The kidneys are thought to be the “mother of all the organs” in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Among the many important functions of the kidneys according to TCM are: storing the body’s energy, affecting water metabolism and inspiration, relating to the bones, hair, and ears, just to name a few. The kidneys are also thought to be associated with the season winter, cold temperatures, the color blue/black, the taste salty.
In many instances, deficient kidney energy can affect other organ systems and lead to their decline or dysfunction. As we age, the kidney energy wanes, which is why bones become brittle and hair becomes gray or thin. It is a natural progression, but maintaining strong kidney energy will, in a sense, help a person age more gracefully.
Catching cold can injure the kidney energy, so it is imperative to dress warm during this season. It is also helpful to eat foods with warm properties (cooked root vegetables, for instance, versus raw foods, like salads). Drinking ample water throughout the day is also important especially if you drink caffeine, alcohol or take vitamins. Exercise is great for the bones, especially the light, weight-bearing kind. It stimulates bone growth and helps ward off osteoporosis. (You do not have to lift heavy weights to gain this benefit.) Qi gong, or meditation, is excellent to practice for the kidney energy. Specific techniques can be learned to cultivate kidney qi and target specific health issues. As me at your next visit and I will show you!