Man Dan-Yang Acupuncture – ST 36

This is the second in an occasional series on key points as written about by Man Dan-Yang and translated for the modern reader. This one is about the wonderful Leg Three Miles or Li at ST 36.

足三里 Zusanli, “Leg Three Li” (ST 36)

Zusanli (ST 36), located three cun below Xiyan (Extra) and between two tendons, can get to the heart of abdominal distension and is good for the treatment of cold sensation in the stomach, intestinal noises and diarrohea, swollen leg, soreness in the knees, emaciation, weakness from cold damage, and parasitic infestation (Gu Qi) of all sorts.

After the age of thirty, a person’s vision can be extended by applying acupuncture on this acupoint. This acupoint must be located carefully. Robust health can be brought by inserting the needle in 0.8 cun and applying three cones of moxa.

三里膝眼下。三寸两筋间。能通心腹胀。善治胃中寒。肠鸣并泄泻。腿肿膝桁酸。伤寒羸瘦损。气蛊及诸般。年过三旬后。针灸眼便宽。取穴当审的。八分三壮安。

ST36 Man Dan Yang Acupuncture: The 12 Miraculous Points

Notes:

Zusanli (ST 36) is effective for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. The kidney dominates Yuan Qi (Primary Qi and the spleen dominates Zhong Qi (Central Qi), i.e. the vital qi o Heaven.

The book says: “If there is stomach qi, there is life.” The spleen, stomach and intestines provide nutrition to the center. If there is no problem in the intestines and stomach, Zhong Qi is strong. Therefore, the ancients applied moxibustion directly on Zusanli, after the age of thirty, for assisting the Qi Dynamic of the spleen and stomach to increase the circulation of blood.

The classic proverbs says: “If one desires to improve the health of the body, Zusanli should not be dry.” This statement refers to the frequent application of moxibustion on Zusanli. Moxa frequently until there is a blister. Today it is believed that moxibustion on Zusanli can not only can treat problems of the intestines and stomach, but can also strengthen the body constitution.

承注:三里一穴,善治肠胃之疾。肾主元气,脾主中气,即天之生气。书曰:“有胃气则生。”盖脾胃肠三者,为供给营养中枢。肠胃无病,中气乃强。故古人于三旬之后,必当灸三里以助脾胃之气化,增加血液之运行。古谚有曰:“若要身体安,三里常不干。”即指常灸三里,致起

泡溃糜也。近今日人甚笃信三里灸祛,谓非但能治肠胃病,且能健身云。

Zusanli – ST 36

  • Resolves abdominal distention
  • Good for treating cold in the stomach
  • Intestinal rumblings and diarrhea
  • Leg swelling and knee ache
  • Cold damage emaciation
  • All manifestations of Gu-Toxin (parasitic infections)
  • After 30 years of age, this is a key point for acupuncture and moxabustion

Actions:

  • Harmonizes the Stomach
  • Supports Correct Qi
  • Revives Yang & Restores Consciousness (one of nine needles for returning the yang)
  • Command Point for Disorders of Abdomen
  • Fortifies Spleen and Resolves Dampness

Zu San Li is located is located 3 cun (body inches) below the  lower border of the kneecap and the point ST 35 (Du Bi). It is slightly more than a finger’s breadth from the anterior border of the tibia.