welcome to being an 'adult'...
Let us begin with the location of ST 9 Ren Ying, which is located at the anterolateral aspect of the neck, level with the tip of the laryngeal prominence, between the anterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and the lateral border of the thyroid cartilage. In other words, close enough to the thyroid gland itself.
If we now look into the Chinese characters the classical acupuncturists used to depict Ren Ying ST 9, we find that ‘Ren’ is drawn as the two legs of a human & means to stand upright as ‘humanity’/’mankind’. The Chinese character for ‘Ying’ relates to the concept of ‘walking’ with your dignity well intact and drawing attention from others. The concept of ‘Ying’ relates to being ‘welcome’ or ‘received’ well, it also relates to the concept of being an ‘adult’. Thus ‘Ren Ying’ is generally translated as ‘welcome to being human’ or ‘humanity’s welcome’.
I would now like to introduce the concept that normal thyroid function is essential for the normal growth of a child, sexual development & reproductive function. Thyroid hormones are essential for the ease of transition from child to adult and during puberty thyroid output increases as well as thyroid volume. Dysfunction of the thyroid gland during childhood manifesting as hypothyroid function (i.e. Hashimoto’s) is known to result in delayed puberty and disruption to sexual development. Thus the thyroid gland plays a pivotal role in essentially transitioning from childhood to adulthood.
As I have stated time and time again, the understanding the classical acupuncturists possessed is astounding. If we bring the above paragraphs together, we find that Ren Ying ST 9 was ‘named’ 2000 years ago by the classical acupuncturists as ‘welcome to being human’ and relates to ‘dignity’ and ‘drawing attention from others’. Essentially, relating to being an ‘adult’ and being ‘welcomed’ as such. The Ren Ying acupuncture point has been used in many different styles of acupuncture over the years as well as by many master acupuncturists & is known as an effective treatment point or reflective area of the thyroid gland and its associated dysfunction. Furthermore, modern biology with a far more less extensive direct history dictates that for puberty to occur as it should and the transition from ‘child’ to ‘adult’ to take place physiologically, thyroid function must be within homeostatic parameters.
Thus, this theoretical construct above may be one of the many reasons why in various styles of acupuncture Ren Ying ST 9 is used in one manner or another for the treatment of thyroid dysfunction. Ultimately, it is important to state that the above is merely theoretical & the importance should always be rooted in the practice of acupuncture & the clinical outcome.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Giancarlo Nerini – Acupuncturist (Melbourne & Safety Beach)