The energetic Winter season is associated with the energetic aspect, or “element” of Water, and the associated organs are the yin kidneys and the yang bladder. When kidney is strong and in balance, we promote regeneration of the body, youth, vibrancy and vitality.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the kidneys are where our core vital energy is located. We could say that they contain our blueprint for health. They are considered to be the body’s most important receptacle of essential energy and they are known in TCM as the “Root of Life.”
Consider how important the kidneys’ function is by the following:
- they filter waste metabolites from the blood
- they control sexual and reproductive functions
- with the large intestine, they control the balance of fluids in the body
- they regulate the pH balance (acid-alkaline of the body by either retaining or filtering out certain minerals
- they control the growth and development of the skeletal system and nourish the bone marrow
Get PHYTO5's FREE white paper on energetic skincare for an excellent understanding of why skincare is about far more than the skin you see on the surface by clicking here.
The kidneys house the body’s willpower therefore willpower is the positive emotion of the kidneys. They control short-term memory and provide the capacity for strength and industriousness. When the kidney energy is strong, a person can work hard and diligently for long periods of time. When this energy is weak, a person may lack strength and endurance.
When kidney energy is strong we will have willpower and live life with focus and direction.
When kidney energy is weak, we are susceptible to fear and anxiety. Fear is the primary emotion associated with the Water element and the energetic Winter season (November 8th to January 7th ).
“Kidney chi” is approximate terminology for the functional combination of kidney energy. It is almost never in excess but it is frequently deficient.
A good lifestyle helps ensure good kidney health. Simply do all the things you would think are good for you and refrain from the things you know are not:
- keep hydrated
- eat healthily, especially fresh organic fruits and vegetables; aside from their nutritional content, they tend to have a high water content beneficial for the kidneys and entire body
- get an appropriate amount of exercise that is appealing to you
- get friendly flora into your intestinal system by taking probiotics daily
- drink green juices and smoothies
- detox in epsom salt baths to help detoxify the kidneys
- moderate your use of over-the-counter drugs
- refrain from smoking
- avoid sugar, salt and fat
- moderate your alcohol consumption
Causes of kidney deficiency may include:
- overwork over a long period of time
- too much brain work
- a long vitality-draining illness
- overindulgence in sexual activity
- acute fever
- prolonged hemorrhage
- overconsumption of drugs
During the winter months all things in nature wither, hide, return home, and enter a resting period, just as lakes and rivers freeze and snow falls. This is a time when yin dominates yang. Therefore one should refrain from overusing the yang energy. Retire early and get up with the sunrise, which is later in winter. Desires and mental activity should be kept quiet and subdued. Sexual desires especially should be contained, as if keeping a happy secret. Stay warm, avoid the cold, and keep the pores closed. Avoid sweating. The philosophy of the winter season is one of conservation and storage. Without such practice the result will be injury to the kidney energy… —The Neijing Suwen
Clogstoun-Willmott, Jonathan. Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine. Aquarian, 1985.
Ni, Maoshing. The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine: a New Translation of the Neijing Suwen with Commentary. Shambhala, 1995.