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.
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.
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
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.
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.