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Kidney - the “pre-heaven” source

Kidney - the “pre-heaven” source

Kidney is one of the five main zang or whole organs in traditional Chinese medicine and is always mentioned together with its pair, the bladder. The kidney is responsible for growth, maturation and reproduction and is believed to be the source of essence given by your parents at conception.

The main physiological function of kidney is to store essence, regulate water, and produce source “Qi” for the rest of the body. Essence is the basis of all life processes and is transferred via (and ultimately responsible for) reproduction, giving kidneys the moniker the “pre-heaven” source. Kidney produces kidney qi, divides kidney qi into Yin and Yang, which supports, promotes and coordinates the structure and function of the whole body. So, kidney is also known as the "origin of five organs and Yin and Yang".

Kidney commands bone and the brain while its strength can be seen in the quality of head hair. The kidney belongs to water in the five elements, which is the deep and cool component of the body and connects with winter in nature.

The understanding of kidney in TCM is broader than the modern anatomy of kidney. The kidney is an extremely important organ in the human body which manages many functions. The Yin and Yang of the kidney is considered the house of fire and water which is considered the root of life. TCM kidney and bladder also manage bone marrow, the brain, hair, ears, and the urinary system.

Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the kidney is the origin, the source of yingyang. "the human first born, first into the essence", this being kidney essence, so the kidney is the innate origin. Yuan Yin source refers to Yin essence and Yang source to vitality. Yin source and Yang source play a decisive role in people's life activities, from gestation and to development and Maturation.

Kidney essence, main growth and development: kidney essence and qi are deeply linked to human growth and development, the process of aging, and also reproductive ability including puberty and menopause. Birth, height, strength, age all have a different physiological state within the kidneys. The person begins from childhood, kidney essence fills gradually into the prime of life, where kidney essence is filled to its capacity leading to a strong body, strong bones and developed muscles. As we age, kidney essence declines, kidney essence gradually deteriorates, motion slows, bones and muscles wear, teeth become loose, and hair thins. In the clinic, treatment of growth and development disorders, focus on nourishing the kidney is an important focus. Tonifying kidney and filling essence is also on important means of delaying senility and treating senile diseases.

They kidneys main physiological functions are:

1. Store essence, which is the basic material for human reproduction, blood production, growth and development, and defense of diseases and pathogens;

2. Balance the body's water metabolism, and excrete urine in cooperation with the bladder;

3. Responsible for coordinating the breath;

4. Regulates bones;

5. Promote head hair growth;

6. Kidney open to the ear, control hearing;

7. Control the opening and closing of the bladder.


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