The Kidney Meridian
In Shiatsu there are twelve meridians each of which can have a powerful effect on balancing your horses health. The meridians are paired with each other and the sister meridian to the Bladder Meridian is the Kidney Meridian. They are paired because one is the Yin and the other the Yang Meridian and by working both you can improve the results of each one separately. This is because if one sister Meridian has an excess of energy the other will show an energy deficiency. Stimulating both can alleviate the imbalance.
The Kidney Meridian is responsible for generating the horses core metabolic force and helps circulation, respiration and digestion. Skilful touching of this meridian can improve tiredness and prevent burn out. It also helps horses that have weak lower backs and arthritic changes to the spine and poor hair growth. On an emotional level this meridian deals with core survival - a primal force that controls the horses deep seated flight response. Touching here can help the horse deal with instinctive fears. An unbalanced Kidney Meridian makes the horse back away from new things instead of using his curiosity. He may become afraid, break out into cold sweats when afraid or become downright dangerous if challenged. This type of horse needs careful treatment and seems worse in winter when conditions are cold. This is when he needs his vital life essence massaged to replenish his energy and resist disease.
Use the diagram as a map first assessing how well your horse responds to being touched high on the inside of the hind leg. If he is ticklish or prone to kick, never put yourself in a position of danger. You may need to seek help from a Shiatsu practitioner who has a practised touch and can help you and your horse learn to accept work on this Meridian. Explore the Kidney Meridian with a soft touch, starting from the coronary band on the hind foot between the bulbs of the heal. This is what Shiatsu calls a Ting point.
Ting points are at the end of each meridian and are powerful points to regulate the flow of energy along the meridian. Just pressing here will energise the whole length of the meridian. This is a good point for kick starting the horses natural Chi energy. The Meridian then travels up the inside of the leg to the groin (touch carefully please)!
From here the Meridian travels along the belly, 2-3 inches from the mid-line and up onto the chest entering the body just at the side and top of the sternum, near the base of the neck. As suggested in the last month's article, explore the subtle differences of texture - you may feel soft and spongy areas or hard and grainy spots. There may also be temperature variations: cold areas are un-energised and hot spots have too much energy. Just use your fingertips to touch and move this Chi energy where necessary. Be intuitive and move from area to area when it feels right to you. Dont worry too much about exactly where the Meridian is - if you use several fingers whilst you touch the meridians you wont miss them. Work on the Kidney Meridian will, over time help circulation problems, respiratory conditions and digestion as well as helping your horse gain a quick energy boost when needed. Emotionally your horse should feel ready to face new challenges and may begin to lose some of those deep seated fears.