One of the most potent acupoints of all lies on the Stomach meridian. Its Chinese name of Zusanli is translated as Leg Three Miles. It was a point reputedly used by ancient Chinese soldiers to enable them to go the extra three miles in their marches. For not only does this point strengthen the legs, it fortifies the whole body, tonifying the Qi and eliminating fatigue.
What is more, ST 36 treats most digestive conditions including nausea, vomiting, reflux, belching, stomach cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, low appetite and poor digestion. If that’s not enough, it improves the immune system, treats chills, fever, asthma and alleviates depression. This is such a powerful point, it is said that by the daily stimulation of this point, you can live to be 100.
Modern studies of the use of acupuncture on ST 36 have demonstrated that stimulation of the point produces measurable changes in the areas of the brain related to gastric function.
Where is this magical point located? It is on the lower leg, three body inches (the width across the four fingers) below the base of the patella, one finger’s width to the outside of the ridge of the tibia and in the shin muscle. Hold the point with steady pressure for two or three minutes on each leg, or if you prefer, massage in a clockwise direction. As with all acupoints, there is usually some sensitivity at the location so you will know when you have found it. The more sensitive the point, the more it needs treatment.
One of my clients was an amateur soccer player who would come for treatment two days before a big game. He always reminded me to “do the three miles point” for he found it helped him to run further on the field and to recover more quickly after the game. His experience was a modern equivalent of those ancient soldiers who were able to march further by supporting the Stomach meridian.