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Winter and your Kidneys

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, health is achieved by living in balance with nature and the seasons.  Winter, the season of the Water Element, is the season for slowing down, reflecting, and conserving our resources.  We all feel this tendency, but we don’t always listen to our bodies.  In Western culture, being active is rewarded and expected.  We can often feel compelled to keep up the hectic pace that is typical in our culture and daily lifestyles.

Winter is the the season associated with the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands.  It’s the time of year when these organs are most active, accessible, and even vulnerable.  Winter is the time that these organs are more receptive to being restored, nurtured and energized; but in turn, it is also when they can become easily depleted.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, our kidneys receive a specific amount of energy at the time of our conception that we will each carry with us throughout our lives, called Jing Qi.  Imagine for a minute that our Jing Qi is like the wax in a candle of Life. The amount of time that the candle burns and the constitution of that candle is determined by the quality of its wax.  Various actions we take draw upon this power supply.

Some people deplete their Jing Qi due to poor nutrition, lifestyle choices and extreme stress.  Other people preserve their Jing Qi by nurturing it with the right foods and behaviors.  Jing Qi is finite.  The more we use it, the less of it we will have. 

There are ways we can preserve our Jing Qi.  In addition to Jing Qi, we operate on renewable sources of energy.  The Spleen makes Gu Qi (grain life force) for us out of the foods we eat, and the Lungs bring us Qi from the air (called Da Qi).   We will have less need to draw on our Jing Qi if we make healthy choices as to how we eat and live.  If you make conscious decisions as to how you use (and conserve) your energies, you’ll have more fuel in the tank, so to speak.   Rest, breathe, meditate, spend time in nature, and do Qi Gong to replenish our renewable sources of energy.

Keep in mind that stimulants such as caffeine deplete the kidneys, and rob us of our ability to know how we really feel.  If our body is in need of rest and sleep, caffeine consumption will make us unaware of this fact, thus causing us to ignore our body’s needs.  This can then contribute to the unnecessary depletion of our Jing Qi.

In order to maintain and cultivate health, it’s important to nurture and nourish our kidney energy.  Now is the perfect time to recharge your internal kidney batteries.  Acupuncture, yoga, Tai Chi, quiet reflection, meditation, simple walks, and herbs are wonderful ways to recharge and energize!

Contact us today at (310) 936-2387 to schedule your appointment so that we can help you discover ways of living in harmony with the seasons and supporting a healthy and pain-free life.

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