Located about 3 inches below the knee on the outside of the shinbone lies that acupuncture point, Stomach 36 (ST36, also known as Zu San Li), probably the most used acupuncture point in clinical practice.
The therapeutic effects of this point are far-reaching:
- ST 36 is a primary point to boost immunity - in fact, it is said that in China, Chinese medicine doctors encourage stimulating this point with acupuncture daily to maintain a healthy immune system
- ST 36 is also a longevity point used to reduce the effects of aging and preserve health
- Known as the command point for the abdomen, ST 36 can be used to treat any disorder affecting the abdomen, covering a broad range of conditions including cramping, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, hernia, ulcers, and even some food allergies.
- ST 36 the primary point to nourish, or tonify, Qi and Blood (forms of energy) in the body. In acupuncture theory, the Spleen and Stomach organs are responsible for the creation of energy Qi and Blood. A deficiency of Qi or Blood (or both) can underlie a vast array of symptoms and diseases. This use indicates ST 36 in any condition of weakness, deficiency, or chronic illness.
- As a local point, ST 36 can also be used to treat musculoskeletal problems associated with the lower leg - including the knee and shin area. Electro-stimulation between this point and a point just above the knee is commonly used to treat acute and chronic knee issues.
To find the point on yourself, find the "eyes of the knee" - the two little indentations on either side of your kneecap. Place your hand perpendicular to the length of your shin, with your pointer finger level with the eyes of the knee. Your pinkie finger will be lying level with ST 36. Slide your pinkie finger to the outside of your shin bone, just about 1 fingers-width away from the crest of the bone. This is ST36.