ST36 is the bomb. And by the bomb, I mean my absolute favorite acupuncture point I use on every patient, every time.
Acupuncture points are the dozens of recognized locations across the human body that are, for lack of better a word, hotspots for qi, or energy. Activating these points with needles is how healing unbalanced energy begins.
So what’s ST36? It has another poetic (and much more dramatic name): The Sea of Qi and Blood Point. Or, in more technical terms, ST36, which stands for stomach meridian point number 36.
The stomach part is a little misleading – ST36 is a point on each leg, a couple inches below the knee on the shin.
It’s part of a meridian that runs from head to toe, and it affects the treatment of every possible ailment. ST36 is a major impact point for qi deficiencies, like digestive issues, fatigue, a weak immune system—and also for blood deficiencies, like dryness of skin and eyes, anxiety and problems sleeping.
In Chinese, it’s called Zu San Li, which, loosely translated, means that after treating this point with acupuncture, you’ll be energized to walk an extra three miles.
The funny thing is, while I love this point dearly, patients tend to have less regard for it. Because it’s such a high-energy point, many feel a strong, unfavorable sensation when I put a needle in it. Most often, I hear about a dull aching or a twitchy feeling up and down the leg.
I get why it’s not everyone’s favorite, but it’s worth the weird sensations: Needling this point means I can needle two fewer points, so it’s like a twofer.
And who couldn’t use a little boost to walk an extra three miles, right?!
Got more questions about acupuncture points? Contact me here, and I’d love to talk with you more.