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Emotions: Fear/Fright/Lack of Willpower, Willpower/Calmness
Related organs: Kidneys (yin), Urinary Bladder (yang) 
Season: Winter
Taste: Salty
Body tissue: Bones
Direction: North
Developmental Stage:  Storage
Color: Black/Blue
Climatic Qi: Dryness
Sense organ: Ears
Mental quality: Spontaneity
Smell: Rancid/Rotten
Life: Death
Finger: Little finger

The opposite of fear is willpower.

When I was 3, I met my father.  My life changed dramatically and, though mentally I was a toddler, I knew at a spiritual level that I was destined for a more difficult life until I would leave for college.

Sexual abuse is not commonly discussed in our society.  It is more in the open now than it had been while I was growing up, but there will always be room for more awareness in this particular issue.

In Chinese medicine, sexuality is strongly associated with the energy of the kidneys.  “Jing Qi” is loosely translated as “Essential Energy”, which is the deepest level of energy in the body. At the moment of conception, the Jing Qi of a man and the Jing Qi of a woman unite to predetermine the Jing Qi of the fetus.  Whatever levels of health both the father and the mother are in predetermine the health of their child.  Hopefully, the parents are in absolute great health, so that they have a strong and healthy pregnancy, thus producing a child with exceptional health.  If not, the child will grow up with the health limitations that were given to her at the moment of conception.

Jing Qi is stored in the kidneys.  The emotions of the kidneys are fear and willpower.  When the energy of the kidneys is weak, a person lives more in fear and acts with less determination than that of a person with stronger Kidney Qi.  When the energy of the kidneys is strong, the person makes bold decisions and follows through with a strong mindset.  Kidney Qi can be depleted in several ways, including spending excessive physical energy, having excessive sexual activity, eating the wrong foods for the kidneys, living in a fearful environment and experiencing physical, mental, and sexual abuses.

When the Kidneys are negatively affected, a person may experience symptoms such as ear ringing, lower back pain, osteoporosis, issues with the central nervous system (brain and spine), poor short-term memory, premature graying of hair, excessive craving of salty foods, incontinence, infertility, miscarriages, low libido, feeling cold easily, “cold-type” diarrhea, hot flashes, night sweats, sexual dysfunctions, urinary tract infections, kidney infections, asthma, having a rancid odor and getting startled easily.

History of sexual abuse left untreated can create fertile ground for a pattern of a Kidney Qi dysfunction to manifest.  With the proper counseling, an open heart to heal, revealing her truth and admitting to herself that the sexual abuse was not her fault, I believe that the victim  (and even the abuser) can heal and come to a place of peace and compassion.  I speak from experience when I say that it is very possible for the victim to heal and thoroughly forgive the abuser.  In my opinion, for the psyche of the victim to be completely non-judgmental, it is critical to undergo proper, constructive and persistent therapy until her fears have been completely addressed and she is able to forgive wholeheartedly.  Hatred and the lack of ability to forgive others’ trespasses only create more fear and a judgmental attitude.

In my parents’ house, I used to secretly weep in my bedroom for the violent crimes done to me.  My mom put a lock on my bedroom door as if that would prevent my father from touching me.  Even as I write this, I can easily recollect the fear that pervaded my heart, body and soul.  I feared having to come home from school.  I never wanted my father to pick me up from school and I was afraid of being home alone with him.  I lived in constant fear since I was a toddler until I finally left my house for college.  I graduated from high school in 1991.  In the 80s was when I mostly suffered, but the agony of frightful memories haunted me well into my 20s. As a child, I was not taught to say, “No!” to someone touching me inappropriately.  My generation was taught to say, “No!” to drugs, but there was no national campaign of sexual abuse awareness, as far as my life is concerned.  I am now 34 and I have STILL to witness any public campaign seriously letting children know that their bodies are sacred and should never be violated.

When I finally had the courage to speak my truth in my own clinic, I found that many of my female patients had been sexually abused during their childhood and teenage years, some of them into their 20s.  Those who had not addressed their violent past found themselves having insecure and unequal relationships with men.  This realization gave me clarification as to why I felt so passionate about becoming a healer for my profession.  It may sound strange to state that I am grateful for my past because now I can help those who have suffered the same, if not more.   I learned through my own self-growth that forgiveness would be my key of altruistic love for this world.  I used to hate my father and many men who slightly reminded me of him.  What some people do not realize is that hatred stems from fear. The two feed each other.  For our health and that of society, victims must learn to face our fears, acknowledge the past, release all hatred and learn to forgive the abusers unconditionally.

The energy of the kidneys has EVERYTHING to do with our sexuality.  Our self-esteem when it comes to our bodies is a manifestation of how we have been raised and how we choose to look at ourselves.  Due to my past of sexual abuse, feeding my hatred and anger towards my father only continued to feed my fear.  Since fear is an emotion of the Kidney Qi, all I was doing was creating an unhealthier Kidney Qi.   Though it really helped to talk about the abuse with a professional therapist in my college and post-graduate years, my real healing began when Chinese medicine stepped in and helped me take a genuine look inside myself.  I had so many health issues with my kidney energy and the symptoms were so clear to understand that if I did not learn how to extinguish the fear, I was only going to live a life with compromised Kidney Qi.

Chinese medicine strengthened my Kidney Qi and I have lived with much stronger will power than when I had grown up in fear.  I now use my voice and I live with tremendous courage.   I encourage all men and women who have been sexually abused to come in for treatments.  I know the pain and the shame.  It is not surprising to find out that many of us who have been sexually abused end up continuing the cycle with either our own children or other families’ children.  This behavior is not right and should be eliminated from our lives.  The only way to heal is to acknowledge that this abuse exists.  The abusers need help just as much as the victims need their voices to be heard.  Unleash the tears. Address the fears.  When we take responsibility for our past, heal, forgive, then can we live without any more pain and completely release all shame.  It takes strong will power to do this.  It takes strong Kidney Qi to live with will power.