We are all concerned, to some degree, with climate change and global warming. But what if I told you that we all face the potential spectre of our own personal "internal" global warming. Lets call it iGlobal Warming.
iPolar Caps = Kidney
In iGlobal Warming, the polar caps are represented by your Kidneys. Yes, I'm afraid your Kidneys are melting! Erm...., yeah.... So what does this actually mean?
In Acupuncture theory, 'Kidney' represents a 'complex' of physical structures (the actual kidneys & the adrenal glands for starters) and also the functions or effects of those structures in the body.
+ / -
All systems which are not inert are driven by some kind of energetic gradient. In the case of the body, you can think of the Kidney as the negative end of the battery or the cold sink which allows its opposite, heat or positive charge, to have something to flow towards. This is the simple fundamental interplay represented by Yin & Yang. (More on that here).
The main function of 'Kidney' is to move fluids from where they shouldn't be to where they should. This is obvioulsy true in the western medical sense of filtering and excreting urine. But in Acupuncture theory, 'Kidney' is also responsible for keeping the fluids within the body in the correct place. This means that fluids do not accumulate un-necessarily in the body tissues, thus resulting in oedema (water retention). Rather, 'Kidney' ensures that there is a strong gradient driving fluids into your cells so they are well hydrated to function optimally. In modern medicine, this gradient is understood to be regulated through differing concentrations of dissolved salts. Oriental medicine concurs, associating Kidney with the salty flavour in the diet and its role in the body.
We all know that the Polar Caps are the planetary reservoirs of "cool" (in what feels like an ever more "un-cool" environment, not just physically but socially and politically too!). The real effect of these reservoirs is not in directly cooling, but rather in the mechanisms, flows and cycles they power.
This analogy holds true for the 'Kidney' in iGlobal Warming. Your physical kidneys and adrenal glands are of course not actually ice cold. But the result of a well functioning 'Kidney' complex is a system with effective energetic potential gradients to drive the processes of life.
So what does iGlobal Warming look like?
In the initial phases, the person feels hot and may sweat, especially in the hands, feet and face. There can be a strong appetite as there is more heat in the stomach than usual*. But the person radiates a lot of this energy out of their body and may thus be quite slim despite eating voraciously.
Flooding: Over time, the picture changes as the mechanism for radiating heat and fluids to the surface of the body (and away) is impaired. Heat and fluids are then trapped in the body in much the same way that heat is trapped by CO2 in Earth's atmosphere. This results in oedema: fluid flooding the tissues of the body. This may be equated to ocean level rise and extreme flooding predicted and already experienced on our planet. The cause is the same - water (fluids) which should be stored in the Polar Caps (the 'Kidney' system) are melted and released as the cold storage capacity of the system is reduced.
Extremes of Hot & Cold: Counterintuitively, although there is a lot of heat trapped internally in the body, there is over-sensitivity to both hot and cold, feeling both easily chilled or overheated. Cold is keenly felt because although there is plenty of heat in the system, it is trapped inside and does not radiate to the surface. Overheating happens because there is poor radiation of internal heat, so when the external environment is hot this can quickly lead to the build-up of heat overall. This lack of normal body temperature regulation will be familiar to many people, and may be compared to the extremes of hot and cold weather experienced more and more in recent years.
Drought: Drought too?! Yes, as the body's tissues are waterlogged, normal good circulation and movement of fluids is impaired. This results in some areas being without sufficient fluids. This can often result in skin dryness, and actually in body cells which can be dehydrated despite the fluid all around.
Yes, even the prime suspect is the same... In modern medicine, the overconsumption of HydroCarbons (also known as "Sugar(s)") leads to fluid retention through the effects of increased insulin production. This is represented in Acupuncture theory, by the understanding that 'Kidney' is easily damaged by the consumption of the Sweet flavour.
The culpability of our other favourite HydroCarbon, (yes, Oil & Coal) in the context of planetary Global Warming seems beyond question for all but the most ardent of science deniers.
Can't Get No Satisfaction
In iGlobal Warming, the 'Kidney' no longer provides a reservoir of Cool, resulting in heat rising through the internal environment and causing changes and problems in the system. One common location for the heat to get stuck is in the Stomach. This causes a rampant appetite with no real sense of satisfaction as the food is quickly burned up, often leading to consumption of yet more sugars. Compare this with global dependence on, and promotion of, unchecked consumerism which drives our collective fossil fuel addiction.
Global Warming & iGlobal Warming
It seems that these phenomena are more intertwined than simply metaphor: Read here to see how Global Warming may cause a rise in cases of chronic kidney disease.
On the global arena, just as Trump's USA exits the Paris Climate Agreement, Larsen-C Ice-sheet the size of Wales is on the verge of breaking away from Antarctica! President Trump seems to believe that Global Warming is a "Hoax created by the Chinese". iGlobal warming is not a hoax and can be every bit as destructive to your health as Global Warming to that of the planet.
* The Stomach is situated above the Kidneys which are unable to contain/ hold the internal body heat sufficiently down and in.