The congenital or first abdominal meridian system (AMS) is formed during conception and develops throughout the pregnancy until birth. It originates from the umbilicus, Ren 8 (Shenque), which is the central point of the abdomen and it is where all cell division radiates from after the sperm and ovum unite to form a zygote and blastocyst.
This congenital AMS provides all the nutritional and other requirements of the developing baby from the mother’s placenta via the umbilical cord. It forms a circulatory system that facilitates the movement of these nutrients from the umbilicus to all parts of the growing foetus. In this way the congenital (first) or prenatal AMS regulates all Qi and Blood throughout the whole body of the developing baby until birth.
As soon as the baby is born it takes its first breath. From this moment onwards it gets all nutrients and air from an external source (post-heaven Qi). The umbilical cord is cut and it forms a scar, i.e. the belly button which is the location of Ren 8 (Shenque). The umbilicus undergoes huge change over the next few days and is no longer the main source of nutrients. However the first AMS still retains a function as a regulator of Qi and Blood. This function is maintained throughout the rest of one’s life. This explains the therapeutic effect of abdominal acupuncture at the heaven level.