Water affects every system in the body.
When we see muscle tissue that’s slow to heal –or the healing mechanism doesn’t spark in the body quite as well– often the culprit is dehydration.
Water helps keep the the muscles pliable. The muscle has a more difficult time healing itself after treatment if the person is not properly hydrated. If your body is well-hydrated before acupuncture the healing potential is heightened. It usually takes 2-3 days to become fluid. Many of us are chronically dehydrated.
Water helps keep the blood alive and healthy. Without water the blood gets sticky.
The body’s tissues are what holds the water in the body. The way to get the water into the tissues – here’s the secret: Drink a bunch of water and then stretch. If you sit still it will go right through you, if you move it will go into the the soft tissue of the body – the muscles and the fascia.
If the fascia is dry, the conductivity and communication in the body is hampered.
Whenever you have enough water in the fascia system – the connective tissue– the body can work more efficiently at immunity, tissue healing (muscle repair), oxygenation, brain function, and heart health to name a few.
Hydration goals: Drink half your body weight in ounces per day – for example 140lbs = 70 ounces water per day.
The quality of water is important. Taste and cleanliness are paramount (no chlorine or fluoride) opt for local spring water.
Drink mindfully, good water.
Read more about healthy hydration techniques in article 4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Water.
In Traditional East Asian Medicine, the body’s physiological processes can be viewed through the lens of Five Phase theory.
Each phase relates to a major organ, an emotion and a season.
All things can be viewed through this lens for easy discussion and healing discoveries.
The heart and lungs are relatively higher in the body away from the earth. They process blood and air every second of every day.
The liver and spleen are physically just below the diaphragm in the middle. They process food and blood on a daily or in some cases weekly cycles.
The kidneys are the lowest of these five.
They rule events in life such as birth, puberty, child bearing.
These processes are slow.
In the last 40 or so years the speed of our lifestyles has increased exponentially. Mother Earth is still telling us all to slow down – more.
In 2020 I went from 50 patients per week to 22. It wasn’t by choice. But it was most certainly better for me. More time for conscious breathing, exercise, and hydrating.
Kidney Deficiency usually manifests in the low back and the knees.
This past year has been challenging, heart-breaking, and difficult to varying degrees for each of us. As we press on into this third wave, it is important to understand the stress this has on the kidneys. We are all to some degree in fight or flight. We are in survival mode. Every social pattern we have known has been disrupted and changed. As we move through this transition, the healthiest thing we can do is to acknowledge how this affects the kidneys and support ourselves accordingly.
In the kidneys resides essence or Jing and our will to live.
The connection between the kidneys and the heart is important to understand. If you look at the diagram, you may notice that this is the axis of fear and joy. Water and fire. This is a spectrum. The antidote for fear – is Cultivating Joy. The adrenals and kidneys are directly connected. We want to nourish our kidneys and support our essence. We can do this in the following ways:
- Turn the TV off
- Take a holiday from social media
- Go outside. Make a fire, talk a walk, tend to your yard- connect with the natural rhythms of nature. Feel the wind, see the stars, you get the idea.
- Get plenty of rest at regular intervals
- Hydrate well and often with good quality
- 20 min Gentle movement necessary during the day – yoga, qi-gong or pleasant walk in the park (not a 3 mile run)
- Plan to do less
- Practice self-care
- Drink bone broth or mineral broth if vegetarian
- are at the deepest level of all the organs (this operates on the levels of mind, body and spirit)
- control your entire blood pressure system
- regulate Blood cell production
- regulate all the water in the body (regulate the salinity of the water through the advanced filtration system)
- are related to the element of water and are in affinity with the colors black and blue (where these colors to support the kidneys!)
- In the Kidneys we find the will – including the will to live – the will to move forward and conversely, fear. Kidneys out of balance will be an experience of stuckness/frozen in fear. It is like the roots of the tree are all dried out.
Winter is the time of a deep going within, it is the season of the kidneys, so having loving intention in this direction can amplify our process.
If we can find the gifts, the silver linings and perhaps even find the joy in places and moments we can proceed in that direction, slowly, mindfully and heal.