Kidney Essence in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is also known as "essential qi" (pronounced "chee") or "jing". In the philosophy of TCM, Kidney Essence is believed to be foundational to all of life, and to all human growth, development and vitality.
Innate Essence, or Prenatal Jing, is passed on from the parents via the sperm and the ovum. It will predetermine the child's potential constitution, strength and vitality.
Innate Essence is determined at birth, but can be deliberately conserved and may reach its full potential by consciously aiming for balance in all things.
After a child is born, Acquired Essence, or Postnatal Jing, will be taken in from food and drink, and from the act of breathing. While Kidney Essence or Kidney Jing is inherited, it can also be enhanced by Acquired Essence.
Filled Kidney Essence promises the potential for long and healthy life. If Kidney Essence is not filled, health disorders of all kinds can emerge.
Kidney Essence is stored in the Kidneys and circulates throughout the body, sustaining organs and tissues.
Kidney Qi springs from Kidney Essence. Qi and Blood are inseparable in traditional Chinese medicine, so that the blood is believed to be the denser form of Qi. And Qi causes the blood to circulate throughout the body.
Kidney Essence and Blood are intrinsically entertwined. Kidney Essence can be transformed into Blood and Blood replenishes Kidney Essence.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Kidney Essence is also the foundation for Marrow. In TCM, Marrow encompasses more than simply the bone marrow.
It includes building of the bones, marrow, the brain and the spinal cord. So according to TCM, if the Kidneys are healthy the brain is also sharp and functioning well.
Kidney Essence will gradually become depleted through a lifetime, and aging will be the natural result. The bones may become brittle and thin, and the teeth may fall out.
Hearing may fade, and cognitive problems like memory loss and confusion may appear. Depleted Kidney Essence will often bring on lack of energy and weakness.