Who does this stationery standing? Cashiers, sales people in stores, people waiting at bus stops or in long lines or when giving a talk or presentation. Many people try to compensate for tiring from long-time standing by leaning on walls, handrails or whatever is nearby. Doing this reflects the stain on the back and doesn’t truly alleviate it.
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine speaks of long time standing harming the Kidneys, which govern the back. In Western science the kidneys control fluids, mineral, acid-alkaline balance in the blood and detoxing the blood. While these functions are vital to life, they are not related strongly to the back or low back.
In Oriental healing the Kidney energy system encompasses a diverse array of functions and processes of the body: from hearing, head hair, memory (brain), teeth, bones, spine low back and hormonal system. Even the knees and the soles of the feet are directly affected by Kidney energy, called the “Gate of Life.” This Gate of Life implies deep constitutional powers and the potentials for longevity.
When we idly stand in one place it helps not to lean on something. Leaning might seem relaxing, but it actually imbalances the back and weakens the natural uprightness of the body. In a similar way, when sitting, remain upright. When someone slouches in a chair—half lying, half upright—it reflects that the Kidney energy is weakened.
Standing for long hours is unhealthy and unnatural. Avoid doing it by alternating between standing and movement or between standing and sitting. If you must stand for a long time, then bend your knees slightly or rise up and down from your heels. These simple techniques can relax the back and strengthen the Kidneys.
It is best that the Kidneys are in basic good health. Here are some keys to helping the Kidneys stay well: (1) no white sugar, soft drinks or extreme sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup; (2) use salt daily, mostly in cooking, also as pickles or as miso in soup; (3) get good sleep; (4) moderate sexual activity for your age; (5) reduce stress.
Exercise helps the Kidneys, especially any that use the thigh muscles. Finally, tai chi and qigong are Oriental exercises that were specifically designed to enhance Kidney vitality. There are teachers in nearly every town who teach one or both of these powerful, simple movements.