Taichong LIV-3

Chinese: 太冲

Pinyin: Tài chōng


On the dorsum of the foot, between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones, in the depression proximal to the metatarsophalangeal joints and the proximal angle between the two bones.

How to locate

Run a finger from Xingjian LIV-2 along the groove between the 1st and 2nd metatarsal bones. Locate LIV-3 at the widest and deepest part of the groove. To double check, the groove become more narrow and shallow again from LIV-3. 

Commentary for Taichong LIV-3

Taichong LIV-3 is one of the most important point of Liver Channel, which are mainly used to remove Excess from the Liver. First of all, it is very effective in subduing Liver Yang which gives rise to migraine headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and head numbness. 

It can also clear Interior Wind so as to calm muscle spasm, contraction and cramps. Together with Hegu LI-4, they expel Wind from the face to treat facial paralysis or tic, epilepsy, deviation of eye or mouth and opisthotonos.

Actually the combination of these 4 points (left and right LIV-3 and LI-4) is called 'Four Gate' (四关 Si Guan) and they are very useful in calming the Mind and regulating Rebellious Qi. With Liver Qi Stagnation or Rebellious Liver Qi, patients has the tendency to easily get angry, frustrated and worried. They also suffer from general irritability or other emotional stresses, sighing, nausea, constipation, borborygmi as well as distension of hypochondrium, epigastrium, breasts and abdomen. 

Additionally, LIV-3 is an important point in treating gynaecological diseases due to its close relationship with the Penetrating Vessel (冲脉 Chong Mai, the Vessel of Chong).  Actually, its Chinese name 'Tai Chong' derives from Chong Mai. It activates the Penetrating Vessel, so as to invigorate the Uterus Blood and remove Blood Stagnation there. Therefore, it treats amenorrhoea, irregular periods, painful periods, excessive menstrual bleeding and Uterus prolapse. 

Finally, LIV-3 treats Shan disorder (Hernial and Genitourinary) as well, in a similar way to Dadun LIV-1. It can resolve Dampness from the genitourinary system, the Liver and Gall Bladder. Typical symptoms include jaundice, swollen and retracted testicles, pain and swollen in genitalia, swollen vulva, chronic white vaginal discharge, difficult urination or retention of urine. The result can be further enhanced by moxibustion afterwards.