XINGJIAN LIV-2 Moving Between

LOCATION
On the dorsum of the foot, between the first and second
toes, 0.5 cun proximal to the margin of the web.
NEEDLING
0.5 to 1 cun obliquely towards the heel, or perpendicular
insertion 0.5 cun to 0.8 cun.
ACTIONS
Clears Liver fire
Spreads Liver qi
Pacifies Liver wind
Clears heat and stops bleeding
Benefits the lower jiao
INDICATIONS
• Headache, dizziness, redness and pain of the eyes,
lacrimation, eye diseases.
• Nosebleed, thirst, burning heat of the face, dark
green complexion, death-like green colour• Throat painful obstruction, dry throat with agitation
and thirst, clutching sensation in the throat, bitter
taste in the mouth, heat in the body.
• Propensity to anger, sadness, propensity to fright,
closes eyes and has no desire to look, excessive fright
and little strength, propensity to fear as if seeing
ghosts, madness, insomnia, palpitations, epilepsy,
loss of consciousness, chronic and acute childhood
fright wind.
• Contracted sinews, windstroke, fullness of the four
limbs, deviation of the mouth, tetany, hypertension.
• Pain and itching of the genitals, pain of the penis,
sudden involuntary erection, the seven kinds of shan
disorder, cold shan disorder, painful urinary dysfunction,
enuresis, retention of urine, difficult
urination, white turbidity, red and white leucorrhoea,
cold or damp (dong) diarrhoea, constipation,
abdominal distention.
• Incessant uterine bleeding, menorrhagia, inhibited
menstruation, early menstruation, lower abdominal
fullness, abdominal (jia) masses in women, difficult
lactation.
• Coughing blood, vomiting, pain of the Heart and the
Liver, distention and pain of the chest and lateral costal
region, pain of the chest and back, pain below the
Heart, much sighing, inability to catch the breath all
day long, difficulty in catching the breath, shortness
of breath.
• Four limbs counterflow cold, wasting and thirsting
disorder with desire to drink, malaria, lotus flower
tongue in children.
• Lumbar pain with difficulty in flexing and extending
the back, swelling of the knee, pain of the inner aspect
of the leg, heat in the shin, leg qi with redness
and swelling, pain and swelling of the instep.
COMMENTARY
The Liver, entrusted with the ministerial fire, is known as
the ‘indomitable zang’ and corresponds to the energies of
Spring, growth and forcefulness. Although the Liver freeflowing
function assists the ascent and descent of the qi of
all the zangfu, its own qi direction is upwards, hence the
saying “The Liver governs uprising”. Since its yang activity
is by nature exuberant, fierce and strong, the Liver
easily becomes overheated and the normal ascending of
Liver qi readily flares up into excess. The Great Compendium
of Acupuncture and Moxibustion says “When the Liver
is excess, reduce Xingjian LIV-2” whilst according to the
Classic of Difficulties2 ying-spring points are indicated for
‘heat in the body’. Xingjian LIV-2, the ying-spring and fire
point of the Liver channel, is therefore the principal point on
this channel, indeed in the whole body, to clear Liver fireand descend Liver yang. It has three principal spheres of
activity: the head, the emotions and the lower jiao.
The Liver primary channel ascends along the neck and
posterior aspect of the throat to the nasopharynx and the
tissues surrounding the eye, and then ascends across the
forehead to link with Baihui DU-20 at the vertex. Xingjian
LIV-2 consequently is much used clinically to treat
headache, dizziness, burning heat of the face, nosebleed,
throat painful obstruction and dry throat, red and painful
eyes, lacrimation and other eye diseases due to Liver fire
ascending to the head, although it is interesting to note
that headache, dizziness and nosebleed are modern
indications and do not appear in any of the major classical
acupuncture texts. When extreme, Liver fire or Liver yang
may give rise to stirring of interior wind, and Xingjian
LIV-2 is used to treat such consequences of this
development as epilepsy, loss of consciousness, childhood
fright wind, contracted sinews, windstroke and deviation
of the mouth.
The Spiritual Pivot3 says “The Liver stores blood and the
blood is the residence of the ethereal soul [hun]; when
Liver qi is deficient there is fear, when excess there is
anger”, whilst the Essential Questions4 says “Anger easily
injures the Liver”. The free and unobstructed spreading of
the Liver qi is closely related to the harmonious interplay
of the seven emotions. Repression of any of the emotions
will cause the Liver qi to stagnate, and after time to
transform into fire. At the same time, stagnation of Liver
qi, and even more so the blazing up of Liver fire, will
render a person prone to experience feelings of irritability
and anger. At the stage of qi stagnation, acknowledgement
and expression of the appropriate emotion will help
free the qi and dispel stagnation, thus Fei Bo-xiong said
“Joy, anger, melancholy, anxiety, grief, fear and terror are
common to everyone. Giving vent to joy, anger and melancholy
as occasion requires is what is meant by venting
emotions properly”5. When Liver fire is blazing, however,
it is like a fire with an unlimited supply of fuel, and giving
vent to rage and anger will not only fail to dispel the fire
but will continually stoke and encourage it. At the same
time, the anger itself will injure the body, and at this stage
moderation of excessive emotion and not spontaneous
expression must be practised. Thus Cao Tong of the Qing
dynasty recommended in Common Sayings on Gerontology
“When faced with something exasperating, one should
calmly consider which is more important, anger or health.
This comparison will enable one to gradually eliminate
one’s anger”6. Li Yi-ru of the Qing dynasty, however, said
“Of the seven emotions, anger is the hardest to control”.
Acupuncture treatment seeks to quell and douse the fire,
and Xingjian LIV-2 is the primary point to subdue blazing
Liver fire giving rise to such manifestations as raging
anger with a red face and clutching sensation in the throat.
The Spiritual Pivot7 says “with anger the qi rebels upwards
and accumulates in the chest”. If Liver fire and stagnant qi
attack the chest and Lung they will give rise to distention
and pain, shortness of breath, sighing and difficulty in
catching the breath. If, as is commonly seen clinically,
Liver fire and stagnant qi transmit to the Heart there will
be pain of both the Liver and Heart, as well as severe
disturbance of the spirit manifesting as mania disorder,
insomnia, palpitations etc. If there is a deeply established
pattern of repression of anger, usually deriving from early
childhood experiences, then the stagnant qi and fire will
have no appropriate outlet and a person may become sad
and tearful. Anger, overt or hidden, is not the only emotion
associated with the Liver however, as stressed by the
statement in the Spiritual Pivot that “when Liver qi is
deficient there is fear”. The Liver and Gall Bladder are
associated in Chinese culture with decisiveness and courage.
If the Liver is deficient, especially Liver blood, or if a
person is unable to acknowledge their anger and thus
embrace their power and courage, there may be fear and
fright with a feeling of lack of strength and a tendency to
close the eyes and have “no desire to look”.
The Liver stores the blood, and the Liver channel converges
with the Conception vessel in the lower abdomen
at Qugu REN-2, Zhongji REN-3 and Guanyuan REN-4.
Liver fire can easily transmit to the uterine blood and
induce wild and reckless flow, manifesting as ceaseless
uterine bleeding, menorrhagia and early menstruation. If
heat condenses the blood and causes stagnation, or if
Liver qi stagnation is prolonged, uterine (jia) masses may
form or there may be inhibited menstruation. Disturbance
of the blood by Liver fire may also give rise to
coughing of blood and nosebleed.
The Liver channel encircles the genitals and penetrates
the lower abdomen, whilst the Liver assists the free movement
of qi throughout the body. If there is qi stagnation or
consequent fire or damp-heat in the lower jiao, especially
the genital region or Bladder, there may be a variety of
symptoms such as itching and pain of the genitals, sudden
involuntary erection, painful urinary dysfunction, retention
of urine, difficult and turbid urination, leucorrhoea
and shan disorder. If qi stagnation binds the intestines
there may be constipation. In all these cases Xingjian
LIV-2 may be used.
One special condition for which Xingjian LIV-2 is indicated
is the symptom of hands and feet counterflow cold,
where only the hands and feet are cold but the body is
warm. This may occur in the pattern known as ‘true heat,
false cold’, where heat constrained in the interior prevents
the yang qi from circulating to the limbs. Despite the
apparent cold, the other symptoms, as well as the pulseand the tongue, are indicative of heat and constraint. In
clinical practice, this symptom is often encountered in
patients with Liver qi stagnation rather than heat, where
the stagnant qi prevents adequate circulation of qi to the
extremities.
According to the Spiritual Pivot8 “The Liver governs the
sinews”, and Xingjian LIV-2 is indicated in many classical
sources for pain of the lumbar region. Although more
commonly ascribed to Kidney deficiency or painful obstruction,
stagnation of Liver qi or Liver blood deficiency
may also give rise to lumbar pain due to contraction and
inflexibility of the sinews. However the frequency with
which Xingjian LIV-2 appears in classical combinations
for lumbar pain, points more towards an empirical application
rather than a theoretical one.
Finally, Xingjian LIV-2 is indicated for swelling of the
knee, pain of the inner aspect of the leg, heat in the shins
and pain and swelling of the instep, and the Song of Points
for Miscellaneous Diseases says “for leg and knee pain covet
Xingjian LIV-2”.
COMBINATIONS
• Lacrimation: Xingjian LIV-2 and Shenting DU-24
(Supplementing Life).
• Liver qi night blindness: Xingjian LIV-2 and Jingming
BL-1 (One Hundred Symptoms).
• Dry throat with desire to drink: Xingjian LIV-2 and
Taichong LIV-3 (Thousand Ducat Formulas).
• Pain of the Liver and Heart: Xingjian LIV-2 and Taichong
LIV-3 (Thousand Ducat Formulas).
• Pain of the Heart with a green complexion like death,
inability to catch the breath all day long, pain of the
Liver and Heart: Xingjian LIV-2 and Taichong LIV-3
(Systematic Classic).
• Heart pain: Xingjian LIV-2 and Yinxi HE-6 (Supplementing
Life).
• Fright epilepsy, mad walking and madness: Xingjian
LIV-2, Jinsuo DU-8, Qugu REN-2 and Yingu KID-10
(Thousand Ducat Formulas).
• Retention of urine and pain of the penis: Xingjian
LIV-2 and Ququan LIV-8 (Supplementing Life).
• Severe thirst of wasting and thirsting disorder:
Xingjian LIV-2 and Yongquan KID-1 (One Hundred
Symptoms).
• Lumbar pain with inability to stand for long or to
move: Xingjian LIV-2 and Jingmen GB-25 (Systematic
Classic).
• Lumbar pain that radiates down the leg: Xingjian
LIV-2, Huantiao GB-30 and Fengshi GB-31 (Song of
Points).
• Lumbar pain with inability to bend and extend:
Xingjian LIV-2, Weiyang BL-39, Yinmen BL-37,
Taibai SP-3 and Yinlingquan SP-9 (Thousand Ducat
Formulas).
• Lumbar pain with difficulty in moving: Xingjian
LIV-2, Fengshi GB-31 and Weizhong BL-40 (Glorious
Anthology).
• Inability of the legs to support the body: Xingjian
LIV-2 and Tianzhu BL-10 (Thousand Ducat Formulas).

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