The Stomach Main channel is the Yang channel associated with Earth Element (土 tǔ). The Stomach is called the ‘Minister of the Mill’ and is also known as the ‘Sea of Nourishment’. Because it is responsible for providing the entire system with postnatal energy from the digestion of food and fluids, it is regarded as the ‘Root of Postnatal Life’. The Stomach also extracts pure postnatal energy from foods and fluids, and, in coordination with spleen energy, it transports this food energy through the meridian system to the Lungs, where it combines with air energy from breathing.
- The Stomach primary channel begins with an internal branch at the yangming hand–foot connection at LI 20 (Welcome Fragrance) (yingxiang) lateral to the ala nasi
- travels internally to BL 01 (Bright Eyes) (jingming) at the inner canthus of the eye
- emerges at the infraorbital ridge at ST 01 (Container of Tears) (chengqi), the beginning of the external part of the primary channel
- descends laterally along the nose and enters the gums of the upper jaw
- meets the contralateral Stomach primary channel and the GV (Governing Vessel – Du Mai) at GV 26 (Man’s Middle) (renzhong) and emerges again
- curves around the lips to meet the CV (Conception Vessel – Ren Mai) and again the contralateral Stomach channel at CV 24 (Container of Fluids) (chengjiang)
- traverses the lower cheek and winds around the lower angle of the mandible.
- Here, at ST 05 (Great Welcome) (daying), the external channel divides into two branches:
- One branch ascends anterior to the ear, travels via GB 03 (Above the Joint) (shangguan), GB 06 (Suspended Hair) (xuanli), GB 05 (Suspended Skull) (xuanlu) and GB 04 (Jaw Serenity) (hanyan) to the temporal region to ST 08 (Head’s Binding) (touwei) and continues to the forehead to meet GV 24 (Courtyard of the Spirit) (shenting), where it terminates.
- The other external branch descends along the lateral aspect of the neck to the supraclavicular fossa (ST 12 (Empty Basin) )and travels posteriorly over the back of the neck to GV 14 (Great Vertebra) (dazhui) below the spinous process of the 7th cervical vertebra, where it meets the other five Yang primary channels.
- An internal branch descends from the supraclavicular fossa, passes the diaphragm, enters first its pertaining fu-Organ, the Stomach (wei) and then connects with its paired zang-Organ, the Spleen (pi). Other minor branches of the internal channel intersect with CV 13 (Upper Cavity) (shangwan), CV 12 (Middle Cavity) (zhongwan) and CV 10 (Lower Cavity) (xiawan). The internal branch then descends towards the inguinal region where it emerges slightly superior to ST 30 (Rushing Qi) (qichong) and reconnects with the external branch.
- The external path descends from the supraclavicular fossa, crosses the nipple and laterally passes the umbilicus, travels to the leg and knee, continues along the anterior crest of the tibia and the dorsum of the foot and terminates on the second toe at ST 45 (Strict Exchange) (lidui) at the lateral corner of the nail.
- An internal branch originates below the knee area at ST 36 (Leg Three Miles) (zusanli) and travels to the lateral aspect of the middle toe.
- A further branch separates from the primary channel at ST 42 (Rushing Yang) (chongyang) on the dorsum of the foot and connects at SP 01 (Hidden White) (yinbai) with its paired SP (Spleen Channel – Zu Tai Yin) on the medial aspect of the big toe.
The main functions of Stomach are:
- Receives the food;
- Controls the digestion of food;
- Pushes digested food toward the Small Intestine;
- Gathers ingested fluids.