Liver 2 Xingjian, is an important point on the Liver acupuncture channel. This point, according to Chinese medicine, is able to drain or eliminate Fire from the body.
- Ying-Spring point
- Fire point on the channel
Location of Liver 2
On the dorsal surface of the foot, between the first and second toes, distal to the metatarso-phalangeal joint of the big toe.
Depth: half to one cun.
This puts it in the webbing between the first and second toes, half-way between the joint and the web.
Finding it should be easy, but I don’t find it so. Often the point is closer to the joint than I think it should be.
Sensation when needled
Local sensation, sometimes extending to the big toe.
Actions of Liver 2, Xingjian
- Drains or clears Liver Fire
- Stronger than Liver 3 Taichong in clearing Fire
- Spreads Stagnant Liver Qi
- Soothes Liver Yang and Liver Wind
- Main area of operation is your lower abdomen, but as you learn over time with Chinese medicine, what this means is that is also has a strong effect on the head!
Liver 2, by clearing Fire and Liver Yang, has in effect the ability to support Kidney Yang.
Like Liver 3 Taichong it is excellent at clearing a wiry pulse.
This point and Liver 3 affect the head strongly, more than other points. This means that it is good at treating, when the syndrome concurs:
- Tendency to sudden anger, tension, irritability, fright
- Liver Yang headaches
- Pain at the medial end of the eyebrows, though it can take a few minutes to take effect for this
- Liver Blood deficiency headaches, though Liver 3 is better
- Red, painful eye problems
- Painful ‘lump’ in the throat
- abdomen swollen or distended
- constipation and intestinal pain
- genito-urinary pain, especially if from heat, such as pain in the penis/urethra from inflammation or conditions ending in -itis
- painful urination; bedwetting; enuresis
- lower back pain and difficulty stooping forwards or leaning backwards
- pain in lower end of sternum
- a sense of fullness in the heart and chest pains
- heavy or continuing bleeding from the uterus
- periods that are irregular, especially if too early from Heat
- Coldness in the legs or feet from ‘counterflow’ cold (for more on this read about Chong mo syndromes)
- Skin diseases from Blood Heat (but other points too, eg P3)
- Hypertension, when from Fire
- Cramps and spasms, used with Liver 6, including for urine retention (but other points help here too, eg Bl39, Weiyang)
Comment on Liver 2 Xingjian
I think of this point when there is too much Liver Fire or Liver Yang energy. For instance, this usually leads to outbursts of anger, or ongoing irritability and feelings of frustration, even resentment.
We all want to seem ‘balanced’. When our energy is disturbed, we often can’t recognise that we are ‘out of balance’.
It is important that we can vent our emotions naturally, but afterwards – and assuming we have not caused hurt to others or ourselves, we should return to balance.
The name of this point, Walk Between, suggests to me that it helps people return to balance, especially if their tendency is to anger.
This point seems to ease excess Liver energy in the belly. Angry people, for instance, often feel a fullness, a bursting sensation, in the chest as well and this point is great for that too.
This point on its own does not usually bring balance if the digestion is out of order. Consequently you would expect that the Stomach and Spleen pulses, and/or the Lung pulse, would be weak. Points on those channels would also be needed.
A Useful Intervention from Japanese acupuncture
If the point is sore when pressed, it confirms that there is some excess Liver Fire. Here is a technique from Japanese acupuncture to clear it – you tonify Liver 4 (Metal point) and Liver 8 (Water point).
However, before inserting any needles, in turn press into Liver 4 and 8 to reveal the best position and direction of insertion which clears the pain on pressure at Liver 2. One or other will be more effective – do that first – by inserting the needles in the exact direction and depth you found that eases Liver 2 pain on pressure.
Once pain at Liver 2 has been cleared with these two points, you may not need to needle Liver 2 after all – check for a change in the pulses. Of course, you may see a positive change in the patient too! Often these Metal and Water points clear the imbalance. What is more, they do it elegantly.
Click here to find out about the Liver’s functions in Chinese medicine
Click to find out about the liver organ in WESTERN medicine
For points along the Liver channel, click below: