Known as the 'Minister of Power', the kidney is regarded as the body's most important reservoir of essential energy. The original prenatal energy (yuan chee) which forms the basis of life is stored in the kidney organ-energy system, which is why the kidneys are also known as the 'Root of Life'. In the Chinese view, the kidney organ system also includes the adrenal glands, which consist of the adrenal medulla and the adrenal cortex.
These glands sit like hats on top of the kidneys and secrete a wide range of essential hormones that regulate metabolism, excretion, immunity, sexual potency and fertility. Destruction of the adrenal cortex is fatal. The kidney system also includes what the Chinese call the 'external kidneys': the testicles in men and the ovaries in women. Thus the kidneys control sexual and reproductive functions and provide the body's prime source of sexual vitality, which the Chinese regard as a major indicator of health and immunity.
The kidneys themselves are responsible for filtering waste metabolites from the blood and moving them onwards to the bladder for excretion in urine. Along with the large intestine, the kidneys control the balance of fluids in the body. In addition, they regulate the body's acid-alkaline balance (pH) by selectively filtering out or retaining various minerals.
The kidneys, particularly the adrenal glands, are especially vulnerable to damage from excessive stress and sexual abuse. In the Chinese view, such damage is a major cause of immune deficiency, low vitality, and sexual impotence.
The kidneys control the growth and development of bones and nourish the marrow, which is the body's source of red and white blood cells. Weak kidney energy is therefore a prime cause of anemia and immune deficiency. The Chinese view the spinal cord and the brain as forms of marrow, and therefore poor memory, inability to think clearly, and backache are all regarded as indicators of impaired kidney function and deficient kidney energy.
Kidney vitality is reflected externally by the condition of head and body hair and is associated with the aperture of the ears. Tinnitus (ringing ears) is thus a sign of kidney dysfunction. The kidneys are the seat of courage and willpower, and therefore any impairment in kidney energy results in feelings of fear and paranoia. Intense fear can cause involuntary urination, a phenomenon also known to Western medicine.
Passage with points
The meridian starts from the inferior aspect of the little toe runs obliquely toward the sole (KI 1) emerges from the lower aspect of the tuberosity of the navicular bone runs behind the medial malleolus enters the heel then ascends along the medial side of the leg to the medial side of the popliteal fossa goes further upward along the posterior border of the medial aspect of the thigh runs toward the vertebral column from DU 1 enters its pertaining organ the kidney also connects with the urinary bladder.
The branch emerges from the pubic area runs upward alongside the abdominal midline arrives at the chest.
Passage without points
The branch from the kidney ascends and passes through the liver and diaphragm enters the lung runs along the throat terminates at the root of the tongue. The branch springs from the lung joins the heart runs into the chest to link with the pericardium meridian.