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~Zusanli - Stomach 36 ~

" Leg Three Miles "





below the knee, 3 cun below Dubai (st 35), on finger breadth lateral to the anterior crest of the tibia. Location note; Dubai (st 35) is located on the knee, in the hollow formed when the knee is flexed, immediately below the patella and lateral to the patella ligament.


perpendicular insertion 1.0 to 1.5 inch

Moxa is OK


Harmonizes the stomach
Fortifies the spleen
Resolves dampness
Tonifies Qi and nourishes blood and yin
Balances 'correct' Qi
Supports Original Qi
Clears fire
Calms the spirit
Activates the channel and alleviates pain
Revives yang and restores consciousness


gastric pain, vomiting, hiccup, abdominal distention, borborygmus, diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, mastitis, enteritis, aching of the knee joint, beriberi, edema, cough, asthma, emaciation due to general deficiency, indigestion, apoplexy, hemiplegia, dizziness, insomnia, mania.


Zusanli is considered in classical texts to be one of the 11 most vital acupuncture points, called the 'eleven heavenly star points.' Later Taichong (Liver 3) was added and it became the 12 Heavenly Star points. The others are; Lieque (Lung 7), Hegu (Large Intestine 4), Quchi (Large Intestine 11), Neiting (Stomach 44), Tongli (Heart 5), Weizhong (Urinary Bladder 40), Chengshan (Urinary Bladder 57), Kunlun (Urinary Bladder 60), Huantiao (Gallbladder 30), & Yanglingquan (Gallbladder 34).

Zusanli is indicated for any disorder of the stomach, especially disorders arising out of irregular eating or drinking. Many TCM physicians consider proper functioning of the 'middle' to be the key to treating almost any disorder. If the body is properly nourished it can expel any invader and repair any damage that may be done.

As Zusanli is the point of choice for tonifying the middle, it is considered by many to be the single most important acupuncture point on the body. It is said that "all diseases can be treated" with Zusanli.

So strong is Zusanli's tonifying effect on the body, that some texts caution its use in some cases, in case it is the invading pathogen that is strengthened rather than the body.

Zusanli is the He-Sea point of the stomach channel. A He-Sea point, according the 5 elements theory is where the Qi plunges deeply into the body. He-Sea points of channels are all located at the elbows and knee joints.

Zusanli, by its ability to balance and promote 'correct' Qi, is generally considered to be a point that has a beneficial effect on the whole body. In this it is often paired with Taiyuan (Lung 9) which has a tonifying effect on Qi derived from air via the Lungs to promote overall wellness and longevity. Massaging Zusanli is often an important exercise in Qi Gong and martial arts practices.

The term Li is the rough equivalent of a Chinese mile or kilometre. The idea is that, even when totally exhausted, needling Zusanli would allow one to walk a further three miles.

Regular application of moxa to Zusanli is considered to be a method for gaining longevity. The saying is 'moxa Zusanli and live to be a hundred.' Regular needling or application of Moxa to Zusanli is well known to preserve and maintain good health, especially as one advances in age.

Zusanli is the single most important point to stimulate the generation of Qi and blood in the stomach and spleen. Post heaven or Jing Qi is derived from food (grain) and water through the action of the stomach and spleen. Jing or nutrient Qi is important to 'top up' one's Original or Yuan Qi, stored in the Kidney.

Zusanli is indicated for any disorder occurring along the length of the Stomach channel, including disorders of the breast (abscess, swelling, etc.), any pain along the length of the leg,

Zusanli is much valued to treat what are known as 'the 5 taxations & 7 injuries' of classical texts.

The 5 injuries are; 1.) excessive use of the eyes which injures the blood, 2.) excessive lying down which injures Qi, 3.) excessive sitting which injures the flesh, 4.) excessive standing which injures the bones, 5.) excessive walking which injures the sinews.

The 7 taxations are; 1.) overeating injuring the Spleen, 2.) great anger which injures the Liver, 3.) heavy lifting or prolonged sitting on damp ground which injures the Kidneys, 4.) pathogenic cold which injures the Lung, 5.) worry and anxiety which injures the Heart, 6.) wind, rain, cold and summer-heat which injures the body, & 7.) excessive fear which injures the emotions.

Finally, Zusanli, because of its ability to clear phlegm and fire, fortify the Spleen, promote 'correct' flow of Qi, and because its divergent channel connects with the Heart (which houses one's spirit), is indicated in a number of psycho- emotional disorders involving manic behaviour, such as mania-depression, manic singing, raving, abusive talk, anger, fright, and outrageous laughter.


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