Preserve Your Kidneys’ Yang Qi to Resist Spring Diseases

A frozen winter landscape with a golden sunset.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), they say Winter is a time for the kidneys. (Image: Brett Critchley via Dreamstime)

Preserving your kidneys’ yang qi is important for resisting spring diseases. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is said that winter is a time for the kidneys. The kidneys are very important in TCM as:

  • They store your essence from your parents;
  • They store the “jing” that is responsible for your mental and physical development, and is the basis for whether you can reproduce;
  • The kidneys work with the lungs to produce qi (energy), and help with your ability to breathe and provide energy throughout the whole body;
  • They filter your blood, create urine, and moisten the lungs;
  • They stimulate the production of bone marrow, and
  • They provide proper nourishment to the ears for healthy hearing.

The kidneys’ yin and yang work together to keep the kidneys and the rest of the body working in harmony.

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The kidneys’ yin energy is known as yin fluid, or true water of the whole body, and it moistens and nourishes the whole body and other tissues.

The kidneys’ yang energy is known as the true fire of the body and is the foundation of the yang qi of the whole body. yang qi is the body’s vital force, or functional parts in general.

This energy warms and promotes the functions of the organs and tissues.

Just as animals go into hibernation during winter, it is important for you to take time out for proper rest and storage.

Master Liu He, of the Ling Gui Qigong School, advised on her website that during winter you should not waste or bother your kidney’s yang qi.

She stated that if you do not preserve your kidneys’ yang qi, all the spring diseases will occur, such as cold hands and feet.

If you do not preserve your kidneys' Yang Qi, all the Spring diseases will occur, such as cold hands and feet.
If you do not preserve your Yang Qi, all the Spring diseases will occur, such as cold hands and feet. (Image: Pilotl39 via Dreamstime)

Don’t waste your kidneys’ yang qi

So how do you not waste or bother your kidneys’ yang qi? Here are some of her suggestions:

  1. Shower/bathe less — no more than 3 times per week (especially not a sauna — excess sweat)
  2. No excessive sweating during exercise
  3. Go to bed earlier and get up later (with the sunrise)
  4. Do not restrict eating to lose weight — store a little fat (with healthy food, not extra sweets)
  5. Avoid surgery if possible
  6. Avoid getting too excited
  7. Practice some qigong for the kidneys (If you are not sure what to practice, you could tap your teeth together while you urinate — this supports the kidneys).

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