Tag Archives: Mingmen

Fire of the Gate of Life

Mingmen – Gate of Life – Governing Vessel 4

2.9There is surely no point name more exalted than Mingmen – Gate of Life. It goes to the very core of our existence on this plane, our life itself. It is a very powerful point which accesses the gate where we emerge from the void with our essence, our constitution and our destiny. This point can help us reach our full potential and fulfil our destiny.

Although according to the Five Elements the Kidneys belong to Water, they are also the source of Fire in the body, which is called mingmen, the “Fire of the Gate of Life”. This Fire is needed for our survival as warm blooded animals and fuels all activity. When the Gate of Life is open, it provides free access to this Fire and there is vitality, sparkle and zest for life. If the gate begins to close, there is diminishment and depletion.

Mingmen is a remarkable point for revitalisation. It can reconnect us with our essence, raise us to a new level of consciousness, and support the achievement of our highest potential. It is a point that helps us connect us with our original nature.

Lying as it does on the spine between the Kidney shu points (BL 23), Mingmen powerfully tonifies Kidney Qi and supports the Water Element. If there is timidity, it offers courage; if there is forgetfulness and disorientation, it clears the consciousness; if there is depression or emotional withdrawal, it coaxes the person to reengage with the world.

Gate of Life addresses the crucial Fire/Water balance in the body, and therefore treats both hot and cold conditions. It clears heat conditions such as a feeling of burning up as well as chills alternating with fever. More commonly it is used to treat cold conditions such as feeling cold all over the body, especially in the low back and belly, incontinence and abundant, clear urination.

It addresses reproductive disorders such as frigidity, impotence, infertility, irregular menstruation and menstrual pain caused by cold in the uterus. Other conditions include tinnitus, poor memory, haemorrhoids and prolapse of the rectum. It is an excellent point for stiffness, rigidity and pain in the low back and lumbar pain that radiates to the abdomen

This is an important point of focus in Qi Gong exercises and is known to be one of the places on the spine where it is more difficult to move energy, one of the three “tricky gates”. (The others are at the coccyx and the occiput.)

In people who have experienced a chronic, debilitating illness, this point is usually empty and needs considerable attention to persuade it to open. However it has the power to reconnect with the jing or essence and restore a person to health and vitality, a capacity reflected in its alternate name, Palace of Essence.



Location of Governing Vessel 4


On the spine, between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae, approximately at the level of the navel. Use direct, moderate pressure.



This is an extract from the forthcoming book ‘The Way of the Five Elements’ by John Kirkwood, Singing Dragon Press. Publication date November 21st 2015. You can now pre-order this book at Fishpond, Book Depository and other online booksellers. (123 days to go!)