Du Mai is the foundation of yang qi.
Du Mai is the foundation of yang qi—it is the master of the yang qi of the body. It unifies and gathers all the yang qi and connects the yang qi with its source in the lower Dantian. The Du Mai also connects with the yin on the front of the body, it infuses all zangfu with yang qi.
Areas / Symptoms
Tonify Kidney-Yang Strengthen the back Nourish the Brain and Marrow Strengthen the Mind Expel exterior Wind Extinguish interior Wind
pure, clear, the middle way, strong, constant, guide for our life
primary channel for the brain heart/ brain integrationurinary disorders disorders of the spinefebrile diseasesdisorders of all the zang fu (using points roughly corresponding to the location of the zang fu)treating the sense organs treating the heart zang
In treatment: Circulates wei qi (protective qi), controls the loss of body heat (partly through its affect on wei qi), all diseases of the central nervous system and spinal cord, psychosis, spine, back pains, rigidity, heart pains, heavy head, knee and leg pains, rigidity of the neck, gastrointestinal pain, urinary dysfunction, sterility, convulsions, vertigo, dizziness, headache, chronic fever, madness, mania and dementia, convulsions, throat disorders, night sweating, lack of sweat, headache, poor circulation in the lower heater, hernia. Simple Questions: heart pain, retention of urine and faeces and hernia, infertility, haemorrhoids, incontinence of urine and a dry throat • Classic of Difficulties: stiffness of the spine and fainting • Li Shi Zhen: when full there is rigidity of the back, which is bent backwards; when empty there is a feeling of heaviness of the head and shaking of the head • Golden Mirror of Medicine: contraction of the hands and feet, tremors of limbs, aphasia from Wind-stroke, epilepsy, headache, eye swelling with discharge, chronic backache and knee ache, occipital stiffness from unresolved invasion of Wind-Cold, toothache, numbness of limbs, night sweating • Pulse Classic: stiffness and pain of the back with inability to bend forwards or backwards. In adults there is mania, in children epilepsy
The Chinese characters that comprise Du Mai represent an uncle or younger brother looking out for the elder brother. It is symbolic of a governor or viceroy who watches out for the emperor. The governor rules and acts on behalf of the supreme power. The characters are symbolic of pure, clear, the middle way, strong, constant and guide for our life. Du Mai is the foundation of yang qi. Du and Ren Mai develop as the first expression of yin and yang after conception. They originate in the vital region in the lower abdomen, the ‘lower supreme ridgepole’. The supreme ridge pole is the ‘no form’ out of which all things come – the macroscopic Dao. The supreme ridge pole within us is located between the Kidneys, in the lower Dantian. It is our source of life, vitality and ming men (fires of destiny). From this area comes the first division of yin and yang in the form of Du and Ren Mai. Du Mai is the master of the yang qi of the body. It unifies and gathers all the yang qi and connects the yang qi with its source in the lower Dantian. The Du Mai also connects with the yin on the front of the body, it infuses all zangfu with yang qi. It connects with the Kidneys with two of its pathways which is important because of the Kidney’s link to ming men (fires of destiny) and the lower Dantian. There is a strong link between Kidney yang and Du Mai.
Pathway: Begins at lower abdomen anterior to the spine, emerges at the perineum, runs along the interior of the spinal column to Gv16 at the nape of the neck, enters the brain and ascends inside the brain to GV20 and also from Gv16 runs along the exterior of the midline of the head to Gv20. A branch originates in the lower abdomen, descends to the genitals, perineum, winds around the anus, ascends the interior of the spinal column and enters the kidneys. Another branch originates in the lower abdomen winds around the genitals, ascends to the umbilicus, moves through the heart, ascends the throat, winds around the mouth and up to below the middle of the eyes. Another branch emerges at Bl1, follows the bladder channel along the forehead, the branches converge at the vertex and enter the brain, emerges at Gv16, divides again, descending through Bl12 along either side of the spine to the kidneys.
Channel Meeting points
CV, ST, BL
Time of Day
- Originates in lower dantian (uterus in females)
- Yang, anus, back, brain
- All yang channels connect with Gv14, which is a key point for fever
- Primary brain channel - has double connection with brain between Gv16 and 20
- Connects also to heart and kidneys
- Psycho-emotional disorders
- Can be used for the organs – similar to the Back Shu points of the Bl channel