The water element corresponds to winter in Shiatsu. This time of year is full of stillness and retreat from the outside world. A time of tranquility and reduction in activity. It helps us go deeper within ourselves. The water element relates to our life force and essence. Our inner resources and power to survive. Without water, there is no life. It is our will to live and the ability to endure in harsh times. This element represents our ability to go on and just as water flows and follows its path, we too, can trust and follow our path. Water gives us endurance and resistance. It also allows us to adapt to our surroundings. It is the essential Ki that we receive at birth and is the seat of our reproductive power. The water element reflects our innate constitution and gives us the strength to be productive and ambitious to move forward. It also helps us be more responsive to external stimuli.
THE WATER MERIDIANS – KIDNEY / BLADDER
The kidney meridian is the yin meridian in the water element. The kidneys are seat to our basic and essential life force Ki. It is where our resources lie and is responsible for our ability to react to a dangerous situation (flight or fight response). It regulates the autonomic nervous system as well as the hormonal system. The health of the kidneys are crucial for the quality of life force and for the purification of the blood.
The bladder meridian is of yang quality. The bladder meridian gives us the power to act and to adapt. It is the backbone of our inner energetic matrix. The meridian runs along most of the back of our bodies and gives us the strength to stand up straight and to confront the world with courage. It is also correlated with our nervous system and helps to regulate it.