During the winter months it is important to nurture and nourish our kidney Qi. It is the time where this energy can be most easily depleted. Our bodies are instinctively expressing the fundamental principles of winter – rest, reflection, conservation and storage.
In Chinese medicine, there are certain symptoms associated with the kidneys becoming weak, including:
- bladder and kidney infections
- low back pain
- knee pain
- cavities in teeth
- weak or broken bones
- premature gray hair or hair loss
- ringing in the ears
- increase of phobias or fears
Here is what you can do to keep your kidneys strong:
SLEEP – ancient Chinese classics, advised people to go to sleep early and rise late in winter, after the sun’s rays have warmed the atmosphere a bit. This preserves your own Yang Qi for the task of warming in the face of cold. More sleep, more rest, more nourishing food and less energy output!
FOOD IS MEDICINE – warm hearty soups and bone broths, miso soup, whole grains such as Quinao (warms the kidney yang energy), kidney beans and black beans, spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and ginger and roasted nuts help to warm the body’s core, the kidneys and help to keep us nourished.
KEEP WARM – The kidney meridian begins at the sole of your feet so warm feet means warm kidneys. Keeping the lower back warm and covered from the elements is also very important so that cold doesn’t penetrate the kidney organ itself. When it is windy make sure you wear a scarf around your neck to prevent getting colds and flu’s from invading through your protective (wei qi).
ACUPUNCTURE FOR PREVENTION – Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can prevent colds and flu by building up the immune system with just a few needles inserted into key points along the body’s energy pathways. These points are known for strengthening the outer defence layers of the skin and muscle (Wei Qi) so that germs and viruses cannot enter through them.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR CURE – If you’ve already happened to catch that cold, acupuncture and herbal medicine can also help with the chills, sniffles, sore throat or fever in a safe, non-toxic way that doesn’t ‘t bombard your body with harmful antibiotics.
HERBAL MEDICINE – An ancient Chinese herbal formula; the Jade Screen Formula is a powerful complement to these immune-boosting treatments. It is made up of just three herbs: Radix Astragalus, Atractylodis Macrocephalae, and Radix Ledebouriellae. These three powerful herbs combine together to tonify the immune system, strengthen the digestive system (so that we can be sure to gain the nutrients from our food), and fortify the exterior of the body so that we can fight off wind-borne viruses and bacteria. If your immune is already strong other kidney tonifying formulas may be more beneficial such as Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Rehmannia 6) or Fu Gui Ba Wei Wan (Rehmannia 8)
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