“If you do not set consistent times in your life for personal rejuvenation then you cannot expect to have mental and physical resilience during difficult moments.”
— YUNG PUEBLO
Resilience in Chinese Medicine is supported by the Kidney Organ system, which is considered the foundation of the body and is the source of our will-power and ability to exert ourselves, both physically and mentally. The Kidney Organ system includes our Adrenal Glands and influences our hormonal rhythms and response to stress, shock, fear and trauma: think the release of cortisol and your body’s Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis (the pathway responsible for regulating your body’s sympathetic “fight or flight” response). The Kidney governs the bones and engenders marrow (and the brain is the Sea of Marrow).
When your Kidney Essence is abundant, the Sea of Marrow (the brain) can be nourished and you’ll have a healthy sense of self, direction, and will-power to pursue one’s objectives. You can navigate the demands of the day and your ability to make decisions is strong. When your Kidney Essence is deficient, you will be more prone to emotional stress, and lack mental strength and resilience.
On an energetic level, the Kidneys are the fundamental source of our body’s Life Gate, holding our reserves of Inherited Qi and Vital Essence (Jing). In this way, I like to think of the Kidneys as our body’s bank…a bank that we too often take from but forget to replenish. The Kidney Essence (or Jing) can be depleted by environmental and lifestyle factors such as sleep deprivation, substance abuse, poor diet, excessive physical and mental exertion and stress. Explicitly, our Kidney Essence or Jing is lost through doing too much without adequate rest.
Modulating one’s stress level is primary to prevent weakening your Kidney Essence. Chronic and/or acute stress promotes inflammation, adrenal hyperactivity, hormone imbalance, sleep disturbance and emotional upheaval. Taking measures to mitigate the effects of stress is important. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, meditation, proper nutrition, breathing, exercise, recreation and hobbies all tend to reduce stress and protect our long-term health and Kidney Essence.
During these unprecedented times, give a thought to your Kidney Essence and how you can replenish your Kidney Essence ‘bank’ to support your mental and physical resilience.
An acupuncture point given by the Spiritual Axis to nourish the Sea of Marrow, benefit the Shen and strengthen the Kidney’s Will-Power is DU-20 Baihui. This point is located at the crown or apex of the head. You can apply moderate pressure to this point in circular motions for about 2-3 minutes or tap the point. This point can be useful to provide clarity of mind, strengthen your resilience, calm, the mind, provide energy and improve your memory, coherence, focus and cognitive function.