Wood element – 2: Liver Meridian

(Five elements – 11)

In this article I will further discuss Wood element and the Liver meridian. Liver meridian is Yin part of the Wood element represented in our bodies. The other is Gallbladder, which I will discuss in the next article.

Liver and two roles

Liver meridian has two major roles: storing Blood as well as providing the flow of Qi. First one is Yin function the second one is Yang. Liver can cause the stagnation of Qi, if the Liver Yang is too strong and Liver Qi is out of balance. I would assume it is because of natural protection of next element in the cycle of Five Elements, Fire Element or Heart.

Liver and Blood

Liver organ is considered a Blood reservoir of the whole body and when we are asleep all blood from periphery flows back to Liver. When the blood is needed Liver will provide it, but with the imbalance of Qi or Yin Liver can fail in its function in three ways: in delivering the blood by delivering it too slow, it can fail to deliver it and it can make the Blood too hot if the “Liver is on fire”.

When the Liver cannot provide blood to the muscles when it is needed for the action it can cause stiffness and pain, especially after the rest, because the blood returns to Liver when you rest. These symptoms can also happen after a sitting down for a while.

Blood deficiency

Liver, beside the Spleen, causes blood deficiency and it can be seen as dullness, dry skin and hair, pale complexion, dizziness, sleeplessness, depression, poor memory, scanty menstruation or lack of it. Also blurred vision can occur, weak and brittle nails and tendency to strained and weak tendons.

Heat in the Blood

When the Liver is conveying too much Heat to the Blood, blood will tend to move quickly and can cause heavy bleeding, such as strong menstruation, sudden nosebleed or sudden bleeding anywhere in the body. Another heat in the blood symptom is red and itchy skin.

Liver governs the flow of Qi

When the Liver is distributing Qi well the flow is relaxed and spontaneous. It is even. Symptoms that show the stagnation of Qi caused by Liver is: pain accompanied by distention, moodiness, depression, PMS, menstrual pain, difficulty of swallowing with feeling of lump stuck in throat.

Repression of emotions hurt Liver

Any repression of feelings and emotions might hurt Liver and its function. Liver as well as Wood element in the nature needs space to express its individuality. If this is suppressed, the Qi flow might stagnate, Fire in liver might rise… Depression might be the worst symptom of this.


Eyes are the openings where the Liver can express. One of the inner branches of Liver meridian goes through our Eyes. Yin of the Liver moistens the eyes. Working too long at the computer can drain or at least tire up liver, but looking some green plants or walking in the nature surrounded with green forest can be beneficial for both your Liver and your eyes, beside the beneficial influence on your soul, spirit, Shen, psyche, emotional mind… 🙂

Liver is a seat of the Ethereal soul or Hun 

In Liver resides Hun, Ethereal soul. Hun survives after the death of the body. Hun can leave the body during sleep, in western society this is known as astral travel.

Liver Meridian

Liver meridian is the Yin meridian of lower limbs. It begins in the outer corner of the nail of the big toe. It runs up the dorsal side of the foot, moves to the inner side of the leg and runs up towards scrotum, goes inside the body, comes out in the Ren-3 and Ren-4 where it connects with Ren Mai meridian or Conception vessel. Then it runs up towards thorax where its outer branch finishes in the sixth inter costal space. From Li-13 the inner collateral branch enters the stomach, and runs towards the gallbladder and liver. From liver it runs through the diaphragm, lungs and connects with the Lungs meridian. Another collateral branch runs from Li-14 over the thorax to the throat and over the eyes, over the forehead and towards the apex where it unites with the Du Mai extraordinary vessel or Governing meridian in the Du-20 point or Baihui. One branch also goes from the eyes towards the mouth which it encircles.

Symptoms of the Liver meridian deficiency

Liver energy protects organism from “outer, aggressive energies”. Symptoms of Liver deficiency might be seen as: digestive disturbances, nausea, vomiting, constipation, flatulence, migraine, vertigo, arthritis, muscles affections, sight disturbances, psychological problems, choleric temperance, jealousy, oversensitivity, fear, anxiety…

Liver -3 or Taichong point

Liver 3 (Liv-3, Taichong) is one of the most frequently used points on Liver meridian. It is not the opening point of any extraordinary vessel, but it might as well have been if its influence on the energy system was measured. It opens not only the Liver meridian and can stop the stagnation of Qi and Blood, but can also help with many symptoms mentioned above and below. I have good experience with heat in the liver, headaches, eye aches, anger kept inside… Do include this point in your knowledge and use it. It is one of the major points in our energy system.

This point is the Shu point and it’s a source point of Liver meridian. Indications for the use of this point are spasms of the transverse musculature, epidemic hepatitis, liver pains, diarrhea, nausea, cold feet, edemas, migraine, vertigo, epilepsy, irritability, fear, insomnia, hypochondria…

You can stimulate this point with different techniques like acupressure, acupuncture, moxibustion, holding it and leading the Qi towards it (Qigong).


May the Qi be with You!


Photo: Pixabay


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    1. Thanks Blake, we will do our best… We wish you a creative year with a lot of Qigong and everything that you like. Smiljana and Petar 🙂 🙂

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