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The King of Digestion - St 36

There are many digestive disorders that acupuncture can be used for, from irritable bowel syndrome (1) to acid re-flux (2), nausea and vomiting (3).

However, from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, there is one acupuncture pointmthat is The King when it comes to treating digestion: Stomach 36! (AKA Zusanli, Leg Three Miles, St 36)

From the acupuncture textbook A Manual of Acupuncture, by Peter Deadman (4), here is a sample of just some of the reasons for using St 36:

  • Bloating/distension of abdomen

  • Difficult ingestion

  • Poor appetite

  • Epigastric pain (upper center of abdomen)

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Hiccups

  • Belching/Burping

  • Flatulence/Farting

  • Undigested food in the stool/feaces

  • Diarrhoea

  • Heaviness of the limbs/body

  • Insufficient Qi/Energy/Fatigue

  • Hunger without desire to eat

  • get the idea!

Sounds pretty good right?

Of course everyone's digestive complaints need to be assessed and diagnosed individually - there can be many different causes of digestive problems from both the Western Medical and TCM perspective. In fact, for example, irritable bowel syndrome could have at least 3 different causes and diagnoses in TCM.

Therefore the acupuncturist will take your pulse in the wrist, look at your tongue and ask you questions. After diagnosis, as many as 3 - 12 different acupuncture points may be utilized to treat your digestive complaint, and more often than not they will include The King acu-point St 36.

So if you've got a dodgy digestive disorder, contact Elise at Community Acupuncture Oamaru, book online for a private consultation, or come along to the community clinic on Tuesdays 1-7pm.


1. Bartosz Chmielnicki M.D. (2017) Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Evidence Based Acupuncture.

2. Bartosz Chmielnicki M.D. (2017) Gastroesophageal Reflux. Evidence Based Acupuncture.

3. Bartosz Chmielnicki M.D. (2017) Nausea and Vomiting. Evidence Based Acupuncture.

4. Deadman, P. & Al-Khafaji, M. (2007). A manual of acupuncture (2nd ed.). East Sussex: Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications.

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