Water – Kidney And Urinary Bladder in Cosmetic Acupuncture , The Kidneys give water and life energy to all the tissues of our body. Kidney yin stores water for the body and Kidney yang irrigates the body with this water.
Water softens tissues and removes hardness. Skin which holds moisture in will be soft and supple, which will make the opening and closing functions more efficient. The body hair, which is moistened by the water, will be shiny and soft.
Kidney yin deficiency
A deficiency of Kidney yin means that there is less water for the whole body. There will be general dryness, and the urine will be concentrated and dark ( Figure 3.15 ). There may be Kidney stones.
If the Kidney is yin deficient, it will draw yin from the Lung, its mother organ. Over a period of time, this will cause a yin deficiency of the Lung, resulting in dryness of skin, nose, throat and stools. A good example of this combination of symptoms is post-menopausal syndrome.
Menopause is said to be a decline in female hormones, and as the reproductive system is governed by the Kidneys , this decline in hormones also means that there is a Kidney yin deficiency. One of the early symptoms of menopause is dryness of the skin, hair and many other areas. This causes wrinkling, hair loss, tiredness and intermittent heat symptoms (the heat symptoms are because the deficient yin can no longer control the yang). A woman who remains reasonably young-looking throughout her life will suddenly age from the time of her menopause. Women with Kidney yin deficiency may suffer from short menstrual cycles and excessive bleeding at the time of peri-menopause. This is because the Kidney yang rises from time to time, and the body eliminates the excessive yang through bleeding. As the yin is weak and therefore cannot rise to control the yang, this will be the only way for the body to balance the situation. Osteoporosis is also a sign of Kidney yin deficiency.
It is not just menopausal women who appear to age. People of any age or gender may become deficient in Kidney yin, and for various reasons. The principal reason is that people do not drink enough water. Often they don’t drink at all, but sometimes they drink excessive tea, coffee and alcohol. Unfortunately, these are all diuretics, which increase urination and cause dryness and heat in the body (alcohol causes heat in the Liver, and tea and coffee cause heat in the Heart and both can increase Stomach heat).
Drinking water regularly throughout the day is important for improving Kidney yin. Herbal teas such as chamomile or green tea are also good for this purpose. It is necessary to sip water throughout the day, rather than drinking 2 litres of it whenever remembered. This will only lead one quickly to the toilet! Also, cooking in water (boiling, steaming, broiling, soaking) would be better methods of enhancing water energy, rather than baking, frying, roasting or microwaving.
The Kidneys store vital essence when we rest and makes vital energy when we work. Just as a car consumes petrol, we use up our vital essence all through our active time. It is therefore necessary to occasionally rest and refuel. As work becomes more demanding and rest time becomes less, the Kidney yin is reduced. To punctuate the day with short periods of rest will help recovery. The best time for rest during the day is midday, the time of the highest yang. This is not always a practical solution for everyone, but doctors, the middle-aged and those who are self-employed or retired could practise this lifestyle. Kidney yin and the water in the body are easily affected by exterior heat. Those who are deficient in Kidney yin should avoid direct exposure to the sun and avoid heat so that the yin will not be further consumed. People who live in tropical countries frequently carry an umbrella to protect them from the sun, and yet when people from Europe visit such countries they consider it safe to go out in the sun protected only by sun block. Sun and heat can injure the yin – not only of the skin but of the entire body, especially if there is pre-existing weakness of the yin.
Finally, some people drink lots of water but do not seem to retain any of it. They pass large volumes of urine, usually just after drinking water. This could be a Qi deficiency of the Kidney – where the Kidney is confused between when to hold water in the body and when to eliminate it. And if this is not precipitated by caffeinated drinks, then it may be useful to try increasing their salt intake.
There is a popular belief among people that salty foods are unhealthy. According to the theory of the fi ve elements, all foods in their natural form (this does not mean that food should be raw, but that it should not be modifi ed or artifi cial), all fl avours (again in their natural form – sweet fruit, for example, is better than sugar), all emotions (when not suppressed but felt and dealt with) and all colours (again natural and not intensifi ed as they are in the television) are good – in moderation . When there is an absence or excess of one, then the problems begin.
Why, then, is salty food good in moderation? Because salt helps to hold water in the body, especially when the patient has large dry areas in the body – such as the skin and the mucous membranes – and the patient drinks enough fluids. Often these patients suffer with frequent urination following consumption of fluids, showing that they have problems with retaining water. If they are not on diuretics, or not suffering from hypertension, then it would be useful if they use a moderate amount of salt in their cooking.
Sea salt is the better choice in this case.
An excessive amount of salt, however, will harden the blood vessels and cause water retention. It will also cause a dry mouth and excessive thirst. Chronic Kidney yin deficiency leads to intermittent increase in Kidney yang. If there is an increase in the yang, the body tries to balance this by increasing the yin. An example of this is feeling hot and sweating excessively. But when the yang rises on the basis of yin deficiency, then the only way the body can balance this situation would be by eliminating the yang – which the body does by bleeding excessively from the heat source. If the patient was a woman of menstruating age, this would result in heavy menstrual bleeding.
As you can see from the above towers, the excessive bleeding will then lead to eventual Blood deficiency, which will in turn worsen the dryness.
Points for treating Kidney yin tonifi cation
~ K 10 or K 7 (K 7 is not the best point in this case because it draws energy from Lung and makes the skin even drier; K 10 would be more suitable as this draws energy from Large Intestine yang).
~ K 4 – this point is especially good in those with heat conditions, including excessive menstrual bleeding and hot flushes .
~ GB 25 – Mu-front point of Kidney.
Advice for patients
~ Drink water throughout the day.
~ Use water in cooking; pre-soak grains and kidney beans overnight before cooking.
~ Eat fish with white flesh.
~ Have a midday rest.
~ Have baths instead of showers.
~ Take up swimming and spend as long as possible in the water.
~ Cook meat with bones and make stock with bones – this is especially good for patients with osteoporosis.
When improving Kidney yin and Blood with these methods mentioned above, the Lungs and the skin improve automatically because the kidneys are no longer deficient and do not rely on the lungs as their only source of water and nutrition.
Kidney yang deficiency
Kidney yang provides us with vital energy and life energy. When comparing two persons – one in their twenties and the other in their sixties – it is clearly evident that they are very different in their appearances, body language and energy states. The older of the two will be slower, with limited movements, dull and wrinkled skin with some senile spots, and with less and grey head hair. The younger person has more life energy, a youthful shiny skin, a good head of hair, more bounce in their step and more flexibility in movement. It is this ‘ bounciness ’ of youthful state that the Kidney yang provides to our lives. Kidney yang brings more energy into our lives, more interest, more libido and more activity ( Figure 3.16 ). Kidney yang also brings warmth, especially to our bones and joints andto our legs and back. It makes the urinary system and the reproductive system function well. It livens up the condition of the head hair and makes the hearing acute. The Kidney yang is at its peak when our vital energy is at its
highest. Figure 3.17 shows the peak times of vital energy and reproductive energy in men and women.
When Kidney yang is defi cient, it will draw yang from the Lungs, making skin dull and lifeless.
If we treat patients to improve their youthful appearance in this age group, we will have nature on our side and the therapy will be very effective. But when we treat those whose vital energy is at its decline (most patients who come for cosmetic acupuncture!) then we will have to work harder and the patients will have to co-operate with us in maintaining their energy state and undergo further treatment periodically to maintain the energy balance.
So how does one activate their Kidney yang? Unlike Kidney yin, which is mostly dependent on continuous water supply to the body, the Kidney yang depends partly on sportive physical activity and a healthy sexual activity. By this I mean that these should also be in moderation and not overly consuming. Extreme physical exercise and sex can deplete Kidney yin and Blood. Absence of exercise and sex will cause Kidney yang deficiency, which will further inhibit the interest and ability to perform sex or physical exercise. Have you noticed someone in love? They are beaming from head to toe and have a body language boasting vitality and confidence.
Those who indulge in regular physical exercise also show a wellbeing and youthfulness which cannot be bought with creams and massages. In women of menstruating age, regular menstrual cycles and trouble-free periods are a good way of maintaining a healthy Kidney yang. If there are menstrual problems, then treating these will bring about an improvement in Kidney yang. Kidney yang is attacked by overexposure to cold, especially on the lower parts of the body. Patients should be encouraged to keep their back and legs warm and avoid cold feet. Those with cold feet should have warm foot baths every evening so that they go to bed with warm feet. Someone with good Kidney yang will look young and will have shiny skin and shiny, bouncy hair, twinkling eyes and rosy cheeks. When the Kidney yang is deficient, the skin and hair is dull, the face grey and lifeless and the eyes dull and reflecting lack of interest; the general appearane is ofa lack of life force in that person. Even someone who is only 30 years old will look old and dull.
Moreover, Kidney yang deficiency causes many other symptoms, for example:
~ The hair will become prematurely grey.
~ The Urinary Bladder yang on the back may be weak, resulting in a hunched appearance as the yang on the back is not firm enough to maintain an upright posture.
~ These patients may be lazy and have a low libido, which makes them less active and results in insufficient Qi to move Blood and fluids in the body.
~ These patients may suffer with anxiety and phobias and their fears make them more passive and frustrated.
~ They may suffer from water retention and oedema that increase during the day and improve overnight.
~ Kidney yang deficiency can result in increased night-time urination, which disturbs sleep and makes patients feel tired during the day.
~ It is quite a common problem in colder countries because of prolonged exposure to cold weather. When the Kidney becomes yang deficient, it also draws energy from themother organ, the Lung. As a result, the Lung can become yang deficient, causing dull skin and body hair, cold and clammy skin and a poor immune system. The Qi of the Lung and the skin function can slow down.
Points to tonify Kidney yang
~ UB 23 (Back-Shu point).
~ K 3 (the Earth point or the grandmother point).
~ UB 67 (tonification point of coupled yang organ, Urinary Bladder).
~ Both LI 11 and St 36 can increase the yang in their organs and ensure more yang to come into the Kidney through the mother–son cycle and the controlling cycle. The first two points are the best to use in this case, because the UB 67 point will draw energy away from the Lung and Large Intestine, which will be deficient. But K 3, the earth point, will draw yang from the Stomach.
Advice for patients
~ Regular and moderate exercise, especially involving the back and legs. Cycling is a good sport for this.
~ Eat red fish, shellfish, red kidney beans and cooked chicken feet or pig trotters (the feet of animals have Kidney yang energy because they are in the lower part of the body, and because they are an active part of the body).
~ Have a foot massage or warm foot bath.
Category: Cosmetic Acupuncture
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