When you find out that you have kidney disease, it is an excellent approach to look into all of the natural remedies that you can use to reverse kidney damage and protect the health of your kidneys. If you have gone and done that you will realize by now that the list is huge! Perhaps this can be quite daunting if you have not had any experience using natural therapies.
If you have been naughty and not done your homework yet, you can use this link to find out how natural therapies can be of help for you:
It can’t be mentioned enough how important using herbs and nutritional supplements are for supporting or even reversing kidney damage, but here we are also going to take a look at the powers of simplicity, by using basic relaxation techniques and remedies that you may already have lying around the house.
Some of the remedies that you can use at home, and even for free are fabulous add on therapies. You can rest assured that you will be doing absolutely everything that you can to achieve the best possible kidney health and overall well being. We will also take a look at some alternative therapies that you may not know about, but that can have a huge impact on your emotional and physical health.
Meditation & Deep Breathing
We have discussed previously how stress can be a big problem – as both the cause of kidney damage, and also as a result of finding out that you are ill. There are many cheap and easy ways to treat stress at home, which should be incorporated into your daily life.
Breathing exercises and meditation are a fantastic way to wind down after a hectic day, or to start your day with a sense or balance and clarity. Even if you just set aside 5, 10, or 15 minutes a day, as a regular activity this can work wonders. If you do not know what to do, purchasing a meditation CD or taking a couple of local classes until you feel comfortable can be a great way to start.
We all know, but often forget how deeply relaxing a warm bath can be. Half of the benefit is just about taking the personal time out to pamper yourself. But surrounding yourself with scented candles and using Epsom salts or lavender essential oil in the bath can make this a whole new stress relieving experience.
Using de-stress essential oils while you are working can also be beneficial. Try lavender, rosemary or peppermint. Peppermint is especially helpful if you get stress headaches. But once you start with all of these home remedies they should be a thing of the past!
Remedies In The Kitchen
Now let’s take a look in your cupboards for some home remedies in disguise. You may find some sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), which is a cheap and easy alternative to chemical cleaning products, and is also used for getting rid of bad kitchen smells. But did you know that it is also an excellent remedy for kidney health?
Used regularly sodium bicarbonate has shown in scientific experiments to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. This is based upon its action to decrease acidity in the blood, which is linked to kidney damage, amongst many other health issues.
Juicing is a fantastic and easy way to use food as medicine. We recommend vegetable over fruit juices for two main reasons – fruit has higher sugar content and therefore will lead to blood sugar imbalances, and fruit is higher in potassium, which often needs to be limited in the case of kidney disease.
Juices allow you to get a lot of nutrients in a small hit. You can even add in green powders such as spirulina or chlorella for a gentle detoxification and a powerful antioxidant hit.
While there are lots of things that you can do at home to gently improve your kidney health and your general well being, it is also a good idea to take a look at some lesser known options of treatment. Natural therapies are the oldest and most widely used form of therapy around the world.
Orthodox medicine is relatively new in comparison, and even some pharmaceutical drugs (some estimate 30% all drugs) are based on the constituents found in plants. For example codeine, a commonly used painkiller is based on the medicinal action of the poppy plant, and Aspirin is based on the plant known as White Willow Bark.
Around the world there are so many systems of medicine that if you are open-minded about trying something new there is bound to be a modality that appeals to you. We are lucky in the Western world to have such a wide array of therapies available, and with their rise in popularity it is a very competitive industry where have the freedom to choose the practitioner and the type of therapy that appeals the most.
It must be said however that these therapies should be an addition and not used in place of the key herbs and nutritional supplements that are essential to reverse kidney disease.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
TCM has been practiced for thousands of years. This is Chinas version of mainstream medical practice, and around the world it is an extremely popular and quickly growing form of alternative medicine. TCM includes diet therapy, herbal medicine, and acupuncture, which works with the energetic channels that flow throughout the body (known as meridians). These systems can be balanced to achieve ultimate health, and can treat the energy of specific organs.
Chinese Medicine is a complex system of healing and works on the basis of many obserbed pricinples. For instance, it has been observed that each organ has a corresponding emotion(s) and time of day (e.g. when they are most active and least active). In regard to the kidney, the time of day is 5-7pm (of most activity).
The emotions related to the kidney are fear and anxiety, and in this regard if your kidney energy is imbalanced then these emotions can become quite extreme.
But on the flip side, if you experience extreme fear or anxiety, this in turn can weaken kidney energy. This can become a huge problem in regard to kidney damage when we reflect on how stress can contribute to kidney damage in the Western medical model.
To make this connection even more obvious, let’s look at a few other organs. The most obvious is the heart and the emotion love. The lungs are associated with laughter and grief – if you have seen any one cry, the breathe is severely compromised (deep inhalations, then short inhalations), to then in some cases turning into laughter! Back to the kidneys again, what do little kids do if they are scared (fearful)? They usually wet themselves don’t they?
Again this is because the kidneys have been activated through fear. Not that we really need any more proof, but I just love these associations; the liver is associated with anger, irritability, and frustration, and is even depicted in our vocabulary “I’ve got sh*t on my liver”Â or “I’m livid!”Â. The liver also is most active at 1-3am – generally when most fights start at pubs, clubs, and bars. Fascinating isn’t it?!
Therefore the idea here with TCM is that by using acupuncture or herbal medicine, the energy flow through the meridians can be balanced or unblocked and the organs can work together to achieve emotional balance and physical health.
Chinese medicine practitioners believe that the kidney holds all of our genetic makeup in regard to vitality, and when we are born it is our ‘kidney essence’, or ‘qi’ (pronounced: chi) that gives us our lifelong energy and dictates our constitution. As this is passed down from our parents, our initial amount of essence is beyond our control.
But as we live our lives it is what we do with it that counts. We can preserve our kidney energy by eating correctly, maintaining a balanced lifestyle or exercise and rest, and using natural therapies where appropriate to restore health.
As the kidneys are the organs that store ‘essence’ and allow it to flow around the body, any imbalance here can really affect our functioning as a whole. TCM believes that the kidney controls the energy of the air that is breathed in through the lungs, and if the kidneys are not strong enough to support the energy this can result in congestion in the chest, and can present as chronic respiratory problems (fluid on and around the heart and lungs).
This is an interesting concept, and is confirmed by western medicine due to the fact that breathing difficulties are recognised as being a sign of kidney damage. In this regard, poor kidney function can cause fluid retention, which results in high blood pressure and fluid accumulation in the lungs, resulting in breathing difficulties. It is comforting to see how two separate paths and beliefs can lead to the same conclusion.
Kinesiology is a newer and lesser-known modality, but it can also have some amazing results. This modality takes some principles from TCM including the meridian system and the 5 element system, where organs are assigned an element – wood, fire, earth, water or metal, which describe the energy and emotions of that element.
Kinesiologists use muscle testing to read the energy movements within the body and can analyse blockages within organ systems that may have a physical or emotional effect upon the individual.
Kinesiology has the same view of kidney energy as TCM, and your practitioner will either correct the flow of energy in the meridian or stimulate points on the body to balance your kidney energy. Kinesiologists will also balance or unblock energy in other meridians so that they can work with kidney energy to improve overall vitality.
Kinesiology can also help to discover and treat underlying belief systems that over time can lead to unhealthy habits or thought patterns that affect our health. Ridding yourself of these thought patterns can have a huge impact on health, and if they are related to the kidney energy this can potentially disperse fear or anxiety that has been plaguing you for years.
Kinesiology is one of my most favorite natural therapies (along side Naturopathy), I regularly see a kinesiologist to keep fit, healthy and work on any under lying belief patterns that are no longer serving me!
The relationship of kidney energy to fear and anxiety in the Chinese medicine and kinesiology perspective certainly aligns with our concept of stress. In fact both of these modalities may be exactly what is required to treat your associated stress and improve your energy and wellbeing. Both these forms of medicine leave you feeling grounded and energetically balanced and treat your body as a whole, not as a person with a disease.
As you can see there is a lot that can be done outside the essential herbs and nutrients required to treat kidney damage. You may well find that if you immerse yourself in the world of natural therapies that there are always new discoveries to be made. So you can use as many means as you wish and design what fits into your lifestyle. So explore, and enjoy!