You are entitled to receive love and to spread love.
Loving others starts with loving yourself; the inner knowing that your mind, body and spirit are worthy of care and respect. Your humble, often-ignored kidneys play a vital role in how well you access self-love and self-appreciation. If you’re wondering where your kidneys are, they are located opposite your navel towards your lower back. The kidneys are 4-5 inches long, and about the size of your fist.
In Chinese Medicine the kidneys are centers of inner wisdom and willpower. How well, or how poorly, you love yourself is reflected in the health of your kidneys.
Are Your Kidneys Out of Balance?
When our kidneys want our attention, they send us symptoms in the guise of low energy, bad moods and lack of willpower. The next time you experience any of the following ailments or discomforts, take a moment to check in with yourself. Your kidneys might be asking that you nurture them by nurturing yourself.
- Joint pain ranging from mild inflammation to severe arthritis
- Poor memory or “foggy brain”
- Ringing of the ears
- Premature hair loss and/or graying
- Lack of sex drive
- Shortness of breath
- Hearing loss
- Frequent or strained urination
- Hot flashes or night sweats
- Lower back pain
While an out-of-balance organ is often easy to diagnose, lifestyle imbalances are often more challenging to identify. If you crave salty, sugary, fatty foods. If you feel tired, have a feeling of dread and/or rarely see your dreams to fruition, your kidneys might be begging for your love and support.
Qi (pronounced chi) is life-force energy present in all things: like the things you can see and touch, and the things you can’t see and touch for example breath, thoughts, emotions. How much Qi we have in our mind, body and spirit determines the quality of inner and outer lives.
If you have plenty of Qi in your kidneys, Chinese Medicine believes you are destined for a long life filled with vitality and strength. But if your kidney Qi is low or blocked, both your joy of life and lifespan are shortened.
Although our kidneys are like batteries that come with pre-determined energy levels, there are a number of things we can do to ensure that our lives – and our kidneys – are healthy, balanced and energized with joy and wellbeing.
Here are 5 tips for nurturing your kidney Qi today and throughout your precious, heart-led life:
1. Commit to a daily practice of Qigong. Help cleanse and rebalance your kidneys by practicing these gentle, powerful movements. Within minutes you’ll feel calm, energized and centered.
2. Go to bed early, get up late. Indulge your body’s desire to rest, rejuvenate and repair. Close the blinds, crawl into bed and stay there! Your mind, body and spirit will reward you in the morning. Sleep is the number one tonic for replenishing your kidneys.
3. Drink a lot. A lot of water, of course! (Sorry, wine lovers.) When quenching your thirst, choose filtered water served at room temperature, with a squeeze of lemon for added flavor and to benefit your digestive system, which includes the kidneys.
4. Eat earth and sea. Foods that nourish and nurture your kidneys include bosc pears, peaches, black beans and other legumes. Super-food sea veggies like nori, wakame, dulse also help support kidney Qi. Fresh fish grilled or baked is a tasty, healthy choice.
5. Listen to water. Since the kidneys relate to the water element it’s not wonder why running a bath is so relaxing. The sound of moving water is proven to lessen stress and activate creativity. Add a little Zen to your daily life by running a tiny fountain in your office or treating yourself to a long soak in the tub.
Try my 15-minute “White Pearl Meditation” to increase your energy and bring you kidneys back into balance. Available for download online, including iTunes and Amazon.