Cooling the Body: Exploring the Benefits of LI 11 Acupuncture Point

by Dr. Eric Karchmer, PhD, MD (China), LAc |

Cooling the Body: Exploring the Benefits of LI 11 Acupuncture Point

In the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is a renowned practice that seeks to restore balance and promote wellness. Balance can be defined several ways depending on the goal, but one acupuncture point that stands out for its "cooling properties" is "Large Intestine 11", or "LI 11".

It's a powerful point that is stimulated for a variety of needs and reasons, but can be particularly helpful during the summer months when the weather and humidity outside are making life particularly uncomfortable.  To this point, there are a variety of ways that Traditional Chinese Medicine practices can help provide the sensation of feeling cool, including the inclusion of herbs that can help "cool" the body (we recommend our formula Physical Tranquility, which includes several cooling herbs - we almost called the formula "Cool Slumber").

But short of visiting an acupuncturist to help stimulate this point, there are ways you can apply pressure at home to achieve similar benefits.  

Clearing Heat and Inflammation from a Chinese Medicine Perspective

LI 11 is like a cool breeze for the body. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, it has the remarkable ability to clear "excess heat and inflammation", which can manifest as symptoms like fever, sore throat, and skin disorders.  By stimulating LI 11, acupuncture aims to "disperse the excessive heat", providing relief from these discomforts.

Toxins and heat often go hand in hand. LI 11 acts as a detoxifying agent, assisting the body in eliminating toxins and waste products. This process aids in cooling down the system, promoting balance and harmony within.

The immune system plays a vital role in maintaining health, but sometimes it can become imbalanced. LI 11 helps regulate the immune response, particularly when it's overactive or imbalanced. By restoring equilibrium to the immune system, LI 11 contributes to reducing excess heat and inflammation.

Harmonizing Qi and Blood Flow

Qi, the vital energy, and blood circulation are essential aspects of Chinese Medicine.  LI 11, located on the "Large Intestine meridian", plays a crucial role in harmonizing the flow of Qi and blood. When these energies circulate smoothly, it helps maintain balance. By stimulating LI 11, acupuncture promotes the free flow of Qi and blood, aiding in the dispersal of heat and inflammation.

Acupressure at Home to Clear Heart

To stimulate LI 11 yourself, simply locate the point at the crest of your elbow (see the image above).  Rather than inserting an acupuncture needle, use the fingers on your opposite hand to apply gentle pressure to this point: press gentle, massage and then release. 

Try this for several minutes, several times a day.  The benefits should be similar to what you'd experience in clinic, but can be a gentle way to both move your Qi, boost immunity, and in turn, balance the heat in your body and feel a bit cooler.  As an added benefit, you should experience a calming effect, as the point should sooth your mind, and address any "emotional heat" as well. 

Give it a try - particularly when it's hot out there!

Care Consideration

Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations  from a healthcare provider.  This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease.  That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options.  If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on

Dr. Eric Karchmer is a practicing Chinese medical doctor, medical anthropologist, and co-founder and Chief Doctor of Chinese Medicine for DAO Labs. From 1995-2000, Eric studied at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and today is both a licensed acupuncturist and professor at Appalachian State University. Eric can be reached at

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