by Helen Mawson
In this article I share with you some information on the kidneys and their importance to our health in general and also the energetic implications of kidney health. I will also share with you some self-help tips for stimulating and balancing your kidney energy.
Location of the kidneys
The kidneys are located on the back of the body on each side in the region bounded superiorly by the twelfth rib, medially by the vertebral column and inferiorly by the superior lilac crest. Often one side can be more tender, sore or warm than the other side and gently palpating (touching) the kidney area will determine which side might be out of balance.
Physical function of the kidneys
The primary physical function of the kidneys is to remove waste products of metabolism from our bodies. Our kidneys perform essential activities to the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid base balance and regulation of blood pressure. The kidneys work to filter the blood and remove water soluble wastes which are diverted to the bladder.
Kidney health and Traditional Chinese Medicine
In terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) our kidneys are where we store our vital energy and general vitality. The balance of kidney energy is crucial and essential to good overall health and balance. When the kidneys are well the qi or energy in a person is balanced and well and this qi / energy can be distributed as it is needed. When the kidneys are damaged this ability to distribute qi / energy becomes impaired. A TCM practitioner, Acupuncturist or Kinesiologist would generally work to stimulate the kidney meridian by gently massaging or needling points on the kidney meridian and on the bladder meridian. This stimulation would help balance the kidney energy and kidney health would become balanced as a result. In practice I would use a combination of the Bowen kidney procedure along with some kinesiology based self-help tips for balancing the meridian and some very specific nutritional guidance.
Situations that can effect kidney balance may include;
- Over exertion of any sort
- Dehydration / over hydration
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Consumption of stimulants
- Excessive exercise
- Some pharmaceutical drugs
Problems that could arise as a result of kidney imbalance could include;
- Urinary infections
- Tiredness and exhaustion
- Headaches / Migraine
- Abdominal pain
- Pain in back, thighs and knees
- Arthritic conditions
- High blood pressure
- Hair loss
- Hormonal related problems in both sexes
- Oedema / water retention
How you can help your kidneys
Tap your K1 point – The K1 point is the start point of the kidney meridian and is situated just below the ball of the foot on both sides. If you bunch your fingers together and tap or gently massage this area you will hit the point. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this point is called the “wellspring of life” point because it is considered so potent at balancing not only kidney energy but enhancing general vitality and well-being.
Tap your K27 point – The K27 point is the end point of the kidney meridian. The K27s are located on each side of the body, just below your clavicle you will feel a slight dip/indent. If you bunch all of your fingers together and tap this area it will help to energise the Kidney meridian. This is a great technique to use if you feel an energy slump in the afternoon it really will help to wake you up!
Eat beetroot – or drink some beetroot juice, which is a wonderful kidney tonic. The late Tom Bowen would recommend clients to have this for four consecutive days after a Bowen treatment to “tonify” the kidneys. Buckwheat, beans and sea vegetables are also excellent kidney foods.
Keep hydrated – when we are dehydrated the kidneys don’t function as well as they should but do not over hydrate the body otherwise the kidneys will have to work much harder. There is a balance that we need to find as individuals concerning our on personal hydration.
Have a treatment – The Bowen Technique has a specific procedure that can address the Kidneys directly. This procedure works at a physical level to address problems with the Kidneys but also at a subtle level addressing the kidney meridian. In practice I will use this procedure for a multitude of symptoms including; Back problems, Adrenal exhaustion, ME, Specific kidney related problems i.e. infections, Bladder problems, Incontinence, Oedema, Dizziness, Lymphatic blockage, Fear/fright, and Arthritic conditions.