Lower Dan Tien

The Lower Dan Tien is often referred to just by the name Dan Tien by many Tai Chi and Chi Kung practitioners and as hara or Tanden by many karate practitioners.

Dan Tien translates as Field of Elixer, and it is generally thought that it refers to a pool of Chi energy. I personally consider them to be energy gates and I have now seen where others seem to be doing the same.

The lower Dan Tien is generally considered to be the bodies physical and energetic center. A basic ready reserve of Chi is stored in this area but it is mistakenly thought by many that the lower Dan Tien holds all of the bodies store of Chi. This has been taken so far that you can readily find a lot of overweight martial arts masters who talk sometimes jokingly and unfortunately sometimes seriously about their chi belly.

The true nature of the lower Dan Tien is the same as the other Dan Tiens in the body. The Dan Tiens are gateways for body energy to pass from one area of the body to another and from one aspect of the body to another such as from the energy in the body into the physical or from energy into spirit. Having said this my next statement will prove most controversial but is not said lightly or without much research.

Dan Tiens are doors or gateways. As a result of that fact the lower Dan Tien has a storage reservoir for Chi that is readily available for use. But the lower Dan Tien is not the storage area for all of the extra chi in the body unless the practitioner does not have much chi and / or is getting near to death. I say this because for the lower Dan Tien to hold most/all of the reserve chi in your body means that most of your chi has been used up.

So, where is the Chi in the body actually stored?

The answer is: In the bone marrow.

Where is the largest source of bone marrow in the body?

The answer is: In the upper legs and hips. This is the reason for dropping the energy down through the body to settle and store it.

I have had a quite a few masters tell me this behind closed doors and this seems to be closed door / indoor student knowledge. From many years of practice and comparison and contrast I have come to believe from experience that this is where the chi in the body is actually stored.


  1. Laoshi Moses says

    If one concentrates on the chi heavily,it becomes stagnated the spirit(shen) is the main focus the chi is in constant circulation,gathered if possible,mixed,sent out forward,outward,upward,or downward,after blockages are cleared along the meridians(thisis why the exercises,of stationary and moving(Tai-Chi forms)chi-gung works..we are the conductors.we should’nt magnify the amount if there’s nowhere to use it..energy is hot and you can damage internal organs by attempting to store up volumes in areas..This is why bone marrow,organs,and nervous system are strengthen due to the comforts of regulation and proper flow of energy(Chi) through them marrow just store the most due to bone density,or non obstructed space..Sound reasonable Sigung?

    • Sigung Clear says

      In terms of Chi cultivation you want to increase your overall volume and bring up your capacity to move energy. I address this in a good bit of depth in my book Chi Energy: Activation, Cultivation and Flow.
      Thank you for all of your comments and responses.
      I really appreciate how it helps bring clarity and discussion to these topics that are not very widely known in the states.
      Best Regards.
      Sigung Clear

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