Stomach Meridian

The Stomach meridian is home to many important points related to digestion.

“The Stomach and Spleen are like warehouses where one stores all the food and essences. They digest, absorb, and extract the food and nutrients.” – Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine

The Stomach meridian is one of the three Yang meridians on the leg. Beginning just under the eye at acupoint ST 1, the Stomach meridian travels down the face, chest, abdomen, and leg, ending on the 2nd toe (acupoint ST 45).

Internally, the Stomach meridian connects with the stomach and spleen.


Stomach Meridian

Stomach Meridian and points are located on both sides of the body.


In the process of digestion, the Stomach is responsible for moving the food along the digestive tract, which is a downward motion. The Spleen is the other organ of digestion in Chinese Medicine. The Spleen is responsible for absorbing nutrients and moving them upward to nourish the heart, lungs, and brain.

All bodily functions ultimately rely on nutrition, absorption, and elimination in order to function. The Stomach, Spleen, Small and Large Intestines all play important roles in these vital functions.

The Stomach’s primary role is to keep the process moving and keep the energy of digestion going in the correct direction: down. Practically speaking, any reversal of this downward flow results in acid reflux, hiccups, and vomiting. If the food we eat does not move along the digestive tract (“food stagnation”) we feel bloated, stuffed, irritable and may experience abdominal cramping.

I use the Stomach meridian and points to support healthy digestion and to relieve digestive complaints.

Famous Stomach Point

Stomach 36,  Zu San Li, “Leg Three Miles”

The name of this point implies that even if you were exhausted, stimulating ST 36 would give you the energy to walk another three miles!

I use ST 36 to invigorate and build Qi (energy) and to relieve digestive complaints. On various occasions, just by massaging the Stomach meridian on the leg with pressure to ST 36, I’ve seen digestive issues such as cramping, bloating, and constipation be relieved.

Locate ST 36


Click on the picture for close up view

Locate ST 36 by feeling for a sensitive area about 3 inches below the lower edge of the knee cap on the outer surface of the leg. The outer edge of the knee cap (patella) is used as a reference to locate the Stomach meridian. Draw a line from the outer edge of the patella, straight down while feeling for the point (located 3 inches below the lower edge of the patella).

To continue learning, check out the “All About the Stomach Meridian” video on demand.

About The Author

Cindy Black, L.Ac., LMT

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  • ISY Nobilski

    Reply Reply October 25, 2013

    Hi Cindy , I’ve read and tried massaging the st36 and although I didn’t need to go 3 more miles I could feel relief in the rather plump belly. Have a nice weekend! Love, ISY. Thanks!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply October 25, 2013

      Hi Isy – I’m so happy to hear from you!
      I’m glad you didn’t have to walk too far for relief 🙂

  • Steph

    Reply Reply October 26, 2013

    Thanks for the reminder about this potent point!

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply October 26, 2013

      You are welcome!

  • Sylvia

    Reply Reply October 28, 2013

    Hi Cindy–

    I love the efficacy of this point! One day a friend very invested in traditional Western medicine felt so ill she relented and let me work the point. She was green when we began and by the time I was done, her nausea had subsided. She kept saying, “It’s magic!” to which I kept replying, “OMG, no it’s not! It’s acupressure!” 😉

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply October 28, 2013

      Thank you Sylvia! I agree, ST. 36 is a very efficient point and offers us so much! 🙂

  • Crista

    Reply Reply November 15, 2013

    Obrigada por existir e compartilhar a tua sabedoria.
    Gostaria de saber em qual das pernas e em que lado da face deve-se aplicar esses pontos?
    Lado direito,esquerdo ou ambos os lados?
    Com admiração e respeito…abraço-te…Crista.

    Hi ..
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
    I wonder which of the legs and on which side of the face must apply these points?
    Right, left or both sides?
    With admiration and respect … hug you … Crista.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply November 15, 2013

      Olá Crista,

      Os meridianos e pontos estão em ambos os lados do corpo, embora as imagens, como este, mostram apenas um lado. Use pontos de estômago em ambas as pernas e ambos os lados do rosto.

      Obrigado por suas perguntas – é maravilhosa para se conectar com você!


      Hello Crista,

      The meridians and points are on both sides of the body even though images, like this one, only show one side. Use Stomach points on both legs and both sides of the face.

      Thank you for your questions – it is wonderful to connect with you!


  • alicia

    Reply Reply January 30, 2014

    I worked these points (On both sides?) and I got over nausea and it helped the knee pain I had after a little knee scraping by an orthopod. . I actually had more energy… But the best part was I was able to sit down and write an article I had due in a short period of time and it was a hit??? Thanks Cindy.

    • Cindy Black, L.Ac.

      Reply Reply January 30, 2014

      Hey – this stuff really works! Thanks for sharing your experience ALicia! 🙂

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