One of the most potent and prominent acupressure points of all lies on the stomach meridian. Known as Stomach 36 (ST 36), it is the 36th point along the stomach channel or meridian, and regarded as one of the most valuable points by licensed acupuncturists and Tui Na massage practitioners, boasting a range of fundamental functions in the manifestation of qi and blood in the body.
Stomach 36 has been a highly admired and treasured pressure point for thousands of years. In 443 AD, the imperial medical officer Qin Cheng-Zu, said that by using Stomach 36, “all diseases can be treated”! Which now begs the question, what exactly is it used for?
This experiential acupoint treats a comprehensive collection of digestive conditions, including: nausea, vomiting, belching, stomach cramps, bloating, flatulence, reflux, low appetite and poor digestion.
Furthermore, in addition to the digestive issues mentioned above, it is also used to treat fatigue, dizziness, hypertension, paralysis, depression, improving immune system functioning, shortness of breath, asthma and fevers and chills. Stomach 36 is also commonly used in the late summer and early autumn to boost immunity against seasonal influenza. Is there anything that this magical point can’t do?
The History of Stomach 36
In Chinese, this point is called Zu San Li, meaning ‘leg 3 miles’ – the unique name indicates the energy-boosting properties it presents. Not only is this point exceptionally well known and dominant within traditional Chinese therapy, it also comes with a distinctive legend attached to it, explaining the reason behind its chosen name.
The point was said to be reputedly used by the ancient Chinese soldiers in enabling them to continue the extra three miles in their heroic journeys; reinforcing and strengthening their legs. Additionally, it works on tonifying the qi and eliminates fatigue, fortifying and consolidating the entire body.
“Chinese warriors would wear leather sashes from either side of their waists, as they hiked across the countryside protecting their nation. Inside these sashes, they stored several stones. When the Chinese warriors became exhausted, feeling they could not go any further, they kneeled to rest, and the stones would land on their legs; naturally falling on the Stomach 36 point.
Once risen from the bended knee position, removing the pressure from Stomach 36, the soldiers discovered they had remarkable renewed strength, pushing them to be able to hike three more miles.”
Tt isn’t just acupuncturists that favour the Stomach 36 acupoint. It is also utilised as an essential point for Yang Sheng (the use of Chinese medicine in the preservation and protection of life and health) and used in conjunction with the invigorating heat therapy moxibustion.
Where is This Exceptional Point Located?
Found on the lower leg, three inches (the width across the four fingers) from the bottom of the patella (kneecap) and along the outer boundary of the tibia and shin muscle. To determine you are in the right place, a muscle should pop out as you move your foot up and down. As with all acupoints, you are likely to feel some sensitivity once you have found it; the more sensitive the point, the more treatment it requires.
Acupuncturists believe that most ailments stem from the art of overworking ourselves to the point of complete exhaustion, but don’t worry, I can help.
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