Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be used in various ways to maintain kidney health. The practice has evolved over generations and employs processes, including herbal medicine, acupuncture and acupressure, along with certain energy balancing exercise, to bring balance and health to the kidney organ. To promote kidney health, a TCM practitioner may prescribe a combination of these techniques. In addition to these common techniques, Chinese medicine for kidney health focuses intently on ingesting a healthy diet that balances body energies and contributes to overall energetic composure. TCM has been proved in numerous studies to have benefits for a number of different kidney conditions.
In order to understand the processes involved in Chinese medicine for kidney health, it is important to understand how TCM defines the kidney organ. In contrast to the prevailing Western medical definition of the kidneys being distinct anatomical structures, TCM describes the kidney as a set of interrelated parts, or an energetic pathway, that when unbalanced, leads to associated pathogenic conditions. The organ is considered to be a single entity; the left and right physical kidneys are not differentiated in the TCM system. The kidney is a yin organ; in fact, it is often considered the root of yin energy within the human energetic system. It is chiefly responsible for major growth and development, and it collects the life energy, Qi, needed for these functions through outer openings to the environment, like the ears and anus.
Chinese medicine for kidney health prescribes certain herbs to ensure that the kidney remains healthy, especially in times of high stress. During periods of stress, the Qi energy needed by the kidney becomes significantly scant, and supplemental energy provided by the herbs, along with the herb’s pharmacological action, can help a deficient system. Some common herbs used include red sandalwood, shigru, and punarnava; they address yin energy deficiencies and also help with more physical kidney ailments, like swelling and fluid-retention. TCM prescribes herbs for acute conditions of the kidney and also long-term as prophylactic treatment.
Acupuncture is performed by TCM practitioners to clear any blocked energy passages. During the technique, tonification needles are inserted into sites along the human meridian system that are known to be energy pathways of the kidney organ. Acupressure is performed in Chinese medicine for kidney health using similar principles to those used for acupuncture. During acupressure treatment, a TCM practitioner presses on acupuncture points, mostly in the foot, ankle, and lower back. After these treatments are performed, the practitioner will often recommend certain yoga or other energy exercises to keep the Qi energy balanced between sessions.