Liver Luo-Connecting Channel

The Liver Luo-Connecting Channel has many uses, not least in how it explains why Ligou, Liver 5, is so useful for genital problems.

Note to readers! …This page is a bit abstruse if you’re a beginner. It’s not that the words are more difficult than on other pages, but this is about a subject usually taught some way into acupuncture courses. 

So some of the concepts need your familiarity with other ideas in Chinese medicine.

Actually, I wrote this page, and other luo-connecting channel pages, for a few insistent patients, and for me. 

It means I can look up both the channel and its symptoms  on my smartphone in case I forget them. 

If it helps others, great.

For more information about this type of acupuncture channel, click on luo-connecting channels.



The Liver luo-connecting pathway starts at Ligou, Liver 5, the Liver’s Luo point. It’s in green in the picture below.

It connects to the Gallbladder channel.

Liver 5 Ligou


It also, separately, has a channel that reaches up to the genitals:



Symptoms of Liver Luo-Connecting channel

All Luo-connecting channels have great influence in keeping health and mental equilibrium. The following symptoms for the Liver luo-connecting channel were described by the ancient Chinese, although I’ve added to them where I’ve noticed it:

  • Fullness: swollen testicles, hernia – together with other symptoms of Fullness, especially along the Liver channel
  • Emptiness: itching in the pubic region – probably with other symptoms of Emptiness in the Liver, eg Empty Blood
  • Rebellious: abnormal erections
  • Qi Stagnation: distension in the hypochondriacal region; plus other Liver Qi stagnation symptoms
  • Damp: heavy feeling in hypogastric region; aversion to cold; fever; urination is urgent, frequent and burning
  • Blood Stasis: hypochondriacal pain that stabs or lancinates; hard lumps in the breasts; carcinoma/adenoma in the thyroid
  • Phlegm: soft lumps in the thyroid; blurred vision
  • Bleeding: possibly nosebleed – but this can be due to other causes, such as from the Stomach luo channel
  • Cold: very painful cramps in the lower abdomen, abdominal masses (can be due also to cold in the Spleen or Kidney luo channels); cold feet; very painful joints
  • Heat: inflammation and pain in the eyes; nosebleed; thirst, bitter taste; bleeding from the uterus
  • Damp-Heat: genital discharge with blood in it, itching, inflammation;


Comment on Liver Luo

Knowing how to treat the Luo-connecting vessels gives acupuncturists great flexibility and understanding of how pain and discomfort accumulate in the body, and how this trapped Qi can be helped. The luo points are also where the divergent meridians commence, but using them does require some advanced acupuncture knowledge. It also requires knowledge of TCM Theory.

The luo-connecting points have many attributes, including the ability to stop bleeding and to ease pain.

They also have mental potential, helping to calm patients.

For the Liver Luo, the mental symptoms include frights and fears, but also depressions, often with palpitations and anxiety. Because the Liver channel internal branch reaches the throat, these symptoms often come with throat sensations such as of a lump, or difficulty swallowing or speaking. Because this is on the Liver channel, and because the Liver aims to keep Qi flowing smoothly and having a lump in your throat manifestly means qi is not flowing smoothly for you, Ligou is a great point both for calming the patient and incidentally clearing the sensation of a lump.

As the ‘lump’ occurs along the Liver channel, one would expect the lump to manifest when the patient is stressed. That’s because stress causes Qi Stagnation in the Liver.

The list of syndromes above hardly mentions the genitals, to which an important branch of this luo-connecting channel extends. Many genital problems can be helped by knowing how this luo works. (Of course a number of other channels reach the genitals so they must be considered too.)

They include symptoms of Damp-Heat, as already mentioned, but also of deficiency of Liver Blood, for example, for which symptoms might include weak erections.

Also, this liver luo channel may be useful I’ve found for preventing inguinal hernia. So it’s useful knowledge for acupuncturists.

Needle Upper Back
Needles in the acupuncture channel system


Why a point works in two ways

If, dear Reader, you wonder how the same point is used for both excess and deficient conditions, well, that’s because acupuncture needles can be manipulated by knowledgeable and experience acupuncturists to clear excess and support deficiency. It’s what one learns.


Jonathan Brand colours

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2 Responses

    1. Your question is answered on our general page on the luo-connecting channels:

      Best to read that page which tries to summarise quite a complicated subject, about which not a lot is written in English-language textbooks.

      If, as I suspect, you know rather more about Chinese medicine than your question so innocently displays, go to Giovanni Maciocia’s textbook on the Channels of Acupuncture, chapter 13. Hamid Montakab’s ‘Acupuncture Point and Channel Energetics’ also makes very well worthwhile reading.

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