Fear and the Kidneys

Many years ago, when I was an acupuncture intern, I saw a patient who had lost all of his hair within a single week. All of his hair, including eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair fell out immediately after learning his unborn child was not going to survive. Miraculously, the following week, he learned the tests used on his pregnant wife were faulty and that the child would in fact be healthy. Around that time, this patient went in for acupuncture session to see what could be done for him.


Five Element Theory

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidney is the organ system that rules bones, teeth and hair and the mental-emotional component of the kidney is fear. It was fascinating to witness such a vivid example of how tightly the emotional and physical aspects are intertwined in this medicine. This poor man experienced such a deep level of shock and fear, the immediate physical manifestation of this disruption in kidney energy was complete baldness.

In five-element theory, kidney personality types can be introspective, enjoying time alone to philosophize. They might be seen as unconventional, perhaps a little quirky. As the element of kidney is fear, an imbalance in this energy might lead to the types of worries and anxieties that are unfounded. This type of patient might obsess about death, even though they are currently healthy or may even question their existence. Since this organ is connected to willpower, a balanced kidney type would have optimistic, realistic long-term life goals. They would feel as if their life had a purpose. Out of balance, this type might be too fearful of an uncertain future to move forward. They might exhibit an aura of being directionless, or lacking in follow-through.


Other Impacts of the Kidney

The kidney is also linked to the sex drive. Deficient kidney energy might manifest in a lack of sexual desire. On the other end of the spectrum, excess kidney energy can result in a hyperactive sex drive.

When I see patients that seem to have grown old before their time, I think of the kidney as this organ regulates the aging process. Some people maintain their youthful vibrancy throughout the years due to healthy kidney function. Other people appear to become hardened as they complain about their various aches and pains, fearful about growing old and consumed with worries about impending health issues that could manifest.

How Acupuncture Can Help

 Getting an acupuncture tune-up on your kidneys won’t bring you eternal youth, unfortunately, but it can help to give you an energetic boost and reset your system. I often see patients who exhibit the “tired but wired” paradox so often caused by a mix of stress, overwork and stimulants. These patients are running on overdrive, and the kidneys take the hit. By treating the kidneys, we can stimulate your natural energy reserves while we get your body and mind back into a state of homeostasis.

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Contact us if you are in Central or Northern Vermont and would like some help nourishing your kidneys and eliminating fear or stress.