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  • Writer's picturedaniel smith

The Shiatsu Bus Food Energetics Series: Adzuki Bean Stew to nourish the Kidney and Spleen.

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

By Daniel Smith MRSS

Nourishing Kidney Imbalance with Shiatsu and Food Energetics: Recipes to Recharge Your Energy

If you're struggling with kidney imbalance, you're not alone. Millions of people suffer from this condition which can lead to fatigue, chronic pain, and other health problems. But did you know that you can support your kidney health through shiatsu and food energetics?



Understanding Kidney Imbalance

Kidney imbalance can be caused by a variety of factors, such as poor diet, stress, and lack of exercise. The kidneys are an essential part of the body's waste management system, filtering toxins and excess waste from the blood. When they are functioning properly, they can help maintain a healthy balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body. Poor kidney function can lead to a buildup of toxins in the body, which can lead to chronic health problems.

It is important to note that symptoms of kidney imbalance can manifest differently for each person. However, some common symptoms include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, frequent urination, high blood pressure, difficulty concentrating, low back pain, dry skin, hair loss, and edema (swelling).

Symptoms of Kidney Imbalance

Fatigue is a common symptom of kidney imbalance. This is because the kidneys play a crucial role in producing a hormone called erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, the body may not produce enough red blood cells, leading to fatigue and weakness.

Muscle and joint pain can also be a symptom of kidney imbalance. This is because the kidneys help regulate the body's levels of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for strong bones and muscles. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, these levels can become imbalanced, leading to muscle and joint pain.

Frequent urination is another common symptom of kidney imbalance. This is because the kidneys play a crucial role in filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, excess fluids can build up in the body, leading to frequent urination.

High blood pressure can also be a symptom of kidney imbalance. This is because the kidneys help regulate the body's levels of sodium and potassium, which are essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, these levels can become imbalanced, leading to high blood pressure.

Difficulty concentrating can also be a symptom of kidney imbalance. This is because the kidneys help regulate the body's levels of toxins and waste products. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, these levels can become imbalanced, leading to difficulty concentrating and mental fog.

Low back pain can also be a symptom of kidney imbalance. This is because the kidneys are located in the lower back, and when they are not functioning properly, they can cause pain in this area.

Dry skin and hair loss can also be a symptom of kidney imbalance. This is because the kidneys help regulate the body's levels of fluids and electrolytes, which are essential for healthy skin and hair. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, these levels can become imbalanced, leading to dry skin and hair loss.

Edema (swelling) can also be a symptom of kidney imbalance. This is because the kidneys help regulate the body's levels of fluids and electrolytes, and when they are not functioning properly, excess fluids can build up in the body, leading to edema.

Causes of Kidney Imbalance

Kidney imbalance can be caused by a variety of factors, including a poor diet high in processed foods, refined sugars, and excessive alcohol or caffeine. Chronic stress can also contribute to kidney imbalance, as can a lack of exercise. Smoking or exposure to environmental toxins can also be a contributing factor.

It is important to address the underlying causes of kidney imbalance in order to prevent further damage and promote healing.

The Role of Shiatsu in Kidney Health

What is Shiatsu?

Shiatsu is a Japanese form of massage that is designed to help balance the body's energy flow. By applying pressure to specific points on the body, shiatsu can help relieve tension and promote relaxation. Shiatsu can be especially effective in supporting kidney health.

The practice of shiatsu involves the use of fingers, thumbs, and palms to apply pressure to specific areas of the body. This pressure can help to release tension and promote healing throughout the body.



How Shiatsu Supports Kidney Function

Shiatsu can help boost kidney function by promoting relaxation and reducing stress. Stress can have a negative impact on kidney function, and shiatsu can be an effective way to combat this. By promoting relaxation, shiatsu can help to reduce stress levels and improve kidney function.

In addition to reducing stress, shiatsu can also help improve circulation to the kidneys. This increased circulation can help to detoxify the body and improve kidney function.

Shiatsu Techniques for Kidney Imbalance

There are a variety of shiatsu techniques that can help support kidney health. These techniques can be performed by a trained shiatsu practitioner or can be practiced at home. Some of the most effective techniques for kidney imbalance include:

  • Pressure point massage on the back and feet: Pressure point massage can help to release tension and promote healing throughout the body. By focusing on specific pressure points on the back and feet, shiatsu can help to improve kidney function.

  • Stretching and gentle manipulation of the body's muscles and tissues: Stretching and gentle manipulation can help to release tension and promote healing throughout the body. This can be especially effective in supporting kidney health.

  • Deep breathing exercises to promote relaxation: Deep breathing exercises can be an effective way to reduce stress and promote relaxation. This can be especially helpful in supporting kidney health.

Overall, shiatsu can be an effective way to support kidney health. By promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving circulation, shiatsu can help to detoxify the body and improve kidney function. Whether you choose to see a trained shiatsu practitioner or practice at home, shiatsu can be a valuable addition to any kidney health regimen.

Food Energetics and Kidney Health

The Concept of Food Energetics

Food is not just a source of energy and nutrients for the body, but it also has an energetic quality that can affect our health. The concept of food energetics is based on the idea that different foods have different energetic qualities that can either support or harm our health. In traditional Chinese medicine, foods are categorized according to their energetic qualities, such as yin and yang. Yin foods are cooling and nourishing, while yang foods are warming and energizing. A balance of yin and yang foods is believed to be important for overall health and well-being.

For example, if you are feeling hot and agitated, eating cooling yin foods such as cucumber, watermelon, and mint can help to balance your energy. On the other hand, if you are feeling sluggish and tired, eating warming yang foods such as ginger, garlic, and cinnamon can help to energize your body.

Foods to Support Kidney Function

The kidneys are an important organ in the body that help to filter waste and excess fluids from the blood. Eating a healthy diet can help to support kidney function and prevent kidney disease. Here are some foods that are beneficial for kidney health:

  • Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber, such as apples, blueberries, broccoli, and kale, can help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation in the body.

  • Complex carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice and quinoa, are a good source of energy and can help to regulate blood sugar levels.

  • Lean protein sources: Lean protein sources, such as fish, chicken, and tofu, are important for building and repairing tissues in the body.

  • Healthy fats: Healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocado, can help to reduce inflammation in the body and support heart health.

Foods to Avoid for Kidney Health

There are also certain foods that can harm kidney function and should be avoided or limited:

  • Processed foods high in sodium and refined sugars: Processed foods, such as fast food, canned foods, and packaged snacks, are often high in sodium and refined sugars, which can increase blood pressure and cause inflammation in the body.

  • Excessively fatty or fried foods: Foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, such as fried foods, can increase cholesterol levels and cause inflammation in the body.

  • Alcohol and caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate the body and put stress on the kidneys, which can lead to kidney damage over time.

By incorporating more kidney-friendly foods into your diet and avoiding or limiting foods that can harm kidney function, you can help to support your overall health and well-being.




This recipe is perfect if you are feeling tired and depleted (especially if you experience a sudden drop in energy levels in the late afternoon or early evening), are having trouble sleeping, or for when you are feeling agitated or stressed. This stew nourishes the Kidney and the Spleen and helps to drain Dampness from the body. The adzuki beans strengthen Kidney Ki (Vital Energy) and give vitality to the Yin in the body and have diuretic properties. The root veg or squash if available, nourishes the Spleen Ki. This stew strengthens the whole body with the addition of cinnamon to strengthen the Yang (warming), Shitake Mushrooms which again strengthen the Ki and seaweed to strengthen the Yin and Blood.



Moderation is the key to conserving our Kidney Energy which is said in Oriental Medicine to be the storehouse of sufficient Ki to sustain our life force for the duration of our lifetime. These Vital reserves are drawn upon when we find ourselves in situations where endurance is required giving us the strength to go on and on. When Kidney Ki is depleted our whole constitution is weakened and in extreme cases people experience adrenal fatigue. The Kidney is associated with the emotion of fear and an imbalance is often linked to Phobias or irrational/obsessive fears and in other cases a continual fear of what the future might bring, which leads to further stress and overreaction. In Oriental Medicine the Kidney also governs our Will. Sometimes, when out of balance, the Will takes over and doesn't know when to stop so someone who is exhausted will choose to push themselves harder rather than rest, which draws further upon these vital reserves. At other times an imbalance can manifest as a lack of Will, with low motivation and inaction accompanying a feeling of exhaustion which makes the simplest tasks too much to tackle. Guilt, timidity and self-abasement, which result from giving another person's Will priority above our own, may also accompany a lack of Will.



Ingredients

200 g Beans, adzuki, dry Olive oil 2 tsp

Piece of Cinnamon Bark 2 X Brown onion finely chopped Garlic 3 cloves, crushed Fresh ginger 3 tsp, finely grated Shiitake mushrooms 150 g, sliced Brown Miso paste 2 tbs, Butternut squash (or root veg if not available) 400 g, chopped Baby spinach leaves (if using) 100 g Mirin seasoning 1 tbs, (Japanese rice wine) Soy sauce 3 tbs 2 Strips of Kombu Seaweed (or Wakkame seaweed or if not available Baby Spinach leaves can be used)

1.5 litres of Dashi Broth (which gives the full Japanese flavour but vegetable stock is fine if not available)

2 Tablespoons of honey

2 Shallots thinly sliced

Salt and Pepper



Method

  1. Place adzuki beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Cover and set aside overnight to soak. Rinse well and drain.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and half the ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until golden.

  3. Add beans and twice their volume of broth or stock ,miso paste, seaweed, and Cinnamon Bark, stir to combine. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 hours.

  4. Add squash after the beans have been cooking for about an hour.

  5. When the beans are soft stir in ginger, mirin and soy sauce and reduce to a thick consistency. Stir in the Honey right at the end. Serve sprinkled with shallots( raw or fried).

  6. Optional...Serve with your favourite green veg.



Lifestyle tweaks:


- Avoid overwork and over-exercising

- Try to reduce stress levels and avoid too many stimulants such as coffee

- Eat and exercise regularly but in moderation

- Pay attention to breathing and maintaining a quiet mind.


Snacks and Beverages for Kidney Health

Snacking throughout the day can help keep your energy levels up, but it's important to choose healthy snacks that will provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Here are some healthy snack and beverage options:

  1. Edamame: Boil edamame and serve with sea salt for a protein-rich snack that's also high in fiber. Edamame is a great source of plant-based protein, which will help keep you full and satisfied between meals. It's also packed with fiber, which is essential for maintaining digestive health and energy levels.

  2. Ginger-Turmeric Tea: Infuse fresh ginger and turmeric in hot water for a soothing and anti-inflammatory beverage. Ginger and turmeric are both powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can help reduce inflammation in the body and boost your immune system. This delicious tea is also a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day, which is essential for maintaining energy levels.


For more articles on Shiatsu, Oriental Medicine and Food Energetics follow this link: https://www.theshiatsubus.co.uk/blog







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