Eastern philosophy offers us a wealth of knowledge regarding the body and energy systems that contribute to our essence of health. Often referred to as “The Three Treasures,” Jing, Shen and Qi constitute the vital forces assisting us in optimal health and longevity.
Of all the treasures, Jing energy is said to be the root of our vitality. It plays a key role in our ability to manage stress as it is the primordial energy unique to an individual that is passed to them at conception. You can think of this as a “battery pack” or genetically based energy. As a blend of Yin and Yang energy, Jing is associated with the hormones of the reproductive and adrenal glands. When Jing is strong, youthfulness and a vigorous way of life can prevail. If Jing energy is depleted, our life force is severely diminished causing a domino effect on the potential for many subsequent health issues, illness and disease.
Jing energy is said to be stored in the kidneys—a good reason to keep our kidneys strong for long-term health and well-being. We can support our kidney health with a balanced lifestyle that includes daily exercise, good diet and nutrition as well as gaining an awareness of our emotional behavior. Any effort to reduce mental, physical or emotional stress will benefit the kidneys.
The good news is that Jing can be strengthened through diet, life-style and herbal treatments. Foods that support Jing (kidneys) include apples, cauliflower, cranberries, egg whites, olive oil, onion, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries and garlic. Exercise is another key component to maintaining Jing and for kidney health it’s essential. Even the simple practice of gently patting the backside area where the kidneys are located will wake up the Jing energy. Regular massage of the reflex points on the hands or feet will also contribute to improved kidney health.
A major source of kidney support is with your breath. Breathing techniques such as abdominal and alternate breathing will renew Jing energy. The practice of alternate breathing deepens your breath sending a message to your brain which will trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. When this happens, you have effectively switched your nervous system from a stressed response, into a relaxation response with just a few minutes a day of alternate breathing. Here is how it works:
Step one: Use right thumb to close off right nostril.
Step two: Inhale slowly through left nostril
Step three: Pause for a second
Step four: Now close left nostril with ring finger and release thumb off right nostril
Step five: Exhale through your right nostril
Step six: Now, inhale through right nostril
Step seven: Pause
Step eight: Use thumb to close of right nostril
Step nine: Breathe out through left nostril
Step ten: This is one round. Start slowly with 1 or 2 rounds and gradually increase. Never force. Sit quietly for a few moments after you have finished
Yin and Yang