Stomach 34, Liangqiu, is the Xi-Cleft point on the Stomach acupuncture channel. Xi-cleft points are for acute conditions, often painful conditions.
So this point is often used for acute conditions of the stomach, with pain, or for abscess, swelling or pain of the breast.
If you suddenly get acute stomach pain, perhaps after eating unwisely, firm pressure here may ease it.
How to find Stomach 34
On the front of the thigh, between the rectus femoris and the vastus lateralis, about the height of the patella above the top of the patella.
So measure how long the patella (your knee-cap) is from top to bottom. Then starting at the lateral top (ie proximal) corner, go the same distance up the front of the thigh, lateral to the big muscle that ends at (ie inserts into) the top of the patella.
If there is a problem somewhere along your Stomach channel, especially a recent, acute problem, Stomach 34 will feel sore to press.
Sometimes you can slide sideways over the vastus lateralis here to find the point there instead. In other words it’s the same point, or treated as such, and at the same distance above the patella, but lateral to the usual location.
What does it do?
Clears the channel and clears Qi obstructions along it
Moves and helps to disperse Damp along the channel
Pacifies and regulates Stomach Qi rebelling upwards
What Liangqiu – Ridge Mound – is for Stomach 34
Stomach 34 is generally used for acute conditions of the Stomach or along the Stomach channel.
By acute’, is meant that the Qi and the Blood have ceased to flow smoothly, giving a build-up of one or the other, and possibly also of damp or phlegm.
When Qi and Blood cease to flow, they stagnate and pain ensues. Here are some examples.
Acute pain from trauma along the channel
Facial swelling under the eyes and in the front of the cheeks, for example from sinusitis
Breast pain, swelling, abscess, distension. These could be, for example, pre-menstrual, or from breast-feeding.
Stomach pain, nausea, sudden vomiting, loss of appetite
Pain in the ova or in the lower abdomen to the side of the midline
Thigh pain from wrenches, strain or muscle stress
Knee pain, swelling, bruise, strain, stiff: can’t flex it
Abscess, perhaps varicose, along the channel below the knee
Acute pain at the front of the ankle or on the top of the foot
How to treat it
Stomach 34 is usually sore to touch when it’s needed.
You can treat it with gentle but firm pressure. When you are sure you have the point (there aren’t many other important points in the vicinity although Stomach 33, Yinshi. is just above it, and works in a somewhat similar way but not usually so good for actual stomach pain) press it firmly for 10 – 20 seconds, and then re-assess the discomfort or problem for which you are using it.
How to press it? Try moving your finger around and over the sorest point as you press firmly. Almost like a deep massage over a very small area, moving the flesh of the muscles over the sore point deeply, but not gliding your finger over the skin.
If there has been an improvement, continue to press for another 10-15 seconds. Then repeat as necessary hourly.
Could firm pressure be wrong?
ANY treatment of ANY point could be wrong, but in this case, Stomach 34 is usually fairly sore only when it’s needed, and that is during acute conditions.
However, there are a few situations where it might not be very sore but could still be used. Probably your acupuncturist would know when to use it, which might be for Qi deficiency, although there are many other points she might choose, often better.
Also, if the point itself has been damaged, say by bruising perhaps during sport or a fall, don’t press!
Also, please, some common sense! Don’t press so hard that you cause bruising! And if it’s excruciatingly sore to press, don’t press it! There may be other points that work better.
By the way, lots of people, perhaps most people, have some – a little! – discomfort here, because their digestions are never quite right. This point might ease discomfort if this is the case, but it won’t cure.
For these people, other acupuncture points will be needed. Which ones will depend on the diagnosis, after taking the case. Many of those points might not be on the Stomach channel.
Example of Use
A colleague used this point when a friend got acutely sick after food poisoning. His friend was nauseous, in great pain, doubled over, and vomiting from time to time. He looked ‘awful’!
Firm pressure here on or off for about five minutes greatly reduced the pain and discomfort, to the point where everyone was amazed that the patient could return for more to eat! (However, I wouldn’t always expect such a good or fast result – and acupuncture there is better.)