The Psychological Dimension of Ren Mai

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JCM 105_56
The Extraordinary vessels have a leading role in human growth and development, from the embryologic stage throughout childhood. This article puts forth the view that the Extraordinary vessels govern not only the physical but also the psychological aspects of maturation. Environmental influences in early childhood are fundamental in the establishment of personality, and the Extraordinary vessels are frequently involved in adult emotional disorders that stem from childhood trauma. This paper analyses the psychological dimension of Ren mai (Conception vessel) by documenting the relevance of the Ren and Du mai (Directing vessel) and their associations with the concepts of Taiyin and Taiyang and the first yinyang polarities of the embryo. Parental influences upon the individual are also explored, before explaining the psychological resonances of Ren mai, which is postulated to represent the Mother archetype as comprehended in the ideogram ‘ren’ (任). This is followed by a description of the pathological repercussions of imbalance in these aspects of the individual. The theory is illustrated with clinical cases that were treated by needling single acupoints along Ren mai.
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Author Carmen Martorell
JCM Issue JCM 105_56
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