Kidney Vitality - Harmonizing with the Seasons - Winter

Chinese medicine believes that for optimum health and for overall energetic balance, we should live in harmony with the natural cycles of our environment. The cold and darkness of winter urges us to slow down. This is the time of the year to reflect on health, replenish energy and conserve strength. It is also the perfect time to recharge our batteries and generate vital energy, Qi, in order to live, look and feel our best.

In western medicine the kidneys perform the essential function of removing waste products from the blood and regulating the water fluid levels in the body. In the Chinese healing energetics, such as Qi Healing, sometimes referred to as Medical Qigong Therapy, the Kidneys or other organs are not viewed a ‘filters’ or ‘pumps’ but as pools of energy which vibrate at different frequencies and can only be understood in relationship to the body’s overall energy system.

The Kidneys are considered the source of all the vital energy or “Qi” within the body. They store all the reserve of Qi within the body so that it's available to be used in times of stress, or to heal, prevent illness or to age gracefully.

The Kidney energy is also reflected in our reproductive organs, the growth and condition of our teeth, bones and hair. As an example, if Kidney energy is strong, the hair will be healthy, thick and lustrous. If it is weak, the hair can be thin, brittle or may turn grey at an early age.

Kidney energy also ‘opens to the ear’ meaning that, when the Kidneys are weak, hearing may be impaired, or there may be tinnitus. Dark rings under the eyes are also a sign of deficient Kidney energy.

During the winter months it is especially important for us to nurture and nourish our Kidney Qi. The winter is the time when this energy can be most easily depleted. On our deepest levels our bodies are instinctively expressing the fundamental principle of winter; rest, reflection, conservation and storage. Try to simplify your schedule minimize things that deplete your energy.

This is a great time to meditate, to practice Qigong, enhancing our Qi and strengthening our energy reserves, and also to contemplate the coming year and formulate our plans, which will take shape and gain strength in the coming months.

It is also a perfect time to receive a series of deeply nurturing and revitalizing Medical Qigong Therapy treatments, or Distant Healing, helping us to leave the winter season fully ready to face the challenges of the coming year.

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Remember, the Kidneys house will power, or Zhi in Chinese. If the Kidneys are strong, we will be able to set goals and pursue them. Isn’t this, the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the year of the Dragon, where new beginnings and seeds for future growth are developed, the perfect time to think about strengthening our Kidney Qi?

Traditional Dietary Suggestions to Strengthen Kidney Qi

  • Do not eat too much fruit or raw food.
  • Eat warm hearty soups, root vegetables such as turnips, onions and potatoes are good, also dark leafy green vegetables, asparagus, and celery are helpful, whole grains, and a little meat, if appropriate, is also helpful for this time of the year.
  • Use warming condiments, garlic and ginger.
  • Herbal teas such as nettle, juniper, ginseng, burdock, comfrey and marshmallow are good examples.
  • Water – The Kidneys are associated with the Water element. Drink ample water at room temperature throughout the day.
  • Kidney Shaped Foods – Black beans and kidney beans are excellent examples of kidney shaped food that nourish and benefit Kidney Qi.
  • Blue and Black Foods – The colors blue and black correspond to the Water element of the Kidneys and are thought to strengthen the Water element. Include some blueberries, blackberries, mulberry and black beans in your diet.
  • Seeds – Flax, pumpkin, sunflower, and black sesame seeds increase Kidney Qi.
  • Nuts – Walnuts and chestnuts have been found to be especially effective for increasing Kidney Qi.

Qigong to Strengthen Kidney Qi

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, arms gently relaxed by the side of the body and your head resting softly upon your neck, with the top of the head gently pulled upward as if by a string.
  2. Let your breath become long and deep as you easily relax yourself, releasing any tension as you move from your head to the bottom of your feet.
  3. Do not worry about yesterday, tomorrow, or what you have to do later, and release any worry, tension or problems that you may have. Let them float away and dissipate before your minds eye.
  4. Continue with your deep breathing and relaxation. Let yourself become so relaxed so that your body disappears as you merge with the environment around you, and become one with the heavenly realms of light and healing high above your head.
  5. Then slowly move your awareness back into your body.
  6. Raise both of your hands up, extended forward into the area between the solar plexus and heart center. Rub them together very briskly, until you feel heat generated on the palms.
  7. Once you feel heat on your palms, move them around your back and put them on your kidneys, let the warmth soak into the kidneys.
  8. While the hands are still over the kidneys, thank them for all they do, for all they have done for you for twenty four hours a day over the course of your life. Love them, Love them, Love them, Open your heart to them and let this love flow out your palms into your kidneys. Feel that they eagerly soak up this heart Qi, as they whisper a silent thank you.
  9. With the hands still over the kidneys, move your hips in a wide arc (almost like using a hula hoop, for those who remember what that is!) first clockwise, then counter-clockwise, six or nine times in each direction.
  10. Release you hands back to the sides, and if possible do something relaxing for a little while, immerse yourself in the Qi that you have generated, read, meditate, or take a short rest.

I hope you have found this helpful, if so, be sure to recommend others to sign up for my Qi-Newsletter.

Many Blessing and may abundant Qi be yours!


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