Monday, November 10, 2014

Zu San Li: Acupressure for Digestion and Energy

Acupressure is a self-healing method that employs the energetics of the Chinese Medicine meridians and points without the needles.  In this brief series on acupressure I will outline the benefits a handful of points for helping heal yourself naturally.

Today's point is one of the most beloved and frequently used points in Chinese Medicine because of its usefulness and versatility.  Zu San Li, or Stomach 36, translates as "leg three miles" in part because it is said that stimulating this point with either needle, or firm massage allows you to walk three more miles when you are tired.  This point is on the stomach channel which extends from just under the eye, down to the second toe on both sides.  This channel affects digestion, the immune system, and in turn your energy level related to your qi, or life energy.

Zu San Li can be located by measuring one hands-breadth (the width of the palm of your hand) from the bottom of the knee cap, to a spot in the muscle below.  The point is often tender, or a little more sensitive than surrounding area.  See the photo above.  Use a thumb or even a massage tool to stimulate the point in a firm, circular motion first on one leg and then the other.  Applying heat can also be helpful.

Stomach 36 can be massaged for stomach upset or nausea and vomiting.  It regulates and boosts qi, or the body's natural protective energy, and regulates digestion.  For this reason it is also helpful for emotional upsets.  And it is used to boost immunity. It's also a wonderful point to massage on children for any of these complaints.

Questions or comments?  Or any specific points or conditions you'd like me to cover?  Please comment below!

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