Posted by: Scott Stewart, MSAc., Dipl.Ac., LAc.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the uterus is called zi bao and is located in the lower dantian (lower abdomen) between the urinary bladder and the anus; and between the acupoints Ren 4 and Ren 6, which are 1 hand-breadth below the umbilicus and 3cm below the umbilicus respectively. In TCM, the uterus incorporates all the woman’s reproductive parts including the Fallopian tubes and ovaries.
The Chinese character for zi bao is made-up of two separate characters. The character on the left is zi, which represents flesh and muscle or connective tissue. On the right we have the image bao that represents the concept of wrapping, in terms of a container, bag or sack; something that can wrap around an embryo so that it is protected and contained within the mother’s womb.
The Uterus as an Extraordinary Organ
retaining, storing, binding and condensing Qi and later letting it rise as a mist to form clouds in the heavens.
In keeping with this metaphor, the body’s tissues are nourished by the same processes, which are performed on Qi, Blood, Jing, Shen, Marrow and Body Fluids by the 6 Extraordinary Organs.
Why is the Uterus extra special
The uterus is extra special, because it functions both as a Yin and a Yang organ. To clarify, Yang organs (fu: Urinary Bladder, Stomach, Lg. and Sm. Intestines, Gallbladder and San Jiao) perform the task of receiving, transforming and transporting substances. Yin organs (zang: Lungs, Liver, Spleen, Heart and Kidneys) store and reserve substances.
In the case of the uterus, its Yin functions consist of storing blood and the embryo / fetus, while its Yang activity includes discharging blood during menstruation and the baby at childbirth.
Physiological functions of the Uterus
Stay tuned for our next installment, which will cover the relationship between the uterus & heart and the uterus & the Kidneys.
Johnson, J. A. (2002). Chinese medical Qigong therapy (Vol. 1). Pacific Grove, CA: International Institute of Medical Qigong.