Governing Vessel Meridian - Du Mai - General Information

  • Internal/External Pathways
    Arises from the lower abdomen and emerges from the perineum
    At GV 16 a branch enters the brain and another continues around the head
  • Measurements Needed
    Posterior Hairline -to- C7 (GV 14) = 3 cun
    Posterior Hairline -to- Anterior Hairline = 12 cun
    Anterior Hairline -to- Glabella = 3 cun
    Anterior Hairline -to- GV 20 = 5 cun
    Posterior Hairline -to- GV 20 = 7 cun
    Vertebral Landmarks
    Superior Angle of the Scapula = approx T2
    Spine of the Scapula = approx T3
    Inferior Angle of the Scapula = approx T7
    Posterior Iliac Crest = approx L4
  • Precautions - [all]
    GV 4 - No Moxa in males under 20 years old (Dr. So)
    GV 6 - No Moxa
    GV 15 - No Moxa, No Deep Needle
    GV 16 - No Moxa, No Deep Needle
    GV 25 thru GV 28 - No Moxa
  • Additional Helpful Information
  • The Governing Vessel Meridian has no points under the following vertebrae:
    Cervical: 2,3,4,5,6
    Thoracic: 2,4,8,12
    Lumbar: 3,5
  • Finding GV points on the head:
    First find GV 20
    For Posterior points find GV 16 (6 cun below)
    Split in half and you have GV 18
    Split each remaining half for GV 17 and GV 19 respectively
    For Anterior points
    GV 24 is .5 cun posterior to the hairline
    GV 23 is .5 cun posterior to GV 24
    GV 22 is 1 cun posterior to GV 23
    Midway between GV 22 and GV 20 is GV 21

Sources and More Information

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were used within this section:

  • Ferro, Barbara: New England School of Acupuncture, Point Location Lecture Notes
  • Hartstein, Rachel: New England School of Acupuncture, Actions & Effects Lecture Notes

For a complete list of valuable resources, see our Acupuncture Theory Resources section. The most recommended texts are below:

Governing Vessel Meridian Links

Basic Information • Graphic • Locations Chart
Functions Chart

View All Meridians

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