Moxibustion Methods for Seeking Children

Moxibustion Methods for Seeking Children
求子灸法 qiú zǐ jiǔ fǎ1

(一) 婦人絕子:灸然谷五十壯,在內踝前直下一寸。 (二) 婦人絕嗣不生,胞門閉塞:灸關元三十壯,報之。 (三) 婦人妊子不成,若墮落,腹痛,漏見赤:灸胞門五十壯,在關元左邊二寸是也。右邊二寸名子戶。 (四) 婦人絕嗣不生:灸氣門穴,在關元傍三寸,各百壯。 (五) 婦人子藏閉塞,不受精,疼:灸胞門五十壯。 (六) 婦人絕嗣不生,漏赤白:灸泉門十壯,三報之,穴在橫骨當陰上際。

(1) For [the treatment of] women with infertility: Burn 50 moxa cones at Scorching Valley (KI-2),2 in front of the inner ankle, straight down 1 cùn.

(2) For [the treatment of] women whose line of descent has been interrupted by a failure to bear children because of a blocked uterine gate (KI-13)3 : Burn 30 moxa cones at Pass Head (CV-4).4 Repeat [this treatment].

(3) For [the treatment of] women who are unable to carry a pregnancy to terms, in cases of miscarriage with abdominal pain and visible red spotting: Burn 50 moxa cones at Uterine Gate (KI-13) (Should be ST-28),5 2 cùn to the left of Pass Head (CV-4). [The point] 2 cùn to the right is called Infant’s Door.

(4) For [the treatment of] women whose line of descent has been interrupted by a failure to bear children: Burn 100 moxa cones at each Qì Gate,6 3 cùn to either side of Pass Head (CV-4).

(5) For [the treatment of] women with a blocked uterus, failure to receive [male] essence,7 and pain: Burn 50 moxa cones at Uterine Gate (KI-13).

(6) For [the treatment of] women whose line of descent is cut off because of their inability to bear children, [presenting with] red and white spotting: Burn 10 moxa cones at Spring Gate,8 at the upper edge of where the pubic bone meets the genitalia. Repeat three times.

1. This heading is not found in the Huá Xià or Rén Mín editons, but only in the Sūn Zhēn Rén editon. Since it clarifies the organization of the text, I have included it, even though it is questionable whether it was found in Sūn Sī-Miǎo’s original text. The Dào Zàng editon states “moxibustion methods” (灸法 jiǔ fǎ).
2. 然谷 rán gǔ: KI-2. For acupoint classifications, I follow Nigel Wiseman’s terminology and identification. See Nigel Wiseman and Féng Yè, A Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine, Appendix IV, “A Classified List of Acupuncture Points,” pp. 746-749.
3. 胞門 bāo mén: While here used as a reference to the vagina in general, it is elsewhere used in conjunction with the term 子戶 zǐ hù (infant’s door) to describe the left and right parts of the kidney, as in the expression: 腎名胞門子戶 “The kidneys are called uterine gate and infant’s door,” (《千金方》2:2, translated below in the second chapter of volume two, in the introductory essay to the following chapter on “Malign obstruction in pregnancy” p. 88). In modern TCM practice, it is paired with zǐ hù to constitute one of the extraordinary points (奇穴qí xué), still commonly used for the treatment of infertility, abnormal bleeding, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation (木下晴都《中國經絡學》, p. 123). These two points are already used in this way by Sūn Sī-Miǎo, as evidenced by their occurence on the next page. Both points are also used as alternate names for KI-13.
4. 關元 guān yuán: CV-4, located 3 cùn below the navel. It is still one of the most important points in TCM practice for the treatment of reproductive problems.
5. 胞門 bāo mén: Here used as a name for a moxibustion point. In modern practice, it is an alternate name for KI-13 (paired with Infant’s Door).
6. 氣門 qì mén: A pair of extraordinary points still commonly used in the treatment of infertility, uterine bleeding, and red and white postpartum discharge (see 木下晴都《中國經絡學》p. 60).
7. This refers to the father’s sperm.
8. 泉門 quán mén: This term is, to my knowledge, not attested elsewhere. See 李經緯, 主編.《中醫大辭典》《針灸,推拿,氣功,養生分冊》 p. 153.
Also see chapter 4, Various Diseases of Pregnancy, section on “Stirring Fetus and Repeated MIscarriages:
Moxibustion Treatment

In the third month of pregnancy, burn seven cones of moxa one cùn below the knee.

in the subsection on “Urinary Diseases” of the same chapter this:
Moxibustion Method


Burn seven cones of moxa on the point where the pubic bone meets the vagina.

in the subsection on Diarrhea:
Moxibustion Treatment


For [the treatment of] women with watery diarrhea, burn 100 cones of moxa at the Sea of Qì (氣海 qì hǎi: CV-6). Repeat [the treatment] three times.