Located beneath the lower ribs on both sides of the spine, each kidney is only about the size of your fist, but together, they are essential to your health and well-being.
Many other organs depend on the kidneys, which means the effects of kidney problems are not limited to the kidneys but rather extend to all areas of the body.
The kidneys have three main responsibilities:
1. To regulate water: One of the most important jobs of the kidneys is to control the body’s fluid balance by removing excess water and retaining water when the body needs more.
2. To remove waste: The kidneys are responsible for regulating substances in the blood and body fluid. When the kidneys are functioning correctly, excess minerals (such as sodium and potassium) are expelled from the body in the urine and the levels of other minerals (such as calcium and phosphate, which are important for bone formation) are kept at the right balance.
3. To produce hormones: Healthy kidneys help produce hormones that circulate in the bloodstream and control things like blood pressure, the making of red blood cells, and the uptake of calcium from the intestine.
Acupuncture has traditionally been used to help augment organ function by dredging channels and smoothing the Qi, or energy, in the body.