The Kidney meridian is the Yin meridian of the Water element, that has as its paired meridian the Yang Bladder meridian – both relate to the second chakra.
The Kidney system stores ‘Jing’, our congenital & acquired essence, and it supplies this Jing to all organs. In Chinese Medicine the kidneys are also seen as the source of the body’s Yin and Yang, the ‘congenital root’ or origin of life. The kidneys store the primordial Yin and the primordial Yan, aka ‘kidney yin’, ‘true yin’ or ‘true water’ and ‘kidney yang’, ‘true yang’ or ‘true fire’. The Kidney Yin is the foundation of the fluids in the whole body, and moistens and nourishes all the organs and tissues in our body. Kidney Yang is the foundation of the Yang Qi of the whole body, and warms and promotes the functions of these same organs and tissues. Both are mutually dependent: promoting and restraining each other, they lead to an internal harmony of Yin and Yang and a healthy functioning of all the organs. In TCM, the ‘Ming Men Gate’ or ‘Gate of Vitality’ is seen as located behind the kidneys.
Every full moon in Scorpio will affect this meridian, opening up a window of opportunity to more deeply balance this meridian, but also opening up a time where we might feel its imbalances most. These windows last from approximately a week before to 4-5 days after – some people will be more sensitive to it and experience a longer period of being affected.
The kidneys themselves are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, on either side of the spine. They are the last stop for filtration and detoxification of body fluids, and are responsible for filtering all the fluids, including the blood, lymph, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid and interstitial fluids that carry debris released by the cells in detox and metabolism. Every day, they filter about 113 to 140 liters of blood to produce about 1 to 2 liters of urine. Many people today have lost the kidneys’ ability to properly filter the lymphatic system, and if the lymphatic system itself isn’t moved properly (through body movement or lymph massage), the body fluids and lymph become stagnant, and cellular waste and acidity start building up. This can in turn lead to lymphoma, a cancer in blood and lymph tissues.
The Kidney energy is also responsible for, amongst others, how we age and the quality of our bones, spine and bone marrow (Kidney Qi produces bone marrow, the root of our stem cells and repair & regeneration during sleep). Furthermore it rules the ears and our hearing, as well as the knees.
The Kidney system is responsible for pulling prana (lifeforce) from the Lungs, and provides digestive fire for the Spleen and warmth to the Heart.
It also nourishes the brain and nervous system. Chinese Medicine already described the Autonomic Nervous System over 4000 years ago: the Sympathetic Nervous System corresponds to Kidney Yang, the Parasympathetic NS to Kidney Yin. The Kidney energy also controls our hair and the greying of our hair – the hair being a kind of energy receiving system, strongly linked to the nervous system (and often called the nervous system on the outside of the body) and the fight-flight response.
Lastly, the Kidneys generate generosity, creativity, motivation, desire and libido. Low Kidney Qi can lead to low creativity, low libido, lack of motivation, etc. It’s also in the Kidneys that fear is stored, and that we become aware of danger.
Scorpio is known to have a nasty sting, But the kidney energy in fact can be used to either soar like an eagle — or indeed crawl like the scorpion. Balancing and strengthening the Kidney meridian will enable us to do the former. A balanced second chakra and corresponding water element give us access to our creative energy. To uplift oneself and others is an expression of our creative spirit.
Our kidneys are easily damaged through overdoing life with thrills, stress, drugs and other stimulants like coffee, black tea, green tea, etc., so now would be an excellent time to reduce or eliminate these from you life. Do you know it takes between 5 to even 8 liters of water to rebalance the kidneys after just one cup of coffee or black tea?? If not rebalanced immediately, the effects of that one cup can last up to 2 months wreaking havoc on the glandular and nervous system.
- Kidney problems
- Lung problems; shortness of breath, shallow or rapid breathing
- Throat problems
- Emotional upset
- Anxiety & fear
- Panic attacks
- Lower back pain
- Adrenal fatigue / burnout (the HPA (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenals) Axis is a delicate relationship within the endocrine system. Any imbalance between these 3 will cause severe problems. The pattern is usually linked to Kidney Yang (aka sympathetic nervous system) imbalance, as well as fear and/or stress in the endocrine glands.
- Exhaustion + need for stimulants (e.g. coffee) in the afternoon to keep energy levels up
- Dizziness upon standing
- Sweaty hands & feet
- Knee pain
- Heel pain
- Bone & ear problems
- Cold in extremities
- Muscle tightness in the low & mid back, diaphragm, or upper shoulders
- Urinary tract problems (can be chronic)
- Reproduction problems, infertility
- Lack of libido
- Hormonal imbalances
- Birth defects
- Frequent or nighttime urination
- Genital disorders
- Weakness in lower limbs (legs)
- Bone marrow problems
- Stem cell disturbance
- Tinnitus – ringing in the ears
- Puffy face or puffiness under the eyes; dark circles under the eyes
- Premature greying of the hair
- Hair thinning or hair loss
- Hypothyroid (underactive thyroid)
- Pain or numbness along the meridian pathway
- Lack of clarity
- Problems with memory
- Issues with self-worth
- Lack of sense of belonging
- Lack of trust
- Antisocial behaviour
- Drink cucumber juice
- Turmeric, added to meals, juiced or taken in Golden Milk
- Eat black foods: eggplant (aubergine), beans, seaweed, licorice, black olives. Not black coffee or tea!
- Eat naturally salty foods: olives, seaweed, ginger, cinnamon.
- Kidney-cleansing herbs: stinging nettle, parsley, ginseng, dandelion, corn silk, saw palmetto berries, juniper berries
- Schisandra berries (or Wu Wei Zi) protect against leaking energy and essence, and function as an adaptogen for the nervous system, much like Ashwagandha, helping to calm the spirit, treat insomnia and forgetfulness, improve intellectual activity, concentration, fine coordination, sensitivity and endurance.
- Coffee & black tea
- ‘Pushing through’
- Fearful environments
- Hold and massage the index finger of each hand for 2 minutes
- Wear a silk or cotton cummerbund around the waist, or even better: a faja (which you can find here) as they are specifically woven to give very strong support.
- Accept & respect normal fluctuations in energy levels
- Camel Pose
- Baby Pose
- Cobra Pose
- In butterfly pose, exhale the head down, inhale up.
- Life nerve stretches (forward LNS as well as with spread legs to work on the inner-leg meridian)
- Chanting – Chatr Chakra Varti (Last 4 lines of Jaap Sahib). Increase the effect by holding the left hand on the right knee and right hand and index finger up at shoulder level making small circles with the index finger.
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