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Winter Tips for Nourishing Kidneys and How to Identify Dysfunction

Jan 13 2023

Our kidneys play a vital role in the healthy function of our bodies. Knowing how to nourish, treat, and identify dysfunction of the kidneys, especially in the winter months is valuable.

Jonathan Liu, a professor at Georgian College in Canada and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner, provides tips to strengthen the kidneys in the winter months and how to recognize early symptoms of illness.

Kidney Disease Tends to Develop in Winter

According to a report from The International Society of Nephrology, more than 850 million people worldwide have some form of kidney disease.

In winter, bouts of kidney disease are more prevalent. Liu said that blood circulation is poor in cold weather. The kidneys are full of balls of capillaries, also known as the glomerulus, which metabolizes waste in the body. When it is cold, blood flow slows and can hinder the toxins from being properly excreted causing strain on the kidneys.

10 Warning Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Kidney dysfunction is sometimes called a “silent” disease as it can often be asymptomatic.

Knowing what to look for and early detection of illness is important. Liu provided ten warning signs and emphasized that fatigue and edema are clear early symptoms of kidney disease, and require immediate attention.

  1. Fatigue that is not alleviated by rest.
  2. Swelling around the eyes, known as periorbital edema.
  3. Calf or ankle edema.
  4. Frequent nighttime urination.
  5. Persistently foamy urine that increases over time.
  6. Sudden hypertension.
  7. Nausea and vomiting in the morning, especially for patients with high blood pressure or diabetes.
  8. A metallic taste in the mouth.
  9. White frost on the skin.
  10. Loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting that occur at the same time.

Diagnosing Kidney Disease: Checking Urine Foam

Foamy urine may be a symptom of kidney disease. Liu pointed out that there are various reasons that urine appears foamy with the following three being of no concern:

  1. Speed of urination creating foam.
  2. Reduction of water intake due to lack of thirst.
  3. Increased secretions in the urinary tract, such as prostatic fluid.

However, the following three reasons for the foamy quality do require your attention:

  1. Higher urine glucose in middle-aged men due to higher blood sugar levels.
  2. Urinary system infection: Discomfort and incomplete urination are symptoms of urethritis, prostatitis, and cystitis.
  3. Proteinuria: The urine has an odor similar to beer, and has fine foam that does not disappear within 10 minutes. This situation requires scrupulous attention.

It’s important to note that “benign” proteinuria can also cause increased foamy urine. Causes of benign proteinuria include strenuous exercise, medication, acute hyperthermia (fever or heat stroke), dehydration, hypothermia, and large fluctuations in blood pressure.

How Does TCM Suggest Treating Kidney Disease?

Liu pointed out that TCM treatment of kidney disease starts from what is called the “Three Warmer” (TW). The TW has been recorded in the classic text, “The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon,” written more than 2,000 years ago.

The TW is a channel for transferring water. It is divided into three sections—the upper, middle, and lower warmers from top to bottom. Whether the TW exists anatomically has been controversial since ancient times. Liu believes that scientists have recently discovered that the interstitium and fascia around the internal organs comprise the TW referred to in the “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon.”

According to a study published in 2018 in Scientific Reports, a journal of Nature, the interstitium is a fluid-filled complex network that transports fluid. When an organ is diseased, tumor cells and toxic substances diffuse through the interstitium.

When the kidneys are diseased, they cannot metabolize water normally, causing many toxins to accumulate in the body. TCM treatment will start from the TW to regulate water metabolism.

When the edema occurs on the top warmer, including swollen eyelids, swollen face, and sore throat, the method of “sweating” to encourage the body to discharge the water from the upper warmer is recommended. When edema occurs on ankles, calves, or thighs, the method of promoting urination to facilitate the drainage of water from the lower body will be used.

Liu said that he once treated a child who was infected with the flu virus and had acute kidney disease. The child had a sore throat, swollen eyelids, and was unable to urinate for several days. After the treatments of sweating and promoting urination, the child was completely cured.

Invigorating Kidneys in Winter Depends on Individual Constitution

Winter is a season for strengthening the kidneys. TCM believes that there are different ways to maintain health throughout the year. As the temperature is cold in winter, the energy of nature is in a state of convergence to reserve energy for the upcoming spring.

Liu suggested that to keep the kidneys well, the winter diet should be light and balanced in five tastes, including sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, and salty, and that eating more garlic can warm your kidneys. Garlic can also have the effects of antimicrobial activity, reducing blood fat, and increasing appetite.

Liu also recommends eating mushrooms, which contain plant polysaccharides, known as natural immune modulators. In addition, avoid eating high-sugar, high-fat, and high-salt foods, while increasing the intake of dietary fiber, which is good for gastrointestinal health.

According to TCM, people have different constitutions, thus the ways of replenishing can differ. The two common constitutions are the cold constitution and the hot constitution. According to Liu, people with a cold constitution are more affected by cold—and suffer from cold hands and feet. They also have white and swollen tongues. People with a hot constitution are more affected by heat and suffer from dry mouth, constipation, bad breath, red lips and tongue, and less tongue coating.

People with a cold constitution are suitable to eat more chives, lychees, and longan, which can warm the body. Those with a hot constitution should eat more Chinese yams, lentils, and wolfberries. These foods all have the effect of strengthening the kidneys.

Acupoints and Exercise to Nourish the Kidney

In addition to dietary supplements, there are acupuncture points on the body connected to the kidneys. Massage of the acupuncture points can nourish the kidneys.

In TCM theory, the meridian is the tunnel in the human body for transmitting energy, and the internal organs are connected to the surface of the human body through the meridian. Some points on the meridian that have special functions are called “acupoints.” Acupuncture and moxibustion (application of dried mugwort using “moxa” wool) on the acupoints can treat the diseases of the corresponding viscera.

Liu pointed out two major acupoints for nourishing the kidney: Great Ravine (KI 3) and Kidney Shu (BL 23). The Great Ravine point is located in the depression between the tip of the medial malleolus and Achilles tendon; the Kidney Shu point is 1.5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous process of L2.

Liu recommends massaging the acupoints every night after bathing. In addition to improving kidney health, it is also good for enhancing cold hands and feet, backache and leg pain, and memory loss.

Epoch Times Photo
Liu pointed out two major acupoints for daily kidney nourishment, Great Ravine (KI 3) and Kidney Shu (BL 23). (Health 1+1)

TCM believes that the kidneys store the “essence” of energy in the body. The brain, central nervous system, and bones all need nourishment from the kidney essence. Therefore, taking care of the kidneys can also strengthen the muscles and bones and improve memory.

Liu also recommends Kegel training for pelvic floor muscles, including hip lifts twice a day, 30-50 times a time. These two exercises will activate the Long Strong(GV 1) of the Du channel (Governing Vessel) and the Meeting of Yin (CV 1) of the Ren channel (Conception Channel), which can strengthen the most important life energy in the human body—vitality. In addition to being good for the kidneys, people will feel energized and clear-headed after doing Kegel exercises.

Epoch Times Photo
Liu also recommends Kegel training for pelvic floor muscles, including hip, lifts twice daily, 30-50 times a time. These two exercises will activate the Long Strong (GV 1) of the Du channel (Governing Vessel) and the Meeting of Yin (CV 1) of the Ren channel (Conception Channel). (Health 1+1)

Amber Yang

Amber Yang worked as a marketing manager for natural skin care products for years and as a health and beauty reporter and editor for ten years. She is also the host and producer of the YouTube programs “Amber Running Green” and “Amber Health Interview.”

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The Advantages of Activating Heart Feelings in the Morning

Taking a few moments to establish a positive emotional environment in the morning is a highly effective practice that adds lift and flow to your day ahead. It sets an energetic tone that allows for deeper connection with your heart’s intuitive promptings. This clears the path for easier decision-making and more harmony in your interactions. Watch the video for a simple, effective daily practice you can add to your morning routine.

Let us remember that we are all one. This is the great learning/teaching. In this unity lies love. This is a great learn/teaching. In this unity lies light. This is the fundamental teaching of all planes of existence in materialization. Unity, love, light, and joy; this is the heart of evolution of the spirit.

The second-ranking lessons are learn/taught in meditation and in service. At some point the mind/body/spirit complex is so smoothly activated and balanced by these central thoughts or distortions that the techniques you have mentioned become quite significant. However, the universe, its mystery unbroken, is one. Always begin and end in the Creator, not in technique. Law of One 52.11

A Detailed Analysis How We Are Being Enslaved; State Farm Asked Employees to Donate Transgender Books Aimed at Young Children; Truth Behind Microchip Implant Surveillance

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State Farm Asked Employees to Donate Transgender Books Aimed at Young Children, Watchdog Group Says
By Bill Pan
May 23, 2022 Updated: May 23, 2022

Auto and home insurance giant State Farm has encouraged hundreds of employees to donate books promoting transgenderism to young children to their local schools and libraries, according to an email leaked by a whistleblower.

The email, obtained by nonprofit organization Consumers’ Research, states that the company partnered with transgender youth advocacy group The GenderCool Project in a campaign “to help diversify classroom, community center, and library bookshelves” with a collection of books centered on the “national conversation about Being Transgender, Inclusive and Non-Binary.”

“The project’s goal is to increase representation of LGBTQ+ books and support our communities in having challenging, important and empowering conversations with children Age 5+,” Jose Soto, a corporate responsibility analyst for State Farm in Florida, wrote in the email dated Jan. 18.

One of the three books The GenderCool Project sought to promote is “A Kids Book About Being Transgender,” which encourages readers as young as 5 to “shake off whatever confusion, skepticism, concern, or biases you may have” about “transgender kids.” The book suggests that a child’s feeling that he or she is of a different gender should be validated rather than challenged, arguing that feelings sometimes “work more like our intuition or insight” that “allow us to understand something without having to think about it.”

“One day I look up ‘boy who feels like girl’ and found stories of people who were just like me,” the book reads. “That’s the first time I heard the word transgender. I realized I wasn’t alone. The feeling I had been a girl finally made sense.”

In the email, Soto asked for six State Farm insurance agents in Florida to volunteer to participate in the program by “receiving these books in March, then donating them to their community by the end of April.”

“Agents are key to the success of this program,” the email read. “Nationwide, approximately 550 State Farm agents and employees will have the opportunity to donate this 3-book bundle to their local teacher, community center or library of their choice.”

“Along with donating the books, we would encourage the agent to highlight our commitment to diversity on their social media pages,” it added. “This is a fantastic way to give back and an easy project that will help support the LGBTQ+ community and to make the world around us better.”

In a statement to the Washington Examiner, which first reported the matter, State Farm defended the voluntary program, saying that it is “strictly voluntary.”

“We embrace diversity and inclusion because it‘s the right thing to do. We work with a variety of organizations and causes that express their own unique views, and support civil and open dialogue on challenging topics,” the company said.

The GenderCool Project describes itself as “a youth-led movement bringing positive change to the world.” The organization’s website highlights a group of young transgender or gender non-conforming “Champions,” who are “helping replace misinformed opinions with positive experiences meeting transgender and non-binary youth who are thriving.”

GenderCool lists a number of high profile companies other than State Farm as its partners and supporters, including Adobe, Dell, Oracle, Intel, HP, Bayer, Nike, Bank of America, Capital One, Indeed, and NBC Universal. The group says it engages with partners in “six powerful ways,” such as speaking events, mentorship programs, DEI/HR consulting, and advising for parents of transgender children.

Bill Pan

Bill Pan is a reporter for The Epoch Times.




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