An Inspirational Quote
“There is no way of overcoming one’s fear of the world because there is no way the world can be controlled to end one’s fears, nor can fears be overcome by changing society, by changing the law, or by changing the rules. The source of fearfulness is within oneself.”
Dr. David Hawkins, Healing and Recovery
Every emotion you feel affects specific body organs. Fear is the quintessential emotion that adversely affects the kidneys.
You can heal your kidneys by learning how to release your fears.
The muscle associated with the kidneys include your psoas, a key postural muscle, and your upper trapezius muscles at the top of your shoulders – areas that in most people are chronically tight and overfacilitated.
According to Chinese medicine, our kidneys are more stressed in the winter time. Many people remember to drink water when it’s hot, especially here in the South, but the dry and cold of deep winter is a time when we most need to nurture our kidneys.
Many people are not aware of kidney problems until they discover they have kidney stones. However, many people are chronically dehydrated. This may manifest as hunger that is really thirst, dry skin, brittle bones and even depleted brain chemistry, as all our neurotransmitters work in water.
Here are a few things you can do to support your kidneys:
Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
Take herbs like uva ursa, shatavari, pipsissewa, fo-ti, and buchu. I like alchemically processed herbs because they work not just on the physical body but also on the mind and spirit.
Eat asparagus, black beans, kidney beans and salty food high in natural minerals.
Put a pinch of celtic sea salt in your water so your kidneys can absorb it better.
Mix cranberry or black currant juice in your water.
Juicing. This is one of my favorite recommendations for people with kidney problems. Be sure to include celery, parsley, ginger and cucumbers.
Give your whole spirit to life. While fear, dread and anxiety suppress the kidneys, you can strengthen yourself by affirming, “Bring it on.” Embrace all of life as a gift and realize that everything that happens is a blessing to you.
Practice qi gong and tai chi to cultivate your jing. In Chinese medicine, jing is the source of kidney vitality. Your jing determines your vitality, resistance to disease and longevity. Excess stress and overwork, too much sweet food, excess protein and toxins like alcohol and drugs deplete your jing.
Rest one day a week and go to bed earlier during the winter. Our circadian rhythms are affected by shorter days and longer nights. Give yourself permission to sleep more during this time of year.
Cultivate a spritual practice, such as selfless service, regular prayer and meditation. In alchemy, a system of herbology dating from the Middle Ages, the most spiritually-oriented planet of all, Venus, rules the kidneys.
An Exercise To Retrain Your Amygdala
I wanted to share with everyone an exercise that Rick Barrett taught me that I have found extremely valuable.
The exercise has to do with the amygdala, the part of brain that governs your fight or flight response. The purpose of this exercise is to retrain your brain to be calmer and happier.
You have two amygdalae – a right and left one – inside your brain. Each one is the size of an almond inside the medial temporal lobes.
For those of us who are not brain surgeons, that means you have one amygdala on either side of your head about three quarters of an inch inside your brain about at the level of your hair line in front of your ears.
The amygdalae trigger the release of our stress hormone cortisol. Severe traumas may cause our amygdalae to become overactive, causing post traumatic stress disorder. Variations in the size and activity of the amygdalae have been found in numerous psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
If your amygdalae are chronically hyperactive, you may find that you have a very hard time healing from stress and may suffer from chronically burned out adrenal glands.
Although it is best known for governing our fear response, the amygdalae also govern other emotions. As a kinesiologist, I find the emotions fear, anger, shame, sadness, love, enjoyment, surprise and disgust also to be ruled by the amygdalae.
Rick sees the amygdalae as a relay station. When sensory input enters our brain, the amygdalae determine the direction of that information. Will the information be sent to the reptilian brain, where we react out of fear? Or will the amygdala send the signals to our frontal cortex, where we can think logically and remain calm?
Step One. Visualize your amygdalae inside your brain. Using your imagination, visualize a feather gently brushing the back of each amygdala.
Observe your reactions.
For many people, this may immediately invoke anxiety and a contraction in the muscles in the back of your body, the tendon guard reflex.
Notice how quickly you go into fight or flight. Your heart may race, your blood pressure may rise, your breath may quicken.
Step Two. Visualize your third eye. This is your sixth chakra located directly between your eyebrows. Imagine a white light coming into your third eye, splitting in the middle of your brain, and gently bathing the front of each amygdala on both the right and left side with white light.
The front of the amygdala can redirect sensory information to the frontal cortex where you can react more calmly.
While I was practicing this exercise, I found it very helpful to stand in direct sunlight and visualize the sunlight coming in to my brain.
Once you learn how to do the visualization, you can practice in a matter of a few seconds. Practice on a regular basis.
For more valuable information, please visit Rick Barrett’s website, www.taichialchemy.com, or read his book, Taijiquan: Through The Western Gate. Although Rick is a tai chi master, his work is valuable to all of us who want to raise our level of consciousness and focus on our own personal healing. In addition to teaching tai chi, Rick practices polarity therapy and craniosacral balancing in New York City.