Published: 11/25/2014 - Updated: 12/31/2017
The kidneys are some of the most interesting organs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. These two bean or fetus shaped organs, located on each side of the spinal column (in the lumbar area), have very diverse and fundamental functions in the body, as they filter substances.
Oriental medicine knows that the kidneys’ primary function is to store essential Jing energy, which is the base of yin and yang in organs and entrails.
The kidneys are related to various functions and body manifestations:
- Regulates the skeletal system: when there are kidney imbalances, the bones become fragile and/or deformed.
- Helps hair to be healthy and full. Kidney deficiencies lead to dry hair and hair loss.
- Kidney yang provides heat to other organs like the spleen and the stomach. Yang deficiencies manifest as cold feet, imbalanced temperatures, arthralgia and discomfort in the lumbar region and small joints.
- Opens its external window in the ears and genitals.
- Associated with emotions such as fear, anxiety, uncertainty, terror, etc.
- In relation to the genitals: it is related to the closing and opening of the anal sphincter and the urethra. When the kidney’s yang energy is wasted, this will manifest in men as a decrease in sexual energy (weak libido), spermatorrheal impotence, premature ejaculation, infertility, etc. Women could experience menstrual imbalances, difficulty in keeping a fetus in the uterus and correct formation.
- Saliva acts as an oral lubricator, moistening and assisting food digestions from the moment food enters the mouth. When a kidney imbalance exists, one could experience mouth and tongue dryness, especially at night.
- In relationship to the hearing: when kidney energy is harmonious, ears hear all five sounds. Deficient jing energy manifests as deafness, ringing, noises and disorders in the ears.
- The kidneys control liquid metabolism. Urine is formed in the kidneys, stored in the bladder, and released through the urethra. If the control over closing and opening is altered, one will experience incontinence or urinary retention (liquid retention) or dribblin (yin-closes, yang-opens). If there are yin deficinecie, one wil experience frequent urination with cloudy urine, and if a yang deficiency is present, one will experience edema, difficulty urinating, and incontinence.
Diet for the kidneys
Salt: stimulates the kidneys in small doses, but in excess it dries them out and damages them. Meat should be moderated, especially pork and beef. You should also drink sufficient water, at least two liters a day. ginger, carrots, turnips, and whole grains are good for the kidneys. To fight kidney diseases, ear garlic and follow a diet free of junk food, refined flour and sugar, and packaged foods that contain salt and preservatives that are difficult to evacuate. You should moderate and avoid overusing medications and products with added preservatives, chemicals, coloring, chemical sugars, etc. The best diet is one of vegetables with seeds and grains, include non-contaminated fish and miso soup or whole grain rice.
Spirituality of the kidneys
Willpower is the kidney’s spiritual activity, the attitude that causes kidneys to stay correct and balanced in energy flow. The instinct to persevere, the will to live and be present, the desire to fulfill one’s dreams or things in life, and to make plans and the actions to carry them out, is a medicinal energetic dose for the kidneys. When you lose the will to live or you don’t find anything or anyone for whom to do things, or if you find yourself in places or situations that you feel like are not going to take you anywhere, and if you lose ambition and willpower, then fear begins to invade. If not treated, terror and anxiety will take over the individual. One can then experience kidney imbalances, such as a disease the affects the bladder or kidneys. These are more accentuated by phobias or fear, anxiety, as well as negativity, pessimism, etc.
The energetic medicinal antidote for the kidneys is to find new senses of life that awaken self-confidence in abilities and creative powers, learning to confront situations without trying to escape from them, avoiding complaining and reprimanding, or childish reactions, understanding life’s challenges not as problems that stress you out or put pressure on you, but rather as opportunities to grow. Emotional maturation through fear, tension, anxiety, etc., happens slowly if you just keep your intentions of finding new senses in life, staying enthusiastic about what you are doing, and finding understanding through what you feel is unjust, intolerable, or unpleasant. Each one of these situations could be a great teacher for finding creative strengths.
Reflexology is an alternative therapy that can help balance the kidney meridian.