With the Fall and Winter seasons come coughs and sniffles. This seems to be a particularly "phlegmy" season already full of gloppy head and chest colds which seem to have a knack for evolving into bronchitis, pneumonia or sinus infections. Stomach 40, whose Chinese name translates to "Plentiful Abundance", is a point which is well suited to take on these types of colds.
Where is it?
Stomach 40 is located on the front of the lower leg, one finger width (use the width of your thumb at the last knuckle - nearest the end) from the crest of the tibia (the pointy front edge of the bone) and halfway between the highest point of the lateral ankle bone and the knee joint. Often you will find this area feels like a depression, perhaps a little "soft" or "mushy" when there is a lot of phlegm or mucous in the body.
What does it do?
Stomach 40 is a point which has a super power when it comes to phlegm and "accumulations." What is phlegm? It is essentially mucous which builds up and thickens. Anyone who has had a sinus infection has a pretty good idea of what this looks and feels like. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, mucous can thicken into phlegm and phlegm can solidify to "accumulations." "Accumulations" refers to more solid clumps of cells, tissues or fluids and includes tumors whether benign or malignant. Stomach 40 can be used to treat any problem caused by phlegm but is particularly good at that involving "wind phlegm." Wind Phlegm is essentially a cold or illness that has a lot of thick mucous and phlegm associated with it. The ancient Chinese believed that illnesses such as the common cold were an invasion of something they termed "wind" and what we now to understand to be bacteria, viruses or other pathogens. Due to the fact that the Stomach channel also passes through the face and, more specifically, the sinuses in the head, it is very helpful for dealing with a head cold that has become entrenched in the head.
So in this cold season of hacking coughs and stuffy heads, be sure to remember Stomach 40 is there to help you out.