Kidney Meridian Self Stretches
Bob Cooley, with the help of Jake Brady, demonstrating and walking-you-through four variations of stretches for the Kidney meridian and explaining the meridian further.
Brief Overview of Kidney Meridian, Resistance Stretching Basics, Single-Leg Kidney Stretch (Seated and on Back), Seated Double Kidney Stretch, Advanced Double Kidney Stretch, Post-Stretch Results
Recommended to Better Understand This Topic:
Kidney Problems, Kidney Stones, Joint Problems, Arthritis, Hearing Difficulty, Ear Infections, Adrenal Weakness, Impotence, Dark Circles Under the Eyes, Frequently Feeling Cold, Cold Joints, Overwhelming Fear, Schizoid, Split Personality
Okay. Jake and I want to show you how to do some stretches, four different stretches for the kidney muscle group, and these are going to be self stretches. Later, you can watch videos for how to do assisted stretches also for those. The kidney muscle groups in Chinese medicine [inaudible 00:00:25], they start underneath the foot here, they come up the inside of the Leg here, like this, inside front of the leg. They come over the hip like this and they come right up the center of the body here.
Okay. This is a self stretch for the kidney muscle groups that we just talked about. Again, from the inside of your leg, they're coming up the inside here, the front inside here, and come up the front of your trunk. So you want to start in a position where those muscles are very short. So your thigh is up close to you, it's across your body, and your thigh is internally rotated. And then with your opposite arm, obviously, as you resist, as you're going to move your leg out to the side, all these muscle groups are going to start to contract and resist and while they do, you're going to move your leg out to the side, downward and away from you, and it's going to cause those muscle groups...
Why don't you feel some of those with your hand while you're doing that?
So you can feel anywhere you want to, wherever you get that stretch. Cool. Here we go again. Again, the leg really starts across your body, up towards your opposite shoulder, and while your leg tries to keep lifting up and coming across, you're going to take your leg, your thigh, and move it away from you and stretch out these muscle groups here. Cool. Let's try it again. Use both hands this time to push your leg away.
There we go. Yeah. So the muscles are naturally tense and they're resisting when you stretch them, that's how you get a great stretch. And as you go into more range, the muscles will contract more and more, so they'll generate more and more tension as you go more into range, that's important to know. And remember that your stretching muscles, any muscle that you stretch, that flexibility isn't the end point of the training, the flexibility is so you can get your muscles to shorten more. The capacity of the muscle to shorten is based on its stretch length, so when you stretch these muscles they can then contract further, faster, and with acceleration, so that's really the point.
Of course, all stretches you would do on both sides of the bodies, so you can see Jake just switched and now he's stretching all these muscles on the other side of the front inside of his trunk. As you do repeats, you'll probably do six or eight repeats at a time and then switch legs, and then come back, and probably by the second, if not the third set of doing these stretches, you'll start to feel the muscle more and more. Now the muscles on the front inside of the body here don't have much fascial material unless there's been damage to that tissue, so you'll have a pretty good feeling when you're stretching this, you'll have pretty good sensation.
And if you haven't figured it out already, then you'll probably realize that while these are getting stretched, these on the other side have to shorten. So if you really want to stretch these muscles here, these would have to be stretched instead, and those are the bladder muscle groups. Now you could of course reverse this, push out to the side, and while you're pushing out and down, you could stretch those muscles here that are the balancing muscle group, and now they'll be better at shortening to go back and stretch the inside. So all the positions you can reverse to stretch the one muscle and the muscle on the other side, but we're showing you mainly about this, and then you can watch other videos to learn how to stretch this muscle group better. Okay. Jake and I are going to show you a second version of how to self stretch the kidney muscle groups. Help yourself, Jake.
So now again in this position, your knee needs to be up and across your body and towards your opposite shoulder, and you feel your leg pulling up in that direction, and while it pulls up in that direction, you use your other hand to stretch the muscles on the inside of your leg, coming up through the trunk. Notice that when you stretch a muscle, as soon as you start lengthening these muscles, they start tensing and contracting, and the greater range you go into the more they create tension, you want that to happen. Remember the tension in the muscle while it's being elongated, allows the fascia to really stretch and change and the muscles release enzymes that cause that change in the fascia and regeneration of other tissue.
And again, now, if this muscle group is not stretching really well, then it means the muscle on the other side isn't shortening. So then you would just push out with your leg and bring your leg up towards you, and you'd be stretching the muscles on the opposite side, and we have videos showing different versions of how to stretch that. We're going to spend more time showing you this. So here he is, the leg squeezing up and across, he's opening his leg down and out to the side when he does that. Can you try the other side [inaudible 00:05:32], Jake? Yeah.
So there's a couple of things you want to try when you're stretching a muscle group, and that is that the starting position has to be as close as possible to you, and then the speed that you do it in matters. Make sure the speed works for you. And then how much tension you use, maximally resisting doesn't work, it'll lock out the joint. So if you pay attention to the muscles that are being stretched, you'll get the best stretch and it will generate the amount of force and the amount of resistance that you actually need. And then the range you go into, most people think the greater the range, the better the stretch. Well, actually that's not true. The most stretch actually happens in the beginning, not at the end. And so you want to make sure you get a really good feeling of the muscle contracting when you're beginning the stretch, and you want to keep your attention on the area that's actually being stretched.
Your body and brain are connected, but your awareness of the area is what turns the current on to let the brain know what's happening, so that's important to do. If you take your leg out to the side... Help yourself again. Oh, he wants to stretch the balance. Okay. So Jake's going to stretch the balancing muscle group again, and the reason why is because when you stretch a muscle, it's then more capable of shortening. And if you're stretching the muscle on the inside, the muscle on the outside has to shorten, so you might need to stretch that.
You want to be more conservative initially, when you stretch a muscle, be better to go into less range and feel the muscle really stretching, and then over time, you'll get a greater range of motion. Jake and I want to show you how to do the third self stretch. Okay. This is a very classic position, most people know this position. Your feet are together, you want to be curled backwards as far as you can on the back of the body. And then what's going to happen is as your legs squeeze together, you're going to start opening your legs. So your legs are squeezing while your arms are opening, and then as soon as you can, grab hold of your feet and start pulling your trunk forward.
So it is true that your knees are squeezing against your arms while your arms are opening, but the major force is to pull with your arms in order to pull your trunk forward, down and forward. Keep doing it and keep pulling... That will naturally give you the stretch on the inside of the legs you're looking for. And then at the very end, you can arch up a little bit and it will help you stretch that meridian of the kidney that goes up through the trunk. Okay, cool. Let's try it again.
So again, you start back curled back as much as possible, your legs are squeezing together, your thighs, you're starting to open your legs while they squeezed together, and as soon as you can, you're going to grab hold of the legs so you can prioritize pulling your trunk down and forward. Your head is curled down, you're pulling down, the legs are squeezing while your arms are opening your legs. It's not about pushing these open, it's a matter about these resisting in while you're opening them. And you keep pulling your body forward, that's going to make your pelvis flex forward, it's going to really curl your spine forward. And then at the end, you still go down, but you arch your head to reach out and down and forward.
Keep taking yourself down when you do that. There you go. Let's try one more. These are great. So you'll probably do six or eight of these at a time and then take a break and then come back and do another. Usually three sets of stretches really works. Again, you can probably imagine that these muscles that are opposite to these really need to be stretching. So these muscles are shortening back here. So they have to be flexible enough, that's the balancing muscle group, to stretch the muscle on the front.
And arch your head up some, that's how you do that. Okay. That's great. And we're just going to show you one more self stretch now. Hi, let's show you the fourth way to do a self stretch for the kidneys. Help yourself, Jake. Notice that his legs are crossed across each other, those knees are quite wide. Now Jake's pulling his body forward, but he's kicking his knees down into the ground to try to lift the knees up towards him, he's kicking his two lower legs into themselves. And here we go again, help yourself, pull forward. And as you pull forward, the pelvis wants to extend, so you want to keep the abdominals will contract, the glutes will contract, all these have to shorten on the backside while you stretch out the muscles down the front, inside.
Here we go again. When you get to the end of that stretch, Jake, you can start to arch again, like you did in the third self stretch. Remember the knees are kicking into the floor, they're squeezing together. They're kicking down against the ground while you're using your body to pull yourself forward, and the pelvis is really extending and tucking under. And then at the end of the stretch, you arch up and it stretches the kidney up to the front center of the body, right up, parallel to the center line of the body. That looked great, why don't you try one more? Very nice. Again, the legs are squeezing, the knees are kicking into the ground, the two legs are pushing into each other like crazy. If you have a wall back here, you could push against things with your feet if you wanted to. The pelvis is really extending and rotating out, and then you're arching the spine in order to stretch out the front of the body, and then come on back. Okay. That's great. Okay. Why don't we stand up for a second?
Yeah. Okay. Jake, what happened? What did you notice? Or what do you know about stretching out these kidney muscle groups in you and how it affects you either mechanically or physiologically? What do you notice about that?
Well, one of the biggest things I noticed after doing all those stretches is how quiet I feel inside.
Okay. Quiet meaning quiet in the mind, or just quiet in your body?
Quiet in my mind.
Quiet in your mind. And the muscle groups that you just stretched here are associated with the ankle and foot. Does it make you feel any different in terms of your ankles and feet?
Oh, definitely. I feel more lubed up in my ankle joint, actually in all my joints.
In all of your joints, right?
So please understand each of the different muscle groups are associated with an organ in Chinese medicine and that organ is associated with a type of tissue. So the kidneys in the back are associated with the joints of the body. So when you stretch those muscles, for reasons that are not well understood, all the joints of the body start to feel different. And then of course, this is a big joint in the body, the hip joint. And so that in particular starts to feel lubricated, it's associated with changing how much fluid is actually in the joint capsule itself, and so that changes. And then psychologically the kidney type is a thinking type, but it's a very deep thinker. So it's associated with sense of humor and understanding and stuff like that. Do you have any of that?
Just a little bit.
Just a little bit. You know that in terms of your own type, that when you're in the stretch, it drives your attention inside, to pay attention to sensation.
Yeah, that's true, Bob.
Right. And so that attention to the sensation is what produces ideas. Most people think they learn most of their ideas outside, and it's not really that, it's really that you get your ideas from sensation, paying attention to sensation, and then your mind creates that. We're going to show you more assisted stretches to do also. And then the kidney personality type is associated with high traits of understanding, sense of humor, and it breaks down being split, or classically what's called schitzoid, right where you're with somebody and instead of being yourself, you kind of leave a part of yourself aside because it would be somewhat uncomfortable for the other person or make them tense. But instead you want to stay with yourself and let the other person get over their tension. You can get more information on the 16 genetic personality types in my new book, The 16 Geniuses. And it's also on the webpage when you watch these different muscle groups.
With all stretches, in this new idea, which is not really so new, because I discovered it in 1989, that muscles naturally contract when you stretch, no matter what muscle group it is, that you actually get a change in the flexibility, but you don't have to believe us. It's not a belief system, it's result-based, so do it yourself and find out what results you get and email us and talk to us so we can help you get better stretches on these things, because you are the authority on your body. Other people can help you to be a better authority, but you're the authority on your body, and have a great time doing it. And then we're going to show you, if you want to see how to do these as assisted stretches, we have a whole series of assisted stretches for every stretch, so watch those next if you have other people to help you do that, there's a lot of people on the planet, so let people help you stretch. No?