The Kidneys have a very special role in Chinese Medicine, far beyond the physical function we understand from a Western medicine perspective. Imagine your two kidneys as a personal jetpack on your back; our stamina, our endurance, our ability to keep going when we are tired or need to find the juice for that extra mile comes from these bad boys.
Our kidneys are said to house Jing, one of the three treasures of Chinese Medicine. This essence is our energetic stock cube, the concentrated good stuff, THE JETPACK.
This is what our body draws on when we are highly stressed, in danger, running on empty - the kind most of us are using at the moment!
There are some simple things we can do to look after our Kidneys, especially at this time of the year. Why in Winter? The Kidneys and Bladder are the manifestation of the Water Element, associated with Winter, the time of the year when nature is taking a rest in order to replenish herself for the year ahead. It's a good idea to take her lead!
Sleep Well or Take a Break at 5pm.
One of the best ways we have to counteract the effects of using our jetpack is to sleep well. It allows our nervous system to rest properly, balances our hormones, supports the health of our immune system, and so much more.
But if - like me - you are finding this kind of sleep harder to come by at the moment then my 'go to tip' is to meditate or do a Yoga Nidra practise.
This is 'Kidney' time according to the Chinese Clock, so if you are low on jetpack reserves this is the time when you are most likely to feel it. This is said to be equivalent to 2 hours of deep sleep. So, you can give the jetpack a rest and show your Kidneys a little love with this low-key but powerful yoga practice.
Stay Warm In the Winter.
The Kidney meridian begins on the sole of the foot, it's the only meridian to have contact with the earth in this way, but it does mean it's basically a direct line to conduct cold directly to the Kidneys.
So if you have wooden floors or tiles, get yourself some socks that you love a decent pair of baffies (that's slippers if you're English) and keep Kidney 1 covered.
The lower back should also stay warm, and if you are prone to feeling the cold you could do worse than invest in a haramaki, which is basically a Japanese boob tube for the waist. You will thank me for it.
This message is EVEN MORE important if you are trying to conceive. You remember I mentioned Jing the essence, the treasure that we inherit? Well, strong Jing helps with conception. Freezing your jings off ain't gonna help.
Also if your feet are always cold see an acupuncturist - that's not a normal thing, even if its normal for you. And do all of the above.
Listen To Your Ears!
In Chinese Medicine the ears are the sense organ associated with the Kidney Official, the link between tinnitus and deficient Kidney Qi well established in this modality.
When the Kidneys are healthy then our hearing is sharp. Kidneys, Jing essence, depletes with age (or as the Kidney essence depletes), so it makes sense to us practitioners that getting harder of hearing as you get older happens.
And whaddya know Western medicine is finally at the party, whoop!!
Recent research has shown that tinnitus is 3-fold more likely to develop in patients with versus without chronic kidney disease.
Essentially the tissue in the kidney is the same as the tissue in the inner ear, so this all adds up. But you know what is mind blowing? The Chinese knew this thousands of years ago. A system of medicine developed then is still more than fit for purpose. Hell yeah!
Drink More Water.
The message is simple. Drink enough water. Quite simply, everything that happens in our body requires being properly hydrated for that to happen. Water powers us. Without it, nothing else happens. We all know this.
But when it's cold the last thing we feel like doing is gubbing a large glass of water. So have a pint glass by the bed and take that on board first thing. Your bowels will show their appreciation.
Then fill a carafe of water as you stick the kettle on for your morning brew. By the time you are showered or have worked out or whatever it is you do first thing, it will get to room temperature and you can fill and refill your glass from that. It's much easier to drink, I promise!
If you are working from home have it next to you, as it is a rule of life that it is even harder to remember to drink enough water when it's not an excuse to have a gossip by the communal waterfilter or in the kitchen.
That is all. If your pee is yellow, drink water. If your pee smells, drink water. If you are tired, drink water. If you are thirsty, drink even more water. If you're a bit bored, drink water. If your skin is dry, drink water.
Look after your Jetpack!
Passionate about the pins.
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