I’d have to say I’m a big fan of the human kidney, both the organ and it’s energetic concept as traditional Chinese medicine sees it. If you haven’t run into this concept before of the “real” vs. the “energetic” kidney (or the other organs) let’s take a moment to explain. Western medicine makes its focus the physical reality of any organ. The kidney as it is seen, palpated and measured. Take a moment to read about your fabulous kidney organ here. Traditional Chinese medicine also says the same of the organ but doesn’t stop there. For any of the organs there is also a color, sound, odor, emotion, climatic condition, season, a sense, an instinct, a motion, a compass direction, a flavor, a sound emitted in sickness and many other associations related to your kidneys. Were these associations just randomly assigned? Of course not. Based upon empirical observations over several thousands of years, the Chinese realized that your kidneys had connections to other things within the body as well as to things outside of the body. Your acupuncturist uses these associations (of all the organs) to knit together a constitutional picture of you as well as to check on the health of the individual organs among other things.
Is it really that you have two kinds of kidneys? No, but it’s a convenient way to think about it and explain it to patients when it’s a new concept. The nice thing about it though, what great thing you are doing for the one is a great thing that you are doing for the other!
July is kidney month. Each of the most important organs in traditional Chinese medicine has a time in the year that happens to correspond with a month of the year. You can check out other months and their organs here. There are many ways to be nice to your kidneys. Sometimes you can help your kidneys by doing something for them but your kidneys can really gain balance and health when you are not doing something. That is, your kidneys do best when you’re not “burning the candle at both ends” as the saying goes. Especially in this day and age when we are all running around full tilt with little to no unscheduled, unstructured rest and putter time, one of the best (not easiest) is to just get more rest during each day. Also, standing too long can put a strain on your kidneys, so sit occasionally if you do a lot of standing. And just because it tastes so good… watermelon is a great fruit to think about eating (unless you have reasons you shouldn’t) to help build kidney health.
Call the office if you want more ideas!