Heart 5: Tongli – ‘Penetrating Inside’

Heart 5, Tongli, Penetrating Inside, is the fifth point on the Heart acupuncture channel, and also its luo-connecting or junction point.


To understand this page it pays to know: 



Heart 5 lies 1 cun proximal to the point Heart 7, on the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris, more or less over the ulnar artery. 


Heart 5 - Tongli
Heart 5


Needling Heart 5

Needle Heart 5 vertically up to 0.5 cun, or slightly deeper – up to 1 cun – if inserted obliquely either proximally or distally.



Moxibustion: Up to 5x.


Actions of Heart 5

  • Calms the Spirit
  • Regulates Heart Qi, hence regulates the heart’s rhythm
  • Treats the tongue, as in ‘can’t speak’, when Heart Qi in the luo-connecting channel is deficient
  • Opens the channel and hence lets Qi flow, reducing pain


Comment on Tongli

This point, Tongli, has several useful properties. 

  • Heart 5 tonifies the Heart. Some traditions of acupuncture frown on direct treatment of the Heart, preferring to treat instead the Pericardium and its channel. Originally, there was no separate channel for the Heart – it was a later addition, after the Pericardium.
  • However, perhaps because we have become more susceptible to the factors that affect the Heart, I find treating this channel and organ necessary for success, when indicated.
  • So it can be used, where the syndrome is indicated, for palpitation, chest pain, bradycardia, often where there is nervous debility or exhaustion.
  • For emotional tension and anxiety, Heart 5 is more effective than Heart 7. I didn’t realise this for quite some years! That it’s so good for the anxiety-side of symptoms probably comes from the fact that it’s the luo-connecting point. This kind of point is known particularly to benefit the psychological and emotional sides of life.
  • In some ways this point is like Heart 7, the Source point, in that it can have a calming or tranquillising effect on the Heart, but Heart 7 is usually better for ordinary insomnia, for example.
  • Heat 5 is a good point to bring down Fire from the head caused by mental irritation. If mental irritation comes from Qi stagnation, then one must treat that too.
  • It is noted as having a powerful effect on aphasia.
  • It both adjusts and tonifies Heart Blood, so is useful for haemorrhage, for example of the uterus, which has a direct link to the Heart.


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