The Stomach Meridian
The stomach meridian begins under the eye, traveling down the face, chest, abdomen, leg, and ends on the second toe. Imbalances in the stomach organ system can manifest as digestive issues, nose bleeds, bleeding gums, bad breath, insomnia, lack of appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, and more. Qi (energy) travels in a downward movement through the stomach meridian, ensuring that our food is digested and excreted properly. When Qi moves in the wrong direction, (we call it rebellious Qi 👩🏼🎤), it moves upward resulting in acid reflux, hiccups, and vomiting. If Qi gets stuck during digestion, we experience food stagnation which results in bloating and cramping.
I often use the stomach points on the face for bells palsy, eye twitching, and post-stroke facial paralysis. These points also work wonders for TMJ and jaw tension.
The most famous point on the stomach channel, and arguably in all of acupuncture, is ST36. This point has been widely researched and has tremendous benefits for the body.
📉 In one study, researchers evaluated the effects of using electro-acupuncture on ST36 for gastric motility following colorectal surgery (gastric motility is typically impaired following surgery). ST36 was stimulated to induce intestinal movement, and the group receiving acupuncture showed a significantly faster recovery of gastro-intestinal movement compared to those who did not receive treatment.
📉 ST36 has also been researched in regard to elevating white blood cell count. White blood cells are responsible for fighting infection and diseases in the body. One study monitored tumor-bearing mice receiving acupuncture at ST36 as well as moxibustion. Results showed that, “acupuncture and moxibustion can up-regulate the serum IL-7 and IL-18 and white blood cell levels in immuno-suppression mice.”
Dr. Charlotte Morgan, D.Ac.
Lu M, Zhang JJ, Cao DM, Zhao XX, Wang GA, Zhang L. [Effect of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Intervention on Contents of Serum Interleukin-7 and In- terleukin-18 in Cyclophosphamide-induced Immune Suppression in Tumor-bearing Mice]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2015 Oct;40(5):396-401. Chinese. PMID: 26669198.
Chao HL, Miao SJ, Liu PF, Lee HH, Chen YM, Yao CT, Chou HL. The beneficial effect of ST-36 (Zusanli) acupressure on postoperative gastrointestinal function in patients with colorectal cancer. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2013 Mar;40(2):E61-8. doi: 10.1188/13.ONF.E61-E68. PMID: 23448746.