Where is Dantian located?

As a Taijiquan or Qi Gong student, you most likely heard your teacher say: place your hands over your Dantian. And then you place your hands over your belly, but you probably wonder: where is Dantian located? Where is it exactly?

put your hands on the Dantian - but where is Dantian?

I will show you how to find your Dantian. But first, you might want to know what is Dantian? In short, Dantian (丹田) translates as “elixir field” or “cinnabar field”. It is an energy center in the body which is important in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Qi Gong, and internal martial arts like Tai Chi. And as the name “cinnabar field” implies: it is not an actualy teeny tiny point, but more an area, region, or sphere.

Besides the strange Chinese name, the answer to where is Dantian gets more confusing — because there are actually THREE Dantians! They are called lower, middle and upper Dantian. Let’s have a look at them and where they are:

Three Dantian Location

where is Dantian? Location of upper Dantian, middle Dantian and lower Dantian

Upper dantian (上丹田, Shàng Dāntián)

The upper Dantian is between the eye brows. Most people know it by the name “third eye” or Ajna-Chakra in Hindu tradition. If you are more into acupuncture, the upper Dantian is at the acupoint “Hall of Impression” (Yin Tang).

Middle dantian (中丹田, Zhōng Dāntián)

The middle Dantian is where the solar plexus is, at the level of the heart. This point is known as Anahata Chakra (heart chakra) or in acupuncture as Danzhong (CV-17, Chest Center).

Lower dantian (下丹田, Xià Dāntián)

The lower Dantian is the most important Dantian. Whenever your teacher talks just about the Dantian, she/he means the lower Dantian. Another name for the lower Dantian is actually “the golden stove” (金炉 Jīn Lú).

One can find many explanations as to where EXACTLY this Dantian is. The simplest one is to say it is a few fingers below the navel. I like this more detailed definition: The lower Dantian is 1.5-3 thumb widths below the navel and 2-3 thumb widths inward. It is close to meridian point “Sea of Qi” (Qi Hai, CV-6), however not on the skin surface, but a little inside the belly. If you are familiar with chakras, this energy field is related to the Manipura Chakra (which is said to be a bit further up than the lower Dantian)

If you are interested in a deeper discussion about where is Dantian, read this forum discussion. Or look at this chart where you can also see the three Dantians in relation to other meridian points, e.g. Baihui.

Now you know where to find the three Dantians! However if you are trying to find your Dantian (because it is possible to feel it yourself), don’t be too hard on yourself.

First of all, it is not that easy to feel for beginners. And second, it is not a specific small point, but e.g. the lower Dantian can be a ball-sized area. Here is a great article from Anthony and how he found his Dantian and the size of it.

For you, just continue practicing Qi Gong and Taijiquan and you will find your Dantian, your “golden stove” one day, too! If you want to know more about “what is Dantian”, I will post an article about that soon! So just come back and find new articles about Taijiquan and Qi Gong here on Qialance every week!

Happy Qi!






  • Hi Angelica,

    I am Dr Paul Joyce from Australia, I would say initially people would think Dantian is at CV6 but after longer practice it settles into be CV4 Guanyuan (Gate of Origin), all channels in TCM pass through this point, it would be very helpful if you explained how to sit and focus on Dantian as this would help many people, I have written a book that explains this process and can send it to you via email, many thanks

  • thank you for your comment – and I have so many books on my reading list already! But thank you for offering it to me.

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