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Survive the Winter!

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Survive the Winter!

Stay balanced with healthy kidneys.
Dr. Dena  Mendes
Dr. Dena Mendes More by this author
Jan 25, 2011 at 09:00 AM

As winter rears its cold and sometimes harsh head, we begin our journey into kidney/bladder season. Kidney season is the darkest, coldest time of the year when activity in the plant kingdom occurs deep in the roots. In humans, this time of year represents energetic reserves, the will to survive, courage, slow movement, self-actualization, trust and faith. The element for the kidney is water; this is an emotional time of year. It is time to dig deep into oneself and grow at the root level. 

When out of balance, the kidney element will show fear and a struggle for survival—fight or flight! If you lack appropriate reserves you will show signs of exhaustion, urinary disorders, infertility, weakness in the endocrine system, hair loss, as well as fear and lack of trust.

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. The kidneys are sophisticated reprocessing machines. Every day, a person’s kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about two quarts of waste products and extra water. The wastes and extra water become urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. Because the kidneys are largely responsible for clearing waste and act as a filtering plant for the body we must keep our kidneys in peak performance.

Here are some tips on how to stay strong and healthy through the winter months:

  • Eat healthy food. Instead of depleting your kidneys/bladder with sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, consume sweet potato, carrot and squash-based soups and deserts. I even eat my pumpkin squash soups for desert! (Click here for some of my recipe ideas.)
  • BYOT—Bring Your Own Tea! I love a warm, rich cinnamon, clove, spice tea for the winter season. My favorite is by Good Earth® OriginalTM Sweet & Spicy. It’s amazing!
  • Eat more steamed foods. The energy of baking is drying and can deplete the necessary water element of the kidneys, so steam and lightly sauté to give you the oils you so desperately need at this time of year. 
  • Keep your feet warm. The bladder /kidney meridian runs through the entire body and begins at the soles of the feet. So keep them warm in the winter! The meridian then travels up the inner most part of the leg behind the inside of the knee crossing over and up the back of the leg. An inner meridian travels through the kidneys into the liver, heart and lungs, then to the throat and into the ears.
  • Listen to your body. Aches and pains behind the knees could be weakness in the kidneys. Chronic throat or ear issues could very well be from depletion of kidney chi (energy) which comes from overconsumption of caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
  • Keep your bones strong. Bones are kept strong from the energy of the kidney and bladder. Dry, broken, split hair, balding or partial balding in men and women may have to do with an imbalance in the kidneys.
  • Give your voice a rest. Kidneys can become depleted and drained from incessant talking, so try to give your throat/voice a rest every so often through the winter months, take a silent retreat or create one at home. This is good for all ages!
  • Exercise. Watch my video above for great exercises to help stimulate the kidneys.
  • Cleanse your kidneys. This is a wonderful time to do a cleanse. I recommend using RenagenTM DTX from Metagenics—a great product for kidney season.
About Author
Dr. Dena  Mendes
Dr. Dena Mendes received her degree in Public Health and Broadcast Journalism from Arizona State University, has attended programs at Harvard and Northwestern universities and holds a Doctor of Naturopathy Degree. Dena was introduced to healing a Continue reading