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The Kidneys Role in Traditional Chinese Medicine in Philadelphia

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One of the fundamental differences between traditional Chinese medicine  in Philadelphia and western medicine is their perspective towards the organs of the human body.  Whereas western medicine sees a body organ with a clearly delineated and specific function, such as the kidney used for blood filtration or the heart used for blood circulation, etc., TCM sees the kidney as not only an organ for excreting waste materials but an integral part of the reproductive process as well and much more; or the heart responsible as well for the mental and emotional aspects of the person.

The kidney holds a very important place in TCM that rivals both the heart and the brain.  The kidney is vital for birth, growth and reproduction.  What we term kidney is quite different in concept to what TCM terms as kidney.  Kidney for TCM, encompasses kidney chi, kidney yin and yang and kidney essence Kidney essence is what is distinct from chi.  The kidney is the only organ in the body that possesses the essence quality.

The kidney essence controls the sexual processes like sexual maturation; sexual energy and fertility; and the reproductive process.  It also controls body growth and is responsible for hair, teeth and bone growth.  If the kidney essence has vitality, hair growth is healthy and if it is weak, hair texture becomes flimsy and its color turns to gray.

The kidney has an aspect called yin and yang.  TCM calls the kidney the origin of life or congenital foundation since it is believed that the kidney is where our whole genetic makeup is found and it provides the body with all the needed substances a person needs during birth.

The kidney yin is called primordial yin or true water and it “irrigates” the body with the yin fluid to nourish and keep moist all the body organs and tissues.  Kidney yin deficiency manifests itself as soreness and weak knees, vertigo, tinnitus, hearing difficulties, dry mouth and throat, a burning sensation in the palms and chest and constipation, and involuntary sperm emission.

Kidney yang (also called primordial yang) or true fire, on the other hand, provides the body with warmth and gives energy to all bodily organs and tissues.  Kidney yang deficiency is responsible for intolerance of the cold, cold extremities, malaise, difficulty in urination, incontinence, declining libido, or impotence in severe cases; female sterility, and general edema may also appear.

The strong emotions of fear and anxiety causes chi to be blocked or stagnate in the kidney.  The normal flow of chi dispels fears and anxieties and reanimates not only the body but the strength of the soul as well in the form of strong resolve and will power, which are necessary traits to counter addiction in one form or another.

The kidney has quite a number of meridian points in it and some of them are connected to the meridian system of the ear.  Ear acupuncture is one of the more popular and highly effective treatments for various forms of addiction.

Written by Valerie

February 20th, 2011 at 1:19 pm