Keeping an eye on our cholesterol levels is essential for heart health and overall blood flow. While cholesterol is essential for bodily functions, too much of the wrong kind is bad. It comes in different forms in our body: low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which are sticky and clog our arteries, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) which are not sticky and actually help to reduce cholesterol levels. For more information, you can explore this page.
Recent laboratory research has shown us that electroacupuncture (EA) in particular can play an interesting role in aiding us along the path of balancing good health and good food. Researchers measured plasma cholesterol levels and how they were affected when needling one particular point, ST40 – Fenglong (Stomach 40), in combination with electroacupuncture.
**This point is located on the lower leg, midway between the back of the knee (the popliteal crease) and the lateral ankle bone (the lateral malleolus). It is two finger breadths lateral to the shin bone (the anterior crest of the tibia).
The experiment showed that EA on ST40 successfully down regulated LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides and other cells related with inflammation (Zhang, et al.). This is really good news and helps us to understand a little more about the actions of some of the points we use to treat patients.
In Chinese medicine, this point’s main function is to transform phlegm and dampness, and it is often used in clinic if the following symptoms are seen – phlegm and fullness in the chest, coughing, obesity, hypertension, depression, dizziness, vertigo, mucous, and swelling, to name a few.
Acupuncturists love this point and it feels quite nice to have it needled, so the next time you visit your acupuncturist ask about Stomach 40 and you can add one more arrow into your quiver of health. It is also possible to massage this point at home. First locate the point – measure halfway between the outside of your ankle and your knee, and you can use your index and middle fingers to find the distance of two finger breadths from the shin bone. Grab your calf with both hands and press your thumbs into the muscle. Make a circular motion with varying pressure for as long as it’s comfortable and repeat.
Balance is key, and acupuncture can help us as we also alter our lifestyle and focus our energy on stability and change that is sustainable.