Points of Interest – Stomach 36
Popular Point: Stomach 36, Leg Three Miles (ST-36)
If we haven’t needled this acupuncture point on you by your second or third visit, it’s either because you don’t wear pants that can be rolled up to the knee or we’re focused on one very localized pain issue elsewhere. But usually it’s clothing related. This point is just that great!
ST-36 is one of Miriam Lee’s magic points, a grouping of 10 points–5, done bilaterally–that she recommended as a basis for supporting healthy qi in everyone. It is a great system to base acupuncture treatments off of, especially in a community setting.
Location, Location, Location
This point is really easy to find so if you are needing to do some acupressure at home just follow along. It is located roughly 3 finger breadths below the knee on the lateral/outside of the leg. ST-36 is close to the shin bone (tibia) near the insertion of the tibialis anterior muscle. If you have had acupuncture with us we also might have needled a nearby point (GB-34) but that one is located a little more laterally (near the insertion of the extensor digitorum longus).
Chinese Medicine Theory for ST-36
The Glorious Anthology of Acupuncture and Moxibustion by the Ming dynasty author Gao Wu includes ST-36 as a Command Point for disorders of the abdomen. Often it’s used for treating gastrointestinal disorders:
But also to help boost your metabolism in general and give your immune system a boost. As a qi and blood tonifying point it also helps with fatigue.
ST-36 is the Earth point on the Stomach Channel. And the Stomach, along with the Spleen, is resonant with the Earth element in the Five Element System. That sets up ST-36 to be a strong point for the digestive functions of the body, aiding in the transforming and transporting of both food essence and fluid.
The Earth element is also associated with the muscles, so ST-36 is often good for muscle related problems from pain to fatigue.
The Stomach and Spleen channels (yin and yang counterparts) are the source of production for qi and blood and ST-36 is the single most important point to stimulate the generation of qi and blood.
- Harmonizes the Stomach
- Fortifies the Spleen and resolves dampness
- Supports the correct qi and fosters the original qi
- Tonifies qi and nourishes blood and yin
- Clears fire and calms the spirit
- Activates the channel and alleviates pain
- Revives the yang and restores consciousness