The kidney is the yin manifestation of the water element in the body. Being the yin aspect of the water element the kidney is more solid than the bladder, which is the yang aspect of the water element in the body.
The kidney channel begins on the sole of the foot – the only acupuncture channel to do so. The point where the channel begins (Ki-1) is behind the ball of the big toe and towards the centre. You will probably feel a kind of hollow.
It then crosses the arch of your foot, crosses behind the ankle and then continues up the inside of the leg and onto the torso. It finishes just below the clavicle (collar bone).
Any signs or symptoms along the course of the channel may indicate a kidney problem. With all of the acupuncture channels any sign or symptom along its course may indicate a problem for that channel. This gets complicated on the torso especially: which means that other ways of diagnosing are also used.
The kidney stores one of the vital fluids, called “jing”. This is often translated “essence”, but there are other translations also. This is something like what we mean when we talk about our ‘constitution’. It is the bank of energy we are born with.
Experiencing Your Kidney
If you get up during the night, do you walk on a cold surface? If so, do you then feel the need to urinate? (For instance if you walk across cold tiles to get back to bed, by the time you have done so, do you feel the need to urinate again?)
Try walking on a cold surface as normal. Then find a way to walk on it without kidney-1 making contact with the cold (by scrunching up your toes walk on your heels and toes or just by walking on your heels). Does this feel different? If so, how?
Do you have any signs or symptoms along the course of the channel. Eg pain or skin outbreaks or discolouration?