Liver 3 Taichong is one of the greatest acupuncture points. Taichong lies on the Liver acupuncture channel. Every serious acupuncturist needs to know how and when to use it. It is probably over-used! There are many other Liver channel points that may be more suitable when you understand them.
On that channel it is the Liver …
- Shu-Stream point
- Source point
- Earth Point
Because of how it works in practice, and because its name contains ‘chong’, it strongly affects the Chong mo vessel.
By the way, if you are more interested in its functions in terms of Western medicine, click Liver.
Liver 3 Location
On the dorsum surface of the foot, in the angle between the first and second metatarsal bones.
Needling Liver 3
Needle it vertically or slightly towards Kidney 1. There is often a large pulse near the point.
Depth 1.5 – 2 cun.
Moxa: 3 cones
Sensation when needled
Stimulus is often felt up to the ankle and down to the toes.
Actions of Taichong
Note: many of the words used come from TCM theory, so refer to that if in doubt.
- Pacifies and re-adjusts Liver Qi stagnation so that Liver Qi flows smoothly again. See also qi stagnation.
- Regulates the circulation of Qi and Liver Blood, especially in the lower abdomen and the chest, so regulating menses
- Nourishes Liver Yin
- Calms excess Liver Yang
- Soothes Liver Fire
- Clears and calms Wind
- Steadies the Lower Jiao, ie the energetics in the lower abdomen
- Calms the Shen – the Mind
- Opens up the Channels
- Sedative – can help to reduce or stop pain
- Eases spasms
- Clears Dampness especially associated with Liver Qi stagnation
Taichong has many uses. It brings excess down from the head, it steadies, calms and reduces pain, and it can harmonise problems in the abdomen.
So Liver 3 can be used in many situations. It can be both a strengthening, smoothing or draining point. For instance,
- it nourishes Liver Blood but it also clears Liver Stagnation;
- it strengthens Liver Yin and brings down Liver Yang;
- because it stores the Blood and regulates Liver Yang, it is often used for mental problems
So, use it for Liver syndromes or channel conditions, eg…
Comment on Liver 3
Liver 3 Taichong is one of the points that you can think of as a ‘re-set’ button. If you have an electric kettle, you may be familiar with this button, which pops out and stops your kettle from working, if you allowed it to overheat – such as by turning it on with no water in it.
Ideally it calms you down for long enough to take stock and live your life more calmly, taking better decisions because you perceive your situation more clearly.
It works on both Liver Qi and Blood, and on the Gallbladder.
Its connection with the Chong mai vessel makes it a major point for Chong mai vessel problems.
Acupuncturists often use this point if a patient is new to acupuncture and anxious about treatment, or anxious about their health and not sure that acupuncture will make any difference.
After such a treatment, they feel calmer, steadier, a little ‘spaced’ out sometimes, but usually able to view their situation more objectively.
Of course, it will almost certainly have eased any pains they have, especially if combined with other points like Hegu Large intestine 4.
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: