Acupressure is known as a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, commonly used to treat pain. According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupressure is a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi — which is believed to flow through pathways in the body called meridians. Acupressure practitioners often believe that illness occurs when something blocks or unbalances the chi, and pressing specific points along these meridians is thought to re-balance the flow of energy in the body.
The Zu San Li
The Zu San Li is the 36th point on the Stomach meridian. Zu San Li — which translates into English as “Leg Three Li” — derives its name from the legend according to which a weary traveler (during the time when travel was predominantly on foot) who stimulated Zu San Li would then be energized enough to be able easily to journey an additional three li: the equivalent of about a mile. It is a pressure point located just below the kneecap and between the two bones of the lower leg. It’s also known as “the point of longevity.” To locate this point, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your hand over your kneecap. The point is located between the little finger and the ring finger. You should notice a small dent beneath the kneecap and between the bones. Using your four-finger “tape measure” (which equals three cun), place the outer edge of your first finger in that dimple near the bottom edge of your kneecap — letting the other fingers fold down onto your shinbone. Notice where the outer edge of your pinky falls, i.e. where the other end of the “tape-measure” falls. Zu San Li is at exactly that level on your leg — just one finger-breadth lateral to (outside of) the pointy ridge of your shin.
It is believed that this one spot can control the flow of energy to many body parts, and multiple disorders can be treated by stimulating the point. It is commonly used as an alternative to pain- killers.
Acupressure At Leg Three Li
Once you’ve located ST36, on one leg or on both legs simultaneously, use whichever finger feels best to apply moderate to deep pressure, in a tiny circular motion, for as long as you would like (start with 2-3 minutes). Notice how you feel. An acupressure protocol which combines Zu San Li ST36 with He Gu LI4 is a wonderful way to fortify and move the Qi of the entire body: a great alternative to that extra cup of midday coffee 🙂
What Can It Treat?
- Liver Function– Massaging the Zu San Li pressure point is thought to improve liver function by helping to regulate bile production and improve the organ’s ability to filter toxins that enter the body.
- Kidney Function– Stimulating the Zu San Li is believed to off kidney infections and keep them functioning properly.
- Metabolic Function– The Zu San Li is associated with improving metabolic function as well as relieving constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.
- Cardiac Function– The functions of the heart are believed to be improved by massaging the Zu San Li. It can help maintain proper circulation, lower the chance of irregular heartbeats and improve overall heart health.
- Blood Pressure Irregularities– For those with irregular blood pressure levels, either too high or abnormally low, stimulating the Zu San Li may help balance the chi and stabilize blood pressure.
- Blood Sugar Irregularities and Diabetes– Stimulating the Zu San Li has been associated with improvement in insulin metabolism and irregular blood sugar levels. Those suffering from diabetes may benefit greatly from massage or acupuncture at this pressure point.