Longevity Exercises: Adrenal Glands

The adrenal glands are small bundles of tissue nestled atop each of our kidneys. They don’t look like much, but they pack a real wallop in our lives. Among many other things, they regulate how we handle stress, as well as all of our reproductive functions. What is most essential to know about the adrenal glands, though, is that they act as the primary power source for our entire hormonal system. The pituitary gland in the brain is the driver of the system, while the adrenals are the engine, so to speak. And it is our hormonal system, more than anything else, which determines our overall health and wellbeing. The adrenal glands are, in a very real and practical sense, our batteries for life, so taking care of them and keeping them strong and high-functioning is critical to our lives and our longevity.

One very simple yet very effective exercise we can all do on a daily basis to tone up our adrenals is something which is easily added into our time in the shower, optimally while letting warm water rain on our low backs. Just cup your hands in any way which is comfortable to you, and then lightly but with a slight force, pound on the area of the back of your waist, aiming for just above your kidneys, or for wherever in the area feels best to work on. You do this one hundred times, which should only take about 30 seconds. While you are doing this exercise, you will probably feel that you can breathe more deeply. And if you want to be more perfectly Taoist about what you are doing, you will pound on your low back 108 times, but 100 times will certainly do. Making this easy, pleasant effort every day can—over time—actually add years to your life, and vitality to your years.

Dietarily, eating foods high in vitamin C will strengthen and replenish the adrenals, because they and the stomach lining are more composed of vitamin C than any other parts of our bodies. The best sources of vitamin C are always foods or food-based supplements, because every vitamin is made up of much more than isolated chemicals, but are instead vitamin complexes. The best supplementary sources available in stores are acerola, the Asian herb amla or amalaki, or—the most potent of all—a South American fruit called Camu Camu. People with allergies of any kind always have adrenal issues, and taking moderate amounts of food-based vitamin C on a regular basis have been shown to clear up allergic conditions within a couple of months, in many cases.

Nancy Brem, L.Ac., can advise you on all exercise and nutritional matters, and she can do a lot more than that for you. You can set up an office visit simply by pressing here.