Stomach 45 – Lidui Hard Bargain

What it is


Stomach Channel foot points

Stomach 45 is an acupuncture point on the Stomach Yang-Ming (‘Bright Yang’) channel:

  • Metal point on the Stomach channel
  • Jing-Well point on the Stomach channel


‘Metal? Jing-Well?’ We hear you say. Metal points fall under the Metal element in 5 Elements Acupuncture theory.


Location of Lidui

Just proximal to the lateral proximal corner of the second toe-nail.

(Small, interesting point, for geeks. This point is at the exact opposite end to the first point of the Large Intestine channel, which is on the forefinger. But on the forefinger, Large Intestine 1 is at the medial proximal side of the finger, not the lateral proximal side, as with Stomach 45. Which suggests that there may be a point on the medial side of the toenail too. Perhaps it’s just been found to be less effective. But geeky acupuncturists can try it to see!)


Needling the point

If the point needs to be needled it is often sensitive to gentle pressure. This suits the acupuncturist as although the description of its location is fairly clear, the point isn’t always exactly where it should be. Gentle probing usually quickly locates the point.

Use thin needles! This is a sensitive point. Inserted quickly and expertly, the needle is almost painless. Depth of needling no more than 0.2 cun, or 1/16th inch.


Needling sensation

The stimulus (deqi) sensation is local to the area, a slight numbing ache. If you just get a sharp, pricking sensation, you may not have got the point.


Moxa on Stomach 45

In extreme states of phlegm-fire or fire, when yang is attacking upwards producing mania, insomnia and ‘over the top’ behaviour, moxa on this and other jing-well points can be used to bring yang down. The Chinese expression translates as ‘lighting a small fire to attract a large fire’. However, you could also argue that by applying moxa at the lower end of the channel you are balancing the yang at the other (upper) end.

(Wondering what ‘moxa’ is? Click here! 


Actions of Stomach 45

Clears Heat, especially from the Yangming (ie the Stomach) channel. (The Yangming channels are actually both the Stomach and the Large Intestine channels. They share many of the same conditions and properties.)

Calms and steadies the mind and spirit.

Restores consciousness.


How does Heat manifest so that Stomach 45 can be used for it?


Mentally, there may be states arising from excessive fright or mental or emotional excitement. Mania, manic-depression, hysteria, neurasthenia, fainting, dizziness, inability to talk.

A traditional symptom is the desire to climb up to high places and sing, to remove clothes and run around.

Loss of consciousness can be either from

  • excess Yang attacking upwards or 
  • deficiency, usually deficiency of Yin.


This point, usually needled in the case of deficiency, works equally well in both cases.

At night there may be strong or violent dreams, insomnia, night terrors.

Physically, signs of yang energy attacking upwards include

  • epistaxis (nosebleed), s
  • welling, deviation or paralysis of the face (eg Bells palsy), 
  • fullness or sensation of distension in the chest with inability to breathe out properly, 
  • yellow nasal discharge,
  • lockjaw, 
  • high fever but without sweating
  • Such symptoms as sometimes appear in ischaemia of the brain, tonsillitis, ‘anorexic’ malaria and hepatitis.


There’s more than you might think to the Stomach channel …

The Stomach channel has a number of attached channels, including its divergent channel which reaches the Heart fu, and the Stomach Primary channel which joins the Governor channel in the forehead and nose area (Du-24 and Du-26).

Because of these connections, points on the Stomach channel often have a strong effect on mental conditions.

Stomach 45, being at the extreme opposite end from the head, has a proportionally greater effect. (Why – you ask? Because if you have a heavy weight on one side of a see-saw, the other side, if the plank is long enough, could still out-balance it, even with just a pea on it at the distant end. Stomach 45 is a small point, it would seem, but with potentially a disproportionate effect on the other end.)

(Why, in the above list,  anorexic malaria? Because this point affects particularly the Stomach channel and works to support the natural flow direction of the Stomach channel which is downwards. Nausea and vomiting are signs of rebellious Stomach energy: anorexia is another sign of energy moving in the wrong direction.)


… and for hangovers …!

Just a hangover?
Photo by thom masat on Unsplash

Also sometimes used for headaches from heat or phlegm heat or phlegm damp heat, like those of a hangover, often with indigestion, the point being on the Stomach channel.

Fire denotes heat and dryness, with dry chapped lips and skin (especially of the face).

Fire in the Stomach fu usually shows as extreme hunger. (So extreme hunger suggests Heat in the Stomach, whereas a more extreme form of yang-heat ascending leads to anorexia.)

Heat appears in other ways too, for example as skin rashes, redness and inflammation in the throat, red-eye or painful eyes with inflammation of the sclera or eyelids (eg blepharitis), toothache, and yellow, offensive urine.

In the abdomen, Heat can appear as distension, constipation or offensive stools, vomiting and diarrhoea, dysentery type problems. However, this point is mainly used for dealing with affects at the opposite end of the channel, ie on the head, or where energy is tending to press upwards, with deficincy and cold further down.

For example, deficiency and cold in the middle or lower reaches of the channel include

  • pain, swelling or coldness in the groin or knee
  • dropsy
  • swollen neck
  • coldness in the lower leg – the shin – or foot
  • weak legs


Comment on Stomach 45

Although usually used to deal conditions with excess yang attacking upwards, Stomach 45 is also the Jing-well point of the channel.

This is the point where energy starts, like at the source of a river. So this point, along with other Jing-well points can be used to restore consciousness, to help draw people out of depressive states, constant sleepiness and withdrawal.

Lastly, would I expect the point to do – entirely on its own – everything mentioned above? Hmmm. Perhaps not.

Jonathan Brand colours

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