The function of the kidneys is heavily important.
When I was younger, I knew that one of my uncles had died from kidney failure, but I didn’t know what that actually meant. To me, it seemed so abstract. How does a kidney fail you? As I got older, I became more curious. His name was Masud, and he was my mother’s favorite cousin. He was less than forty when he died. He was also a man that had never done drugs, never drunk alcohol in his life, but he had still died from a disease that is generally tied to a poor lifestyle. Later in life I found out that because he had grown up in relative poverty, in one of the poorest countries in the world (Bangladesh), he didn’t have access to clean drinking water and was bad at hydrating. After being prompted by the doctor that he needed to hydrate more, because he was straining his kidneys he attempted to do so. He died a few days after that doctor’s visit.
This made me particularly curious to figure out about the importance of the kidney, and how one could safeguard our internal organs. It seemed serious and life altering if we weren’t more aware of what was happening inside of our bodies. Kidney imbalances generally happen when “kidneys are not able to cleanse wastes from the body, fluid and chemical imbalance occurs.”
In Chinese Medicine, the kidney is known as the “energy battery.”
Its physical purpose is to filter out the body of its toxins, and help with fluid metabolism. However, having a healthy kidney has a lot to do with epigenetic factors, too. The energy stored is inherited and passed through generations. So, if your parents had a weak kidney (or really any weak organ) they likely passed it on to you. It sounds ominous, but finding out about my kidney energy being weak has been such a relief, because now I know that much like a battery, the kidneys and organs need to be recharged. It’s given me an awareness over how sacred the body’s energy is.
In TCM, jing is, quite interestingly, located within the kidneys and its power is that it is able to transmute and change into all kinds of energy that the body needs—yin, yang, blood, qi. If you were born with a healthy amount of jing you are more likely to ward of disease, but if you were born with poor jing you were known to usually be sicklier. This makes sense when you think of how so many of us carry things that are not our own pain, our own sickness.
I’ve always felt lacking in my body, especially in the kidneys.
As I said last column, there was something off as I was growing up, and it’s a feeling that I still carry with me today. When Lisa told me that I had a weak kidney function, it made sense to me. It characterized something that I’ve felt but never had words to. Knowing that, in the last few weeks in particular, I’ve been working with Lisa to unveil some of these issues.
There’s a point on your foot, right around the ball of your foot, but closer to your little toe, which is known as Kidney 1. Or also known as “bubbling spring.” It’s important for this energy to not be stagnant. You want it to be alive and running well, like a spring of water that flows effortlessly.
This point, out of all the acupuncture points, is my jam. Apparently it’s often used as a pressure point for pregnant women during labor to help bring the energy down to the ground, to help release the baby. For me, it’s also used for grounding. Of bringing the attention of mind right into my body, straight to the soles of my feet. For me to be able to walk with precision, and dignity, throughout this world and not worry about my body or the space I (think I) take up.
So I crave this point every week.
Your foot is super sensitive, and on the very bottom it’s the freshest pain, and yet—every week—Lisa and I will have a little chat over how we’re feeling about this beautiful point that I clearly need so dearly… and every week, despite the strange pinch and the way my body tenses from the prick, I ask for it. I understand it helps my flow. In the last few months that I’ve been getting regular acupuncture, I have noticed how much more in my body I feel. Which has been the great hope I’ve had my whole life. It’s a process, however. Some days, weeks, are easier than others, and it’s important to remember that in journeys to do with healing. Some days are always going to be better, but it’s ok. Be kind to yourself, this stuff is difficult and so much is uncovered as we walk through it.
It’s sad to remember my uncle, but it is a reminder of how lucky I am to have been born in this form, in this lifetime, with my particular set of privileges that I was awarded purely by chance. It doesn’t mean it’s always easy, but we get by. In the process of healing it’s important to remember that it’s not just about you, it’s about your family, too. We carry so much of them with us, and as we heal, we help them heal, too. Even if just energetically, from afar.
About The Author
This guest post was authored by Fariha Róisín, a talented writer based here in Brooklyn. We are indebted to Fariha for sharing this experience. We are humbled to be in service to such a brave, strong & beautiful human and it is with great gratitude we are able to share Fariha’s writings with our community.
Fariha Róisín has written for Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Vice, Fusion, Village Voice and many others and additionally has previously written a self-care column on The Hairpin. Fariha will also soon have two books published and currently has an astrology column for them. We encourage you to discover more:
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