What is the Dan Tien?

The Dan Tien?

The Dan Tien (also spelled Tan Tien, Tan T’ien, Dantian, and tanden) is literally translated as cinnabar field, or red field. According to the ancient Chinese theories, that produced acupuncture, Qigong, etc, there are three Dan Tiens although the term is more often used to describe the lowest (physically) of the three.

Also known as the elixir field, the Dan Tien is extremely important within Neijia (the Chinese Internal arts), Neigong and Qigong (Chi Kung). It is located in the abdominal cavity three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel and corresponds with the physical centre of gravity.

Dan Tien - Upper, Middle and Lower

The three Dantiens are: –

  • Lower Dan Tien – located 1.3 inches below the navel and one inch in. It is also known as the golden stove, or the cauldron. It is associated with the endocrinal system. In Japan, this point is known as the Hara.
  • Middle Dan Tien – located in the centre of the chest, level with the heart. It corresponds to the physiological functions of respiration and the circulation of blood and Qii. It also functions as the emotional centre of the body.
  • Upper Dan Tien – located within the brain just behind a point directly between the eyebrows and corresponds to the Third Eye. It corresponds with the Shen and consciousness, as well as the physiological functioning of the brain and sensory organs.