In New York, July and August are the calmest months to spend in the city. The rhythm slows down, residents are less tense and more willing to smile. This is a period when we have the time to gain perspective on our life. How are we doing on subjects like maintaining a healthy balance between work and play, family time and “me” time? It is an opportunity to engage ourselves in a different way if anything in our life is less than what we want.
For fast acting relief, try slowing down.
I am not talking about New Years-like resolutions, where we try to turn ourselves into Mr. or Mrs. perfect with self-imposed restrictions and decisions that will not hold further than the end of the month. These resolutions are taken from a place of shame –I am not good enough – or guilt – I am not doing enough – which is not exactly empowering.
When we use shame and guilt as motivations to change our habits and behaviors, we often find that somehow they crept back on us despite our best intentions and willingness. Instead, I am envisioning lasting change that springs forth from a place where we feel safe, in a state of deep ease and allowing the peacefulness of who we are truly.
I would like you to pause and observe your Kidneys. Go ahead. Stop reading and find them. Feel them in your lower back. Being in touch with your Kidneys is more insightful than anything I will ever write. Do your Kidneys talk to you? Which stories are they telling you?
They might tell you of their leading role in controlling the water in the body, which means roughly 70% of what you are made of.
From a purely physiological point of view Kidneys:
- Filter more than 395 gallons of blood daily.
- Produce about one and a half quarts of urine a day.
- Eliminate waste and toxins.
- Balance water and salt levels to protect us from edema (swelling) and water retention.
- In association with other organs, they control blood volume and blood pressure.
- Produce the hormones to promote calcium absorption from food or mobilize calcium to form bone.
- Closely control the level of other minerals such as sodium, potassium, phosphorus and bicarbonate.
In addition, they might tell you an even more profound story.
Kidneys hold our essence, incarnated as fallible and beautiful human beings. Chinese medicine says that we receive our deep-seated energy from the Universe and our parents at the time of our birth: the equivalent of what modern science calls our genetic inheritance. Kidneys are the witness of our lineage, our attachment to our parents and progeny or lack thereof. This means that the Kidneys also hold this deep-seated Universal and parental potential that gives us the resources to face the major challenges of our life: serious illnesses, family discord or severe setbacks. If our Kidneys are not optimized to their potential, they will deliver less power when we need to surpass ourself.
The other, emotional side of the Kidneys is to hold the existential fear of being human. These include the fear of fire and environmental catastrophe, the fear of abandonment or the lack of resources for us and our loved ones, the fear of insecurity and the fear of death.
What we modestly call “stress” is nothing more than New York’s variation on these age-old themes. Working long hours, not sleeping enough, the constant competition to ensure enough resources for the family, the fear of being late, uncertainty around a project in which we have invested months, the fear of losing one’s job, etc. are all examples. These everyday situations of the “work hard/play hard” mentality, which is the default setting of modern life, constantly draw on the Kidneys’ energy and eventually hurt them.
At first this lifestyle can appear exhilarating. But this is merely adrenaline addiction. Then, like any drug, once the effects wear off, we realize that no outside achievement will ever fulfill this deep-seated fear. Anxiety itself is a variation on the same human theme. Intellectually we know that we are fine. There might be food on the table, a comfy bed under a roof, a nice school for the kids in a good neighborhood, vacation here and there for the family and yet…
The late Dr. John E. Upledger, the father of CranioSacral Therapy, had an insightful analogy. He used to compare organs to the oil filter in a car. While regularly changing the oil is a necessary step, you also want to change the filter once in a while to avoid the new clear oil to be contaminated by the old filter.
In humans, the organs also act as filters for emotions. Intellectually knowing of our hurts and letting go of them is the equivalent of the necessary step of changing the oil filter. The negative emotions need to be released from the organ for us to truly be able to move on and our patterns in life to finally change.
If you are experiencing deep fatigue, restless sleep, swelling or pins and needles in the legs and feet, pain in the lumbar area that is not released by laying down, blood pressure issues, or overwhelming fear and anxiety, you might choose to come in for a session. CranioSacral Therapy and Visceral Manipulation will support your Kidneys’ health to alleviate the pain and help you restore all the energy and power that is your birthright. By placing us safely in a state of deep ease and allowing, Manual Therapy can also help release emotions and memories that no longer serve you. A few weeks later you will realize that your old habits or thinking have disappeared smoothly and effortlessly, imparting the peacefulness of who we truly are. You know you have finally found the way to implement the change you always wanted for yourself. You know you are free.
CranioSacral Therapy, Somato Emotional Release and Visceral Manipulation in New York.