If you’re not familiar with the history of acupuncture, it is known as a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, commonly used to treat pain. Traditional Chinese medicine sees acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi — which is believed to flow through pathways in the body called meridians. Those who practice acupuncture often believe that illness occurs when something blocks or unbalances the chi, and inserting needles into specific points along these meridians is thought to re-balance the flow of energy in the body.
How Does it Work?
Acupuncture is performed by inserting very thin needles into the skin at certain points on the body. There are hundreds of pressure points located in various places all over the body, with 12 larger meridians along which the points lie. Each meridian is associated with a certain bodily system, and each pressure point has specific organs or other body parts associated with it.
Acupuncture is now used for a long list of conditions, including respiratory diseases, disorders of the mouth cavity, orthopedic disorders, gastrointestinal disorders and neurological disorders.
The Zu San Li
The Zu San Li is a pressure point located just below the kneecap and between the two bones of the lower leg. It’s also known as “the point of longevity.” To locate this point, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your hand over your kneecap. The point is located between the little finger and the ring finger. You should notice a small dent beneath the kneecap and between the bones. This is the Zu San Li pressure point.
It is believed that this one spot can control the flow of energy to many body parts, and multiple disorders can be treated by stimulating the point. It is commonly used as an alternative to pain killers.
What Can It Treat?
- Liver Function – Massaging the Zu San Li pressure point is thought to improve liver function by helping to regulate bile production and improve the organ’s ability to filter toxins that enter the body.
- Kidney Function– Stimulating the Zu San Li is believed to off kidney infections and keep them functioning properly.
- Metabolic Function – The Zu San Li is associated with improving metabolic function as well as relieving constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.
- Cardiac Function – The functions of the heart are believed to be improved by massaging the Zu San Li. It can help maintain proper circulation, lower the chance of irregular heartbeats and improve overall heart health.
- Blood Pressure Irregularities – For those with irregular blood pressure levels, either too high or abnormally low, stimulating the Zu San Li may help balance the chi and stabilize blood pressure.
- Blood Sugar Irregularities and Diabetes – Stimulating the Zu San Li has been associated with improvement in insulin metabolism and irregular blood sugar levels. Those suffering from diabetes may benefit greatly from massage or acupuncture at this pressure point.
How to Massage the Zu San Li
If you aren’t quite ready for the needles but you wish to try stimulating the Zu San Li on your own, set aside a few minutes in the morning to do the following:
- Locate the pressure point while seated comfortably.
- Massage the area slowly, either with your fingers or by rubbing uncooked grains such as buckwheat, oats or rice against the area gently, using a clockwise motion.
- Repeat the process on the opposite leg.