Stomach 36 (ST 36) is one of the most important and commonly used acupuncture points. The Chinese is Zu San Li, meaning literally “three leg miles.” This is because you can rub this point for extra energy when you have been working all day.
ST 36 can be used for diseases of the abdomen, chest, and face because these are the areas through which the channel runs.
Location: To locate ST 36 find the bump on your bone about one inch below the knee. This bump is called the tibial tuberosity. ST 36 is level with the bottom of the tibial tuberosity, one thumb width towards the outside of the leg.
Symptoms: ST 36 is one of the most important and commonly used acupuncture points. You can use it to maintain general health, improve digestion, treat constipation or diarrhea, and reduce fatigue. It can be used for stomachaches and nausea. With stronger stimulation, ST 36 can be used for any pain of the abdomen including stomach aches and menstrual cramps.
How to Massage: In general, soft gentle massage of ST 36 helps to increase you energy and improve your digestion. Use your pointer finger and middle finger to gentle rub in small circles.
How to treat menstrual cramps with ST 36
If you are trying to reduce abdominal pain or acute menstrual cramps you should first palpate ST 36 area. If the muscles there are tight, then pressing deeply and strongly with your thumb will help reduce these cramps. Be careful because pressing very hard can cause bruising. If the muscle there are weak, then gently rubbing is better.