Acupressure points have been used for centuries to stop colds at the first sign of illness, alleviate flu symptoms, andprevent sickness. Now, modern research studies are showing us that activation of these points can increase the body’s own immunofactors to fight infection.
One point, Stomach 36, is one of the most extensively studied acupuncture points. It can be used to increase endurance, boost energy, aid in digestion, and improve immunity. Studies in both rats (4) and humans (1, 2), show leukocyte proliferation in response to needling certain acupuncture points. Leukocytes are a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Proliferation means increase. So by pressing this point, you can harness the body’s own ability to fight infection by increasing the number of white blood cells (2).
The literal translation of Stomach 36 is “Zu San Li”, or “Leg 3 mile.”
There is even a legend about this point: “Chinese Warriors Would Wear Leather Sashes With Stones Hanging From Either Side Of Their Waist While They Hiked Across The Vast Countryside To Protect Their Nation. When The Warriors Became Exhausted, To The Point Where They Just Couldn’t Go Any Further, They Would Kneel Down To Rest. The Stones Would Naturally Land At Stomach 36 On Each Leg. Upon Arising From This Bended Knee Position, With Pressure On Stomach 36, When The Soldiers Arose They Found Extra Hidden Renewed Strength And Were Able To Hike “Three More Miles”…
1. Acupuncture regulates leukocyte subpopulations in human peripheral blood. Yamaguchi N, Takahashi T, Sakuma M, Sugita T, Uchikawa K, Sakaihara S, Kanda T, Arai M, Kawakita K. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007 Dec; 4(4):447-53.
2. Effect of acupuncture treatment on the immune function impairment found in anxious women. Arranz L, Guayerbas N, Siboni L, De La Fuente M. Am J Chin Med. 2007; 35(1):35-51.
3. Acupuncture May Stimulate Anticancer Immunity via Activation of Natural Killer Cells. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011: 481625. Published Online 2011 Mar 10. Doi: [10.1093/Ecam/Nep236]
4. Enhancement Of Splenic Interferon-Gamma, Interleukin-2, And NK Cytotoxicity By S36 Acupoint Acupuncture In F344 Rats. Yu Y, Kasahara T, Sato T, Guo SY, Liu Ya, Asano K, Hisamitsu T. Jpn J Physiol. 1997 Apr; 47(2):173-8.