Acupuncture has helped billions of people over the past 5,000 years. Acupuncture care helps to relieve symptoms and signs of many health problems. It can also uncover the underlying root cause(s) of those symptoms. Acupuncture is a safe, natural, drug-free way to get well and stay balanced.
Inside every living thing is an energetic system which moves through meridians or channels like rivers. This energy is called Qi. Different stress affect meridians and organ systems in different ways, disrupting or blocking Qi flow as a garden hose when compressed. This blockage can manifest into various signs and symptoms. Without help, the body as a whole becomes unbalanced and disease is evident.
The kidney system is one of the most important of these energetic organ systems. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys represent the deepest, most fundamental levels of energy in the human body. They are said to be the root of yin and yang in the body – two fundamental forces at play in our physiology. The kidneys also store a substance called “essence” that is our genetic code, our life-force and our reproductive ability.
The kidneys are often referred to in Chinese Medicine as our “root” – they are tasked with caring for the most precious parts of us that make us who we are. On a physical level, the kidneys govern the water passageways within the body (appropriate being the water element!) as well as controlling growth and reproduction. When that system is weakened, a person may not feel drive, motivation or have the ability to push themselves. Their understanding of who they are and what they can do has been diminished. The emotion associated with the kidneys is fear. When the kidneys are weak, a person may be startled or frightened easily, or may experience fear
in disproportionate ways. Likewise, shock, trauma and fearful situations weaken the kidney energy, which is why many of the common symptoms of PTSD have a kidney imbalance at their root. The person’s core has been shaken. The kidney energy, being the deepest level of energy in the body, takes time to replenish and strengthen, which means patience is key. Also, the kidney energy naturally declines over the life cycle, which is the normal aging process. So as we age, protecting the kidneys becomes all the more important!
Nourish the kidneys through food
Being associated with the water element, the kidneys are nourished by foods that come from the water – fish, seaweeds and shellfish are nourishing to this system. The kidneys are associated with the salty taste, so naturally salty foods such as miso or millet also are good choices. Avoid foods that are damaging to your root energy, such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol, greasy foods and highly-processed foods.
Nourish the kidneys through your habits
The kidneys are damaged by overwork, too much responsibility, lack of sleep and a frenetic schedule. In other words, most of us living in modern society are taxing our kidneys! This means it is all the more important to carve out time and space to take part in kidney-nourishing habits. As we mentioned, the kidneys are nourished through rest and rejuvenation. Pay attention to your sleep, and be sure you are getting the hours that you need! Take a nap in the day if you need it. Engage in gentle, relaxing forms of exercise, like yoga or tai chi. Try meditation or guided visualizations to calm and center yourself. Find a schedule that works – one that really works – for you.
Bring the water element into your life and your home by getting a small decorative fountain, using essential oils, taking baths or spending time near rivers or oceans or other bodies of water. The kidneys, being the source of our reproductive strength, are also weakened by excessive sexual activity. So go for quality over quantity.