability to see polarity, make separations and move into the world (Yuen, 2005, 3 Spirits & 7 Souls).

    In "xiangwei needling" the Du is needled transversely against the direction of the channel in order to reduce excess conditions, in this case of the urinary and reproductive systems, sciatica and disorders of the lower limbs (Liu Yan, 2008, Diagrams of Acupuncture Manipulations, p.121).

    Master Tung's Three Rivers (San Jiang) are three lines of points, one along the midline below each spinous process from L1 to S2 with the another two either side 3 cun lateral to the midline from L2 to S2. They are pricked to bleed a spot of blood.
    They relate to the water phase and Kidneys and are indicated for lumbar pain and conditions of the abdomen, bowels and uterus. Those 3 cun from the midline can also be used for sciatica and as distal points pain of arm, elbows or shoulders (McCann, 2014, Pricking the Vessels).

    In Tibetan medicine:
    Edelweiss flowers are burnt in cones like moxa over crushed garlic at this point as the common point for the five vital and six hollow organs. It helps cold diseases related to all these organs (Bradley, 2000: Principles of Tibetan Medicine).

    If gates along the microcosmic orbit are considered in terms of qabalistic sephirot then this point would be equivalent to netzach.

    In Hindu tantrism this point would be the likely equivalent of the Manipura chakra.

    Reference Notes: (click to display)