Here’s Why Your Kidneys Could be to Blame
Noticing some fine lines in the mirror? Wrinkles can seem to pop up overnight, causing us to wonder how we suddenly got so old. But time isn’t the only suspect. The fine lines (and deep grooves) on your face could be caused by your Kidneys. Here’s how the Kidneys can cause wrinkles and how you can improve your Kidney health for smoother, more youthful skin.
What Do the Kidneys Do, Again?
Your kidneys act as a waste management system, filtering toxins from your blood and passing waste as urine. (PS Check out this blog to see what your urine can tell you about your health). It’s not a glamorous job, but it’s an important one. Without well-functioning kidneys, your overall health can deteriorate fast.
In eastern medicine, the Kidneys are among the most important organs. They’re home to your essence (Jing), which dictates not only who you are but how quickly you age and your overall longevity. Hence, the wrinkles.
Kidney Jing is made up of two parts: the kind you’re born with (thanks mom, dad, and family genes) and the kind that comes from your diet and lifestyle. This means that even if you’ve inherited the family tradition of early age wrinkles, you can fight them off with healthy living.
The Kidney-Skin Connection (and More About Kidney Jing)
What happens inside your body shows up on your face. Here are three ways your Kidneys affect your skin.
Your kidneys control the number of toxins in your blood.
Consider that your body is a carefully balanced system. If your kidneys fail to filter the bad stuff from your blood, it will show on your face. Healthy blood leads to glowing skin, while chemically imbalanced blood could cause wrinkles, pallid skin, under eye darkness, dry skin or even extreme itching and hyperpigmentation. (Note – If under eye darkness is a problem, there could be other contributing factors in addition to your kidneys.)
Your kidneys control the balance of fluids in your body.
All of your cells are surrounded by fluid which must maintain a careful balance of salts and acid (pH). The kidneys support this balance. If your kidney function is impaired, you may have trouble balancing fluid acidity which could present as lusterless skin or premature wrinkles.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, wrinkles can be attributed to diminishing Jing.
You are always leaking Jing. Life takes its toll. Everyday stress causes leaks and larger stressors like traumatic events, illnesses or substance abuse, can drain your Jing to concerningly low levels. Think of Jing as that oomph that lives inside of you. You can’t really see it, but you know it’s there. Diminishing Jing leads to premature aging—wrinkles included.
Ways to Restore Jing, Slow Aging, and Prevent Wrinkles
Here’s how you can restore Jing (and slow aging).
Spend Time In Nature
Even twenty minutes spent in a natural environment has been proven to reduce stress. Spend some dedicated time in the natural world each day, if possible. Time in the mountains or woods can be especially healing, but even time spent in a garden or city park can calm your mind, reduce stress-induced inflammation and keep you looking youthful.
Eat a healthy diet of whole foods
Don’t think you’ll be restoring Jing by eating a diet high in processed foods, fast foods and stimulants. If overall good health isn’t enough to guide your decisions, put down that third mocha of the day and ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to eat or drink worth an extra frown line?”
Try These Tonic Herbs
Ancient Chinese herbalists searched for plants that could protect and replenish Jing. Among the Yin Jing tonics are Heshouwu (Fo-ti), Goji, Dendrobium, Ligustrum, Steamed Rehmannia, Asparagus root, and Schizandra, which are used to restore a healthy baseline of Jing. Find a local TCM practitioner and have them whip you up a special combo.
Move Your Body
We all know how important exercise is to our overall health. The human body is meant to be in motion. A daily exercise routine will help keep you in balance, and Chinese martial arts like Qi Gong and Tai Chi are great for supplementing Jing.
Manage Stress By Meditating
Late nights, overworking yourself, finance woes, and family drama. Life’s stressful! If you don’t find ways to manage your stress, it can take a toll on your adrenal glands (a part of the Kidneys in TCM) and can cause inflammation in the body—a huge drain. Try meditating to clear your mind and focus on what matters.
If you feel like you’re too young to have those wrinkles on your face, or that you’re otherwise aging too quickly, take stock of your recent lifestyle choices and stressors. Need some work? Well, here’s the best news of the day. It’s never too late to do better.