There are 8 Extraordinary Vessels
Each Vessel is part of the overall meridian system, yet different than the twelve “regular meridians.” They are most often described as “reservoirs of Qi.”
Only two of these Vessels have points of their own, the Du, Governing Vessel, and the Ren (Conception Vessel). The other six Vessels have no points.
Du means “Governing”
Some people use the term “Du,” others prefer the English translation, “Governing Vessel.” Below is a picture of the Du, Governing Vessel:
The Du Vessel Governs all of the Yang Meridians in the body
The twelve meridians, and the eight extraordinary meridians are woven together to form part of the energetic web of the body. The Du Governing Vessel is said to “govern the Yang meridians.” The Du is located on the center of the back, following the path of the spinal cord up from the “tail bone,” across the top of the head, ending inside the mouth, on the upper gum.
When to use the Du Governing Vessel
There are three main reasons that I utilize the Du Governing Vessel:
- When there are any conditions involving the spinal cord and/or brain.
- When I want to mobilize the active, protective energy of the Yang meridians, as a whole.
- To relieve tension and pain anywhere along the pathway, from the head to the base of the spine.
Favorite Du Governing Vessel Point
The Du Governing Vessel has a total of 28 points along its pathway. The point DU 16 is my “go to point” for relieving headaches and neck strain/pain.
How to locate Du 16
- Place your finger tips on the center of the back of your head.
- Slide your fingers down toward your neck. Feel for a “drop off” from the bones of your skull to the softer tissue of your neck.
- Du 16 is located in the soft tissue of your neck, at the border of the skull, and in the center of the back of your head. Use the image above to help with the exact location.
- Once you locate the point, gently press in and massage the area to relieve head and neck tension.
Once you find this point on yourself, it is easier to find on others. Practice locating Du 16 on others by having them lie down on their back, with their head fully supported. Bring your fingers together, centered at the back of their head. Now, slide down towards their neck and locate Du 16, just as you did on yourself. Ask the person to tell you when it feels like you are on the point. Working together, you will be able to feel Du 16, and then offer gentle massage to relieve pain and tension.
Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please use the comment box below to share your adventures!
To go deeper, check out the 3 part Mini-series: The 8 Extraordinary Vessels –