Amazing Acupressure Point Series:
Stomach 36, Zu San Li, Leg Three Miles*
Stomach 36 (St 36) is the acupoint any practitioner could say is the key point of all the 365 classical acupressure/acupuncture points on the body. It’s the go-to point for such a wide-range health issues that it can almost be included in every session. Professors in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) schools are heard to say, “When in doubt, use Stomach 36 and Large Intestine 4.” We begin this series of Amazing Acupressure Points with St 36, go on with Large Intestine 4 and many more powerful acupoints.
In TCM there are classifications of points that describe their location and function. St 36 has an impressive list of ways in which it is classified. It’s the He Sea Point on the Stomach Meridian, which is the last acupoint point where chi collects before flowing into the ocean of the body. It’s the Master point for the gastrointestinal tract and thus affects the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients. As the Earth Point (or Earth-on-Earth Point) on the Stomach Meridian it’s considered an extremely powerful transporting point in the Five-Element Theory construct. St 36 is the Command point of the Abdomen. Another name for this point is “The Sea of Water and Grain Point” because of the Stomach’s role in being the origin of fluids and the food source for the body. And, last but not least, St 36 is a powerful Tonification point for chi, blood, and Wei chi (Protective chi).
Depending on which text you refer, the functions attributed to St 36 could be endless. Here are just a few functions: regulates and tonifies Spleen; regulates and strengthens Stomach chi and yin in the middle and lower Jiao (middle and lower sections of the trunk); tonifies Ying chi (nutrient chi), reduces stomach stagnation; redirects rebellious chi (chi going up, e.g., vomiting, burping); dispels dampness from the Lungs; regulates and moistens Large Intestines; tonifies Kidney yang and source chi; regulates and tonifies chi and blood; dispels Wind and Cold pathogenic factors; clears Heat; restores collapsed yang…. Need we go on!
Because of its location below the stifle, St 36, when stimulated, benefits the stifle because it brings more chi and blood to that area, hence, St 36 can be used for any stifle injury, arthritic changes, or other bone, tendon, or ligament problems surrounding the stifle. Common use of St 36 include: colic, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, weight loss, mucus or blood in the stool/manure, muscle weakness, abdominal distension or pain, poor appetite, dehydration, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, restlessness, edema, shock, fatigued extremities, lethargy, grounding, dizziness, hypertension, shortness of breath, seizures, blood deficiency, jaundice, immune system disorders, etc. Believe it or not, St 36 has even more benefits then the ones listed.
Equine: Craniolateral aspect of the pelvic limb – One half cun (0.5) lateral to the tibial crest on the lateral side of the tibia.
Canine: Craniolateral aspect of the pelvic limb – One finger-breadth lateral to the tibial crest in the lateral portion of the tibial muscle 3 cun below St 35.
Feline: Craniolateral aspect of the pelvic limb – One finger-breadth lateral to the tibial crest in the lateral portion of the tibial muscle 3 cun below St 35.
*NOTE: Some texts translate name Zu San Li into English as “Foot Three Mile,” “Foot Three Miles,” or “Leg Three Mile.”