Kidney Health in Traditional Chinese Medicine

I’m sure you’ve heard that saying, “a building is only as strong as its foundation.” It seems true to me (though I’m no architect). It also seems true that spreading your toes in a yoga class brings more stability to a balance pose; that great historical movements started from the ground up; and that the great Redwoods in California have root systems larger than they are. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this concept holds true just as much. The kidneys are the basis upon which a healthy human thrives. And just like a balancing pose, a monumental cultural shift, or a massive tree that’s lived 1000s of years, the health of our kidneys starts at the ground level – the foot to be exact. Kidney health in Traditional Chinese Medicine is paramount to fostering a foundation of health. Here’s why.

Kidney Health and Energy Levels

At this point you may be wondering why the hell you should even care about your kidneys. I don’t blame you — seems a little weird at first. Think about it this way: when you’re running low on energy what do most humans look to this day in age for a pick me up? You guessed it, caffeine. And what does caffeine do? It releases cortisol into the system to get you back in the game so you can make that deadline, power through that athletic event, or keep your eyes on the road when you really should be in bed. It’s the kidneys (adrenals, specifically) that spark the flame when the system’s close to crashing. It makes sure all the systems are online and if there’s a deficit anywhere, the kidneys pick up the slack.

How to Improve Kidney Health

So in TCM, keeping the kidneys and the kidney channel happy is KEY to a healthy body. Like, the kidneys are so important that if you fail to read another word I write, you’d have a (more) solid foundation than you’ve ever had before if you just do this: keep your feet warm.

That’s it. The kidney channel starts on the underside of the foot. Located at the gushy spot on the pad of the foot between your big toe and your second toe, kidney one serves as the beginning of the kidney channel. And it, just like buildings, trees, and legit yoga poses, fosters the foundation of health within your body.

The Key is in the Kidney

So wear socks in the winter. Keep a pair of house shoes or slippers at the edge of your bed to protect your feet from the cold bathroom tile. And indulge your feet in an extra minute or two of warm water at the end of a shower. You’re going to need that spark to get back in the game at some point, so keep your strongest resource close at hand (ah hem, I mean foot) and keep them warm!

Photo credit – free pik

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