Acupressure on St36

Energy Boosting Acupressure: Stomach 36 ‘Leg 3 Miles’

Probably the most used acupoint of them all, a favourite of acupuncturists and tui na massage practitioners, and an essential point for health maintenance, Stomach-36 does it all!

This point is called Zu San Li in Chinese, meaning ‘leg 3 miles’ – the curious name gives a clue as to the energy boosting properties of the point. It is said that in ancient China, soldiers would press and rub this point on their leg in order to strengthen their energy levels so that they could go on and march another 3 miles!

Now, you may not have miles of marching to do, but using acupressure on this powerful point is a sure way of boosting your own energy levels to keep you going throughout the day.

The point is also called ‘Stomach 36’ as it is the 36th point along the Stomach channel or meridian, and it has a strong effect on the functioning of the Stomach and its paired organ the Spleen. It is often used for regulating and strengthening the digestive system, and can be used for all kinds of digestive disturbances, including indigestion, diarrhoea, bloating, flatulence and so on.

As Qi and Blood are both manufactured from food through the process of digestion, this point also strongly tonifies Qi and Blood deficiencies, meaning more strength and vitality.

It is also used to calm the Spirit and treats a range of mental and emotion conditions,and due to its position on the lower leg it can be used for any number of condition effecting the leg and foot.

Finally, this is an essential point for Yang Sheng, the use of Chinese Medicine in the preservation and protection of life and health. For this purpose it is often heated with moxibustion. This is one of my regular practices, and I’m certain that it helps me to keep well.

So useful is this point that Qin Cheng-zu, almost a thousand years ago said that by using Stomach-36 ‘all diseases can be treated’!

Finding St36

The point is on the shin, a little below the knee and slightly outside the shinbone. Here’s how to find it:

1. First locate the kneecap, and find its lower border.
2. Now measure 1 hand-width down the leg from the lower border of the kneecap
3. From there, find the crest of the shin bone, and measure outwards (lateral) 1 fingers width
4. You’ve got it!

Normally there is a slight depression at this point, and it can be a little tender to press.

Using St36

Apply pressure with a finger or thumb on one or both legs for a minute or 2 as and when you need a little energy boost. Or, even better, use regularly to allow the effects to build up. If you use the point daily, then the effect really begins to multiply as you ‘fill up your tank’.


This is just one of the energy-boosting techniques in my Supercharge Your Qi mini-course. Discover all the Chinese secrets to abundant energy and vitality, here.

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