You and your Water Element: To BE and to DO

Keywords: foundations, structure, balance, motivation, action

The Water element, manifests itself as the Urinary Bladder Yang and Kidney Yin meridians. Together they govern our ability to “BE” – upright and balanced – to move forward and to “DO” things in your life.

You’re probably wondering how they manage to do this. You could say that it is to do with history and geography.

Visualise the pathway of the Bladder meridian:

  • The Bladder begins near the inside corner of the eye (just beside the bridge of the nose).
  • It runs up & over the head then down our back on either side of the spine, through and around the sacrum and down the backs of our legs.
  • It slips down just behind the outer ankle bone then along the outer edge of the foot to the pinky toe.

The Bladder meridian governs our spine (& bones in general) and our central nervous system. It is the first line of energy to form in the developing foetus and constitutes the structural foundation of our being. It is the deep still lake that governs the patterns of the self and the long term memory: your Bladder meridian is who you are.

The Kidney meridian, by contrast, is the flowing river of our unfolding life.

Its 1st point, bubbling spring, is snuggled centrally just behind the ball of the foot. This point – and the meridian that begins there – both ground our energy and enable our forward movement: propelling us through life.

  • The Kidney meridian passes across the inner arch of the foot, along behind and around the inner ankle bone and, from there, up the leg (traversing the back of the knee) and into the torso.
  • The lumbar spine is an important zone for both the Kidney meridian energy and the kidney organ. The psoas muscles (responsible for connecting our motor system with our nervous system) attach to the spine at the level of the kidney and the adrenals. Here we see a strong connection between both the Kidney & Bladder energies and our motivation and ability to move and do.
  • By supporting the significant balancing act between the pelvis and the head, lumbar strength & responsiveness – along with the psoas muscles – also enable our upright posture.
  • The Kidney also governs our (kidney shaped) ears which house our fluid filled canals – our balance control centre.

So here we have it: the soles & outer edges of the feet, the ankles, the spine (sacrum to occiput), the nervous system (including the optic nerve), the ears, the psoas connection, the upright posture (leaving our hands free to do stuff) – grounding, balance, movement and action. Not surprisingly, the Kidney houses our fundamental inherited KI (the energy we are born with) and governs our long term motivation.


A healthy, well balanced water element allows you to feel calm and comfortable with who you are – confident in your motivations and in your ability to get things done. You wake up bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready to take on the day. The less happy flip side of this is the ease with which we can slip into anxiety, negativity and possibly fear when the days are short and shivery and our water element is in need of TLC.

Discover more about the how and why of maintaining a healthy, well-balanced Water element so that you can really beat the winter blues.

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