Chronic Renal Failure
Part of this blog is about exploring medical issues that affect thousands of lives every day. One way we can do this is by shifting our understanding of what we perceive illness to be. The body is over 70% water, and from a Western and an Eastern view it is understood that the Kidneys help to filter that water. If the kidneys are not working to their fullest potential, the water that makes up the body is now less clean and our health is impacted by that (the Kidneys are much more complex than this, but for brevity I am explaining it this way). In cases such as chronic renal failure, the kidneys are slowly losing their ability to function. This starts causing waste, creatinine, electrolytes, and urea to build up in the kidneys and body. Western diagnosis uses blood and urine tests or imaging scans to determine chronic renal failure.
How does chronic renal failure happen? It can occur in individuals with type 1 or 2 diabetes, long-term high blood pressure (HBP), inflammation of the kidney tubules or surrounding structures, prolonged kidney stones, or recurrent kidney infections. From an Eastern standpoint, a practitioner makes observations and asks questions into symptoms. In someone with chronic renal failure, we will see that the kidneys have been overworked for so long that they have generated heat and depleted their energy. This heat that has been created condenses the fluids in the Kidneys and makes it harder for them to fulfill their functions. In the body, it can also cause or exacerbate other problems like high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, or GI ulcers.
The way acupuncture can help is by improving the kidney functions. It removes heat and dampness from the kidneys, allowing them to do their job a lot easier. It can also support all of the yin and yang functions of the kidneys by building qi and supporting other organs such as the spleen and liver. Other aspects of Chinese Medicine such as cupping, herbal medicine, or nutrition therapy can also be used.
Luckily, many of the factors which may cause chronic renal failure can be avoided. Diet and exercise are always important to maintain health and wellness. Another way is to take time for rest. Our culture puts so much emphasis on success and constant work that many people develop the diseases which cause kidney failure! That is why regular acupuncture as a preventative tool is so important. I invite anyone who reads this to take at least 10 minutes today to rest and appreciate the hard work that their bodies are always doing. Love your kidneys, they contain the water of life!
(Although acupuncture is useful in helping to alleviate symptoms and boost quality of life in people with Chronic Renal Failure, it should be used as a complimentary tool in tandem with conventional medicine. Acupuncture is not a substitute for dialysis or other important treatment protocols).
For more in depth, info check out this neat website! https://www.kidney.org
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