Healing with Chinese Medicine 101 – Adrenals

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The organs represented by the winter are the kidney, bladder, and reproductive organs, all of which are intimately related to your life force energy. These organs regulate the life giving fluids in your body and are associated with the element of water.

The adrenal glands, sitting just on top of the kidneys, are also a part of this system. They assist the body by regulating blood sugar which ensures that every cell in your body gets the energy it needs to thrive. They are on alert 24 hours a day/7 days a week to keep your body functioning even in the face of infections, hot flashes, and stress. When they are in constant use they become exhausted and therefore so do you.

These organs have sensitive tissues and become inflamed with overexposure to stress, inadequate digestion and excessive coffee/alcohol intake. Often people with depleted kidney energy have a bluish discoloration around the eyes, low back pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. There is also a tendency towards bladder irritation and reproductive ills.

When one experiences these types of conditions it is important to slow down and take note of where you need to rest in your life. Where are things moving too fast, inhibiting you from proper self care? Self care means taking some quiet time to find out what uniquely brings you a feeling of being nurtured.

Tips for lessening stress and improving kidney and adrenal health:

  1. Develop good sleeping habits and take some time each day for rest and relaxation.
  2. Set priorities and stick to them. Save your energy for things that are important and rewarding to you. Learn to say “no” and refrain from over committing.
  3. Exercise at the level that feels right and restorative to you.
  4. Get some exposure to sunlight. Get outside when the sun peaks through the clouds, keep curtains pulled open to allow the sunlight in, and/or get a sunlamp for intensive exposure. Seasonal Affect Disorder is real and has a great impact on your health.
  5. Face your fears. Are they based in your current reality or are you hanging onto situations from your past? Is it time for a shift in attitude or mindset?


Keep warm
Stay quiet
Sleep well
Be at home
Look within
late nights and parties
lack of rest and sleep


The silence of winter allows us to see more clearly how we are spending our energy. It’s as if all of nature gets quiet so we can more effectively hear our minds, our hearts, and our spirits. This is the time of the year to restore and revitalize through inner focus and peace.