The Importance of the Kidneys in Traditional Chinese Medicine

The way traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medicine view the human body is fundamentally different.  The way TCM perceives the major organs of the body goes beyond their specific physiological functions.  TCM associates the organs with certain psychological and emotional aspects as well.  Western medicine on the other hand sees a body organ as responsible for governing and regulating specific bodily functions and physiological processes, nothing more, nothing less.  Whereas Western medicine sees the kidney, for example, as the body part responsible for filtering out waste and toxins from the bloodstream, TCM sees the kidney as a major factor in the reproductive process and in the cleansing of the blood and also in affecting certain emotional aspects such as the emotion of fear.

The kidney is one of the most important organs in TCM, if not the most important.  The kidney is responsible for birth, growth and the reproductive processes of a person.  Kidney according TCM has three components: kidney chi, kidney yin and yang and kidney essence.  Kidney essence is unique.  The kidney is the only organ in the body that has an essence.

The kidney essence governs sexual processes which include sexual maturation; fertility and sexual drive and reproduction.  Kidney essence is also responsible for bone, teeth and hair growth.  A vitalized kidney essence assures good hair growth and a weak kidney essence will make the hair turn gray and become thin and flimsy.  Kidney yin and yang is as important to a person as kidney essence.  Kidney yin is called true water or primordial yin.  Kidney yin refreshes all body tissues and organs by keeping them moist at all times.  When kidney yin is deficient symptoms that may crop up can be problems such as incontinent sperm emission, constipation, painful sensation in the chest and palms, dry throat and mouth, hearing problems including tinnitus, vertigo and weak and sore knees.

Kidney yang known also as true fire or primordial yang gives warmth and energy to all the body tissues and organs.  Deficiency here can lead to edema, female infertility, impotence, low libido, incontinence, dysuria, malaise, cold extremities and cold intolerance.

Anxiety and fear are known emotions that directly affect the kidney.  These emotions tend to stagnate chi flow to the Kidney.  With acupuncture Bellingham, the normal chi flow is reestablished and the factors that cause chi stagnation (anxiety and fear) are removed.  A strong kidney can boost a person’s will power and resolve which is quite useful in life to achieve things and also to fight cravings or addictions.

The kidney has several acupuncture points that lie just above kidney energy vessels called kidney meridians.  Many of these points are located on the outer ear.  Ear or auricular acupuncture is a very popular form of acupuncture that is used often to combat cigarette smoking and chemical or behavioral addiction.

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