Mushroom soup. The concept of cooking.The winter season can wreak havoc on your internal systems as cold air and emotional stress puts pressure on your body’s most important organs. The cold air can knock your internal systems out of balance and stress can cause major problems during the busy, overscheduled holiday season. According to Chinese medicine the kidneys are considered one of the most crucial systems in your body and can be brutally affected during the wintertime. The kidneys are the bodily system that is responsible for sexuality, growth, renewal, fertility, and bodily system filtration. In Chinese medicine, your kidneys provide the central source for Yin and Yang and when one or the other is out of balance then you suffer physical and emotional effects.

Located at the back of your body, the kidneys are rooted deeply in your body and are considered essential for facilitating the most deep-seated human needs of reproduction and survival. When the kidneys are weakened due to stress or malnourishment, you can experience symptoms like sore joints, bladder and urinary problems like urinary tract infections, reactions to temperature changes, and most commonly lower back pain. Some people may experience symptoms like edema, hearing issues, thinning hair, fertility issues, and irregular menstrual cycles, among other things.

One of the most important things that kidneys do is to store and regulate Kidney Essence, also called Jing, which is the basis for all bodily functions and body matter. So, according to TCM, kidneys can tell a great deal about the overall state of a person’s health and how they will age in the future. Safeguarding the kidneys can be the best defense against the issues mentioned above as well as avoiding tooth issues, greying hair, bone and skin weakness, and more.

But the physical body isn’t the only thing that can be impacted by kidney dysfunction. The kidneys are linked to human sexuality and emotional creativity. They are directly responsible for facilitating reproduction and can have an impact on an individuals’ libido and ability to reproduce. During stressful times, the adrenal glands pour stress hormones into the kidneys which can be damaging both emotionally and physically.

If your kidneys need a little TLC this winter, follow these tips to help prevent kidney dysfunction:

  • Manage your stress. Stress is at the root of much of the issues associated with kidney dysfunction. Take calming walks, do yoga, meditate, or try acupuncture to help manage your emotions and reduce stress.
  • Consume the right foods. The best foods to consume when you are struggling with kidney issues are fruits and vegetables that are dark in color. Good examples would be black nuts like walnuts and sesame seeds, black beans, blueberries and blackberries. Also consuming foods that contain the water element like fish, sushi, and seaweed can be beneficial.
  • Use herbal remedies. Consulting your acupuncturist on appropriate herbal remedies or other courses of treatment can help cure kidney issues and prevent flare-ups in the future.
  • Try massaging and stretching. Since the kidneys are located in your lower back, doing lower back stretches can stimulate the energy in your kidneys. Massage can also help stimulate them.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol. These things can deplete your kidney essence, so try avoiding them if possible. Also, try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
  • Strengthen by consuming broths. Making a delicious bone broth can help strengthen your kidneys and warm your body up from the inside.

To learn more about how Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help with your overall health and diet, call 832.282.3306 or email us today.