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Channel chart: dumai (Governor Vessel), Chinese woodcut

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Credit: Channel chart: dumai (Governor Vessel), Chinese woodcut. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Woodcut illustration showing the path of dumai (Governor Vessel) from Jingmai tu kao (Illustrated Study of the Channels), published in 1878 (4th year of the Guangxu period of the Qing dynasty). Dumai is one of the Eight Extraordinary Channels (qi jing ba mai). It starts within the lower abdomen and descends to the perineum. It travels up the spinal column as far as the fengfu (Palace of Wind) point, where it enters the head, ascending as far as the crown, and then follows the midline of the forehead to the bottom of the septum. Pathological changes in this channel are often thought to lead to rigidity of the spinal column (jizhu qiangzhi, tetanus), arching of the back (jiaogong fanzhang, opsithotonos); headache and stiff neck (toutong jingqiang, meningitis), dizziness (xuanyun), urinary incontinence, infertility in women, etc.


Picture title: Chart showing the path of dumai (Governor Vessel). Other lettering: It starts in the middle of the bone below the lower abdomen, i.e. at the end of tingkong (the Court Orifice) in women and in the hecuan (perineum) region in men. A diverging channel curves around the buttocks and reaches shaoyin (lesser Yin). The tract follows the genitalia round to the back of the perineum and joins with the large intestine at shaoyin. From shaoyin, it ascends to the posterior aspect of the inner thigh and following the lower abdomen, it passes into the spine and meets the kidney [channel]. It reaches the centre of the waist. It flanks the spine. It travels along the shoulder. A diverging channel goes to the base of the nape. It enters the head. together with the large intestine [channel] it departs from the jingming (Eye Bright) point in the inner canthus of the eye. It goes upwards to a central point below the eyes. Its internal course travels to shaoyin, goes directly upwards from the lower abdomen and passes through the navel.


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