Translating "關原", acupuncture point REN-4

The reasoning for translating "關原" as "Primary Barrier Gate" from Chinese into English. This is the original name of acupuncture point REN-4 (Ren 4).

Primary Barrier Gate  (REN-4)
關: Barrier gate
原: Source / origin / spring

Explanation of the point name

There are a few translation options here. Before, I had 'Barrier Gate to the Sources,' but there is a problem with that. Translating it as such would be similar to TB-5 外關 'Barrier Gate to the Outside' and P-6 內關 'Barrier Gate to the Inside.' However, the order of the two characters is the other way around there, with 關 as the second character, rather than the first. So, that translation, and variations of it, are probably not correct.

To figure out the right meaning, I referred to my I Ching translation, where 原 is in hexagram 8:


'The primary oracle of the first day will always persist.'

It's nice that the character 元 is there too, as these need to be distinguishable from each other. I have 'primary' there for 原, and that makes sense here too. The primary barrier gate could refer to the birth canal, the first and main barrier gate that a person passes through when getting into the world. This points affects it.

1st character

Barrier gate
CJKV-English Dictionary (username: 'guest', no password)


This is a barrier gate, one that has a bar that hinges at one point at the side, blocks when the bar is horizontal, and opens with the bar moving diagonally to the side, until vertical.
When the point name is about a psychological function that is made more accessible or less, a translation with 'barrier gate' makes sense. When the name is about a bone resembling a bar, that has a joint at one side where the point is located near to, a translation with 'joint' makes more sense.

Point names with

For consistency in the translations, it is necessary to be aware of how the character is translated elsewhere. These are the point names it is in.

ST-7 下關 Underneath the Joint
ST-22 關門 Barrier Gate
ST-31 髀關 Thigh Joint
BL-26 關元兪 Bar's Beginning Increase
BL-46 膈關 Diaphragm Barrier
KI-18 石關 Stone Barrier
P-6 內關 Barrier Gate to the Inside
TB-1 關衝 Through the Barrier Gate
TB-5 外關 Barrier Gate to the Outside
GB-3 上關 Above the Joint
GB-33 膝陽關 Knee Yang Joint
LIV-7 膝關 Knee Joint
REN-4 關原 Primary Barrier Gate
DU-3 腰陽關 Waist's Yang Bar

2nd character

Source / origin / spring
CJKV-English Dictionary (username: 'guest', no password)

No other point names with this character.

Nearby points

Sometimes the names of consecutive points on a meridian are related. Being aware of nearby points can help to translate consistently in such a situation.

REN-1 會陰 Meeting of Yin
REN-2 曲骨 Curved Bone
REN-3 中極 Balanced Fully
REN-4 關原 Primary Barrier Gate
REN-5 石門 Stone Gate
REN-6 氣海 Sea of Qi
REN-7 陰交 Yin in Interaction