Home Remedies Using the “Zu San Li” Point | 足三里的家庭妙用
Last week we talked about many amazing applications of the “Zu San Li” point. In fact, there are way more effects this point can achieve by doing some simple home remedies. I would like to share a personal experience: several months ago, I started to experience fatigue everyday near the end of work. I was so tired to a point I could not fully recover even after a good night of sleep. This was very rare condition for me. All my friends know that I am an active person. I exercise frequently, and I am not hesitant to do things that can enhance my health---I should be energetic. I figured that probably because I used the traditional needling techniques quite intensively in my clinical sessions, and lost too much “qi”. Therefore, I decided to apply acupuncture on myself. Then I started the self-acupuncture of the “Zu San Li” point twice a day, one time after driving the kids to school, another time in the evening for about 10 minutes each time using the tonification (“bu”) technique. Now it has been several months, and the fatigue problem has gone. Exactly when did the situation become better I could not remember. I only remembered that I told me family once “acupuncture has helped my health” in the second week after I started self-acupuncture. Having seen the good effects, I kept acupuncture treatment on the “Zu San Li” point a daily routine. Now I am as energetic as I can be no matter how many patients I see each day.
All the doctors, especially the famous ones have their own way of health-keeping, because all doctors need to be healthy themselves so they can treat the patients. In the history, among the TCM doctors, there are many examples: Bian Que1 invented the Qigong; Hua Tuo invented the Wu Qin Xi2---a form of Qigong mimicking the forms of tiger, deer, bear, monkey, and crane; Sun, Si Miao3 used moxibustion on the “Zu San Li”; Zhu, Liangchun, a modern TCM doctor and famous scholar of this field, was good at using the herb huang qi to enhance health----there are numerous example. I practiced acupuncture for decades and from my experience, the “Zu San Li’’ point is the most important point for health keeping.
Now here is the problem: I can easily apply acupuncture to the Zu San Li point, because I am acupuncture doctor myself. How would average people treat this point by themselves? First, you can try massaging this point, as long as you can find the point correctly (please refer to the last article for finding the point). However, if you do not know massage, you may massage not long enough or without enough force---then you may not have as good effects.
Therefore moxbustion is a better choice. To do it, you need to buy some mox sticks from any Chinese medicine store first. The mox sticks look like cigar and the way of use are similar to cigar too---just make sure you do not smoke the mox sticks. To use mox sticks, simply ignite one end of the stick, and pointing the stick at the point for 20 to 30 minutes. Please do make sure you do not burn yourself---keep the stick a little distance from the skin, so that you feel the heat is almost burning on your skin and your skin become red---but not burnt.
I often suggest this method to patients, especially those also suffering from cancer. There are two reasons the cancer patients may need this: first, they need to “repair” their immune system---all cancers care caused by a malfunction in the immune system, and Zu San Li point is a good way to enhance the immune system; second, this method can effectively reduce the uncomfortable side effects of chemotheraby or radiation therapy such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hand and foot coldness, bad appetite, and a low white blood cell count.
The traditional Chinese medicine emphasizes health-keeping and preventive medical treatment. This can be achieved by using the mox sticks properly---simply ignite the sticks, and put it to action. Health needs continuous care, so be persistent.
Here are some notes of those big TCM names above, in case you want to know more about the history of TCM:
1. Bian Que (Chinese: 扁䳍; pinyin: Biǎn Què) (also pronounced Pien Chueh, Wade–Giles: Pien Ch'iao; died 310 BC) was, according to legend, the earliest known Chinese physician. His deeds included using a needle to pierce a newly “died” prince’s head to raise him from death---in fact the prince was in a comma-like state. Bian Que advocated the four step diagnosis: looking, listening, inquiring, and taking the pulse.
2. Hua Tuo (c. 140–208) was an ancient Chinese physician who were most well known to invent the “ma fei san”, a kind of anesthesia for surgery.
3. Sun Simiao (c. 541 or 581-682) was a famous doctor of the Sui and Tang dynasty. He was titled as China's King of Medicine (药王, Yaowang) for his significant contributions to Chinese medicine and tremendous care to his patients.