There is a saying I love: “Spirit is simple, the Mind makes things complex”, and for me it is no different with healing. Your body wants to heal, there is nothing that it wants to do more; it was designed to heal.
Improving Your Kidney Function Can Be Simple
So you see for many, improving kidney function doesn’t need to be difficult. In most cases, simply by stepping to the side and getting out of your own way, checking your thoughts, fears, and excuses at the door, you can catalyse massive changes in your health, by simply allowing the healing to take place.
Rubbing Lanterns Won’t Help Improve Your Kidney Function, But Here’s What Can…
Now stay with me… I am not saying that that you can cure all by thinking just happy thoughts, wishing, and “getting out of the way”, no definitely not. There are many practical things you can do every day, with little to no fuss that are very effective in helping increase kidney function. Very helpful indeed.
Note: thinking positive however sure won’t hurt, in fact it will go a long way; your mindset is the single biggest determining factor on how quickly you heal.
… So in tune with today’s theme of simplicity, I would like to share with you 10 effortless tips that can be applied immediately to help your kidney function, no need to leave home, and no need to spend a dime.
How To Improve Kidney Function In 10 Easy Steps
OK, let’s begin shall we?
#1 The Water Hydration Technique
You know how most of us generally go for long periods without water, become thirsty (and dehydrated) and scull the next available glass in about 30 seconds? Have you ever thought what this does to your body? No? I don’t blame you.
The actual fact of the matter is that every time you a drink a glass of water (or any fluid) in a hurry, you are placing pressure on kidney function. How? Well, seeing as one of the functions of the kidneys is to keep the fluid levels in the blood stream balanced, by drinking a full glass of water at once you are essentially dumping a large amount of water into the blood stream, which the kidneys now need to balance out (i.e. increase urine production). By drinking slowly, a mouthful at a time, you reduce the pressure on the kidneys and increase hydration. Sound too simple to do any good? Good. Now try it.
As you are probably aware, when sunlight touches the skin, light sensitive receptor cells are activated to produce the active form of vitamin D. Vitamin D has many benefits in the body, the main benefits being: cancer prevention, immune system enhancement, bone health, and regulation of phosphorus and calcium levels (which is important in kidney disease).
Did you know then that one of the key functions of kidneys is to activate vitamin D too? True. By spending just 15 mins a day under the light of the sun, you can let the sun and your skin do all the work. Your kidneys will be saved the extra work, and at the same time you get to enjoy the open air.
The other important thing to note is that if your kidney function has deteriorated too far, then your kidneys will not be able to produce enough active vitamin D anyway, making sunshine all the more necessary.
Low levels have been linked to diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, and heart disease. People experiencing kidney disease, coupled with low vitamin D levels, have a 26 percent greater risk of dying than those with sufficient levels of vitamin D.
Have your vitamin D levels tested when you next visit your doctor:
Optimal reference range for healthy individuals:
– US measurement: 50 to 70 ng/mL
– World measurement: 125 to 175 nmol/L
Optimal reference range for treating heart disease, cancer, and kidney disease:
– US measurement:70 to 80 ng/mL
– World measurement: 175 to 200 nmol/L
Is the sun shining where you are right now? If yes, jump outside!
Juicing is a favourite kidney function treatment of mine; it’s cheap, and it is easy to do.
Vegetables just like herbs contain not only vitamin and minerals that we are all familiar with, but also contain nutrients known as phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are simply ‘nutrients’ (chemical compounds) derived from plants that are produced by the plant to aid in its survival, including: chemical messengers, structure, protection from harmful organisms, protection from insects, or even attracting pollinating insects. The interesting thing with phytonutrients however, is that although these chemicals were made specific for the plant, by some miraculous way, these natural chemicals lend themselves perfectly to other organisms e.g. Humans.
The most well known phytonutrients include: beta carotene, lignans, isoflavones, and bioflavonoids.
So go to your fruit bowl right now, and see what you can start juicing. Here are some of the best vegetables and fruits for your kidney function: watermelon, raspberry, celery, parsley, cucumber, carrot, strawberries, peach, and beetroot.
There are no rules you need to stick by, just start by juicing to your taste buds. However it needs to be said, if you do have high potassium levels in your blood, please monitor your daily intake of potassium. You may like to juice at a 50:50 ratio. 50% Juice to 50 % Water.
For more information on juicing, click here to read my article on: juicing for kidneys
Another great tip that doesn’t cost you a thing is exercise. Do I really need to explain why exercise is so important? Probably not, but here is a refresher:
• Reduces the risk of diabetes, and improves blood sugar
• Lowers blood pressure
• Reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol
• Increases ‘good’ cholesterol
• Improves circulation
• Reduces fluid retention
• Assists weight loss
• Increases endurance and stamina
• Strengthens bones and increases bone mass
• Reduces stress
• Protects against cancers
• Boosts immune system
• Lifts mood disorders, such as depression
• It’s fun
• Increases self-esteem
Incredible, right? You simply can’t bottle that many benefits – especially when most of the benefits help your kidney function directly. Let’s take a look at a few of them: Improved blood sugar eliminates the number one cause of kidney disease; Improved blood pressure eliminates the number two most common cause of diminished kidney function; Stress reduction takes the “stress” off the kidneys (see tip #10 for further explanation); Weight reduction reduces the body’s blood volume and therefore the kidneys do not need to filter so much blood; Improved circulation nourishes the kidneys; Reduction of blood fats decreases a major complication in renal failure (and on, and on, the benefits go).
Probably the most important tips I can recommend with your exercise are the following:
1. It must be FUN; if you are not enjoying it then you are doing an inappropriate exercise for you. Try: walking, weights, swimming, jogging, sports, squash, tennis, dance, cycling, whatever it is, mix it up, and enjoy it!
2. Exercise 4 times a week – 30 to 60 mins at a time of moderate intensity i.e. you are lightly huffing and puffing, but can talk without difficulty.
3. Avoid 45 mins+ of continual strenuous exercise i.e. where you are huffing and puffing, and find it difficult to talk. This will prevent unwanted creatinine levels to be produced in high quantities
If you are diabetic, and are currently being very “relaxed” with your treatment plan, then please heed this warning: Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney disease, and therefore needs to be controlled and monitored for best results in terms of your blood sugar/diabetes health, your overall health, and your kidney health. Without proper diabetes management, whether it is through medication, natural medicines, diet, and lifestyle, your kidney disease will escalate, or your kidney function will diminish.
#6 High Blood Pressure
In the same vein as tip #5, high blood pressure is also another critical condition that needs to be managed if you want to improve your kidney function naturally. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of diminished kidney function, and it is critical that it is managed effectively. If you have high blood pressure please follow your healthcare professionals treatment plan to assist in your recovery.
#7 Qigong (aka Chi Kung)
Qigong is the practice of aligning the breath, body, and mind as one. Through this, a deeper connection to yourself and life is established and greater awareness and peace is achieved. At its heart, Qigong is a philosophy. The practice of Qigong is at least two thousand years old, and it has roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, martial arts, Taoism and Buddhism (note: in much the same way as yoga, Qigong can be practiced by all, from all religions). The best way one can understand what Qigong is at a glance, is by drawing parallels to the practice known as Tai Chi. And thus Qigong can help improve physical, mental, and emotional health, and awaken one’s spiritual true nature.
How will this help improve kidney function naturally? Good question. The very core of this practice is to harmonise you, your soul, on a much higher level. By doing this, your whole body will be in complete harmony. A body free from mental and emotional stress is a body that has unbounded potential.
On top of this, Qigong has a number of exercises that strengthen, nourish, and draw energy to the kidneys. One of these includes lightly striking the back with open hands 10 times at kidney level (just below the rib cage) daily. This stimulates Chi (=life force) within the kidneys, to “awaken” them, and heal. Again, this may seem too simple, but why does improving kidney function need to be difficult?
I also found a video on youtube.com showing a very good kidney healing exercise – you can see it below:
Please note: the kidney Qigong exercise begins at the 1 minute 20 second mark. The instructor will also talk and holding a “chi ball”; this is an imaginary ball of energy. It is also important to remind you that the intent you need to take into any Qigong practice is one of, “I am working with energy, with the ‘vital force’ around me and through me”. In that way, when you move your hands, body, and feet, you are conscious always that you are working with the energy that surrounds you and in you. Almost imagine that you are in a ‘soup’ of vital energy when you practice Qigong, so when you move your hands, body, and feet, you are moving through this vital energy ‘soup’ and at the same time being nourished by it – especially your kidneys.
Have fun with this one.
#8 Avoid Alcohol
Aren’t I the kill joy? But look I am not here to be “nice”; I am here to give you the tools to make your life, vital, healthy, and just a pleasure to live.
Alcohol is literally poison to the kidneys, in my opinion it is the WORST thing for kidney function you could consume – out of all foods and drinks. No I am not kidding. It seriously is. So the best thing you can do right now is stop drinking all alcoholic drinks (yes, that includes red wine).
#9 Eat Asparagus
Here’s a simple food you can eat right away to improve your kidney function (well, if it’s already in your fridge that is).
I won’t go into too much detail here – I wrote an entire article just on the kidney function benefits that asparagus has on the body. But let me just recap the main points of this marvellous healing vegetable:
– Helps maintain and assist kidney function
– Acts as a diuretic, therefore increases urine production
– Soothes the entire urinary system
– Helps eliminates excess fluid
– Cleanses the bladder and kidneys
– Increases cellular action in the kidneys
– Helps to break up uric acid in the kidneys
When you understand basic anatomy and physiology of the kidneys, it is impossible not to understand why stress directly influences the kidneys. Hence why it is so important that you do, and hence why you need to practice relaxation.
So how does stress influence your kidney function? Simple, first of all the adrenal glands literally sit on top of our kidneys, like a hat. In fact they are so “connected” that in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) they are referred to by the same name (the “kidneys”). Here is an article I wrote detailing kidney anatomy, and the kidneys’ structural relationship with the adrenal glands.
The interesting thing is that the main purpose of the adrenal glands is to produce hormones to counteract stress of various forms. Are you starting to get the picture? The adrenal glands produce hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline when your body and brain begin to say “I am stressed!” Can you imagine how this influences kidneys, being joined to the adrenal glands, and continually stimulated? And if this becomes chronic (prolonged stress), you are at the risk of developing adrenal fatigue – 21st century’s number one cause of fatigue.
Note: In TCM this would not been seen as an adrenal gland problem, but rather a kidney chi (= kidney energy) problem.
Unfortunately on top of all this did you know that when the adrenal glands produce and release cortisol and adrenaline into the blood stream to cope with stress, that by doing so it causes glucose and cholesterol to be dumped into the blood stream, and causes the heart to contract harder to provoke high blood pressure? Probably not an ideal scenario for perfect kidney function, am I right?
Therefore I will say this… RELAX … It will do you and your kidney function a world of good!
If you are unsure how to relax or what to do, try some of the suggestions below to get you started:
• Find a hobby
• Socialising with friends
• Going out on a date with your significant other
• Go on a holiday
• Listening to music
• Playing music
• Tai Chi
• Walking through a park
• Do whatever makes time ‘stop’ for you – This is the most important tip of all
For more information on staying positive with kidney disease, please check out my article Top 5 Tips to Stay Positive with Kidney Disease.
Well there you have it folks! That is how to improve kidney function naturally in 10 easy steps… without leaving home.
I am sure you will find that these work best when put in to practice, so please don’t just read them, put them into practice right now! They won’t cost you a cent! (Except for the foods tips, but you gotta eat anyway, right?)
I hope you can see that true, long lasting healing of your kidney function is not something you can do with half measures, there needs to be a commitment by you, to make these tips deeply integrated in your new lifestyle. I wish you well, and I wish you strength, because sometimes doing the easy things can be the most difficult, it takes determination, and most importantly courage. I know you can do it. Tomorrow is a new day, tomorrow is a new you. Grab it with both hands.
To your true potential,
P.S. Please, if you like this article on kidney function, please feel free to share it with friends and family. And if you haven’t done so already please visit my Facebook fan page @ http://www.facebook.com/kidneycoach, click the “LIKE” button there too and join the community of like-minded people. It’s really fun, and they’re a great bunch!