Exploring Meridians Series – Part 5 – Kidney Meridian

Meridians Series by Caroline Thomas of Hoof and Paw Holistic Therapies.

Part 5 – The Kidney Meridian


The function of the kidney is to act as a filtering system by sifting through the waste products in the blood and then discarding them via the bladder. They are a functioning 24 hour filtering system, keeping the horse’s body free from toxins.  As you can imagine, a build-up of toxins would cause a myriad of problems for your horse. The kidney meridian is paired with the bladder meridian and is regarded at the body’s most import storage of ‘chi’, any blockage in the meridian would affect your horse. These problems may manifest as fear, backache, lack of energy, noise phobias and inappropriate urination. The kidney meridian is a ‘water’ element, which out of all of the meridians makes the most sense.

Holistically the ‘kidney’s’ have been associated with ‘fear’, a horse with fear issues will literally be living on their nerves. Being a prey animal their innate behaviour for survival is triggered the moment they are born. Standing up as quickly as possible so they can run with the herd at a moment’s notice. Their whole being is geared to survive any predator attack, even though they are not sure where the attack will come from, they are ready for action. This primate behaviour is known as the ‘flight or fight’ response. Horses have the perfect ‘flight’ response as they are able to gallop off into the sunset kicking their hooves behind them. That is of course a rose tinted view as the reality often is that the horse cannot ‘flee’ from danger either because they are trapped by a stable or in the small confines of a field. The ‘fear’ is very real to them and although you may not see the big bad wolf and can only see a Tesco carrier bag flapping in the wind. Your horse is geared for a wolf attack, there is no rationality at this point. They have millions of years of genetic wiring which has been protecting them for eons, yet we see the threat as something small, to them it is a huge deal. When the ‘Flight and Fight’ response is triggered hormones are set in motion to offer the horse the best opportunity of escape mentally and physically. If these hormones keep getting triggered and your horse has no way of escape there is no way that they can be released so they then become a toxic cocktail. This can cause skin problems, anxiety and most of all stress.

Horses need a pair bond to feel safe, ideally a constant herd would be even better but having their best friend hanging around as company is just as good. The reason being that there are more eyes to see the danger. This too is an innate behaviour that is triggered as soon as they are born. This bond can be for life, an eternal friendship that can span generations, in the cases where there are no other horses to pair with, friendships can be found with sheep, donkeys and even a goat. A horse living in a field on their own is going to be more prone to stress because they are deprived of their herd and pair bond to look out for any danger.

The kidney meridian is continually being tested by the modern environment our horses now live in. Every fear and anxiety will cause a blockage in the free flow of ‘chi’. As this meridian can also cause infertility problems and oestrous cycle anomalies as well as confidence issues, it is well worth spending the time working with this meridian. The kidneys are the embodiment of bravery and determination, any blockage to the kidney ‘chi’ will result in intense fear and paranoia with the possibility of uncontrolled urination.

So what can you do to help the ‘chi’ flow again? Firstly it is important to understand your horse by putting yourself in their hooves and looking at what a day in their life truly consists of. Their interactions, friendships, stimulation and any triggers that stress them. If their friendships are not consistent, try to organise a more suitable arrangement. I have spent hours sitting in the corner of a field watching a herd of horses interact. It is fascinating to watch how they communicate with one another and also how they support one another. When left to their own devices they have so many lessons to teach us.


I use this mediation often as it helps me to connect to Mother Nature and offers me a space to feel connected to the animals that I work with.

Connecting to nature:
Kidney Meridian Tapping Point

Kidney Meridian Tapping Point

Either stand or sit, close your eyes and take 7 deep breaths down into your stomach and let the breath out slowly. Feel your feet connected to the floor the earth; strong and grounded; as you imagine roots from your feet spiralling down into the ground. Spend a few moments anchoring them to the centre of the earth. Feel the energy of the earth rising up through your feet. Feel gratitude and love for everything in nature. Starting with your family and animal encompassing the birds, bees, beaches, mountains and everything you can possible be grateful for. Stand or sit in this energy for 5 – 10 minutes.

Holistically you can use EFT to tap on kidney meridian, this can be done when your horse is showing anxiety or stress. I have learnt from my work with horses that you must let go of expectations. Any attachment to the outcome seemingly impedes what you are trying to achieve. EFT is so simple, yet it can produce amazing results, by being the surrogate and tapping on yourself, you can definitely help to unblock the kidney meridian. As in all previous articles, connect to your horse’s energy and tap on the junction where the breastbone meets the collar bone. You can set up a statement as you tap such as ‘Even though you are pacing, you are ok’. Keep tapping until you feel you are ready to stop, wait to see if anything floats into your thoughts and if it does tap on this.


In Shiatsu there are twelve meridians each of which can have a powerful effect on balancing your horse’s health. The meridians are “paired” with each other and the “sister meridian” to the Bladder Meridian is the Kidney Meridian. They are paired because one is the Yin and the other the Yang Meridian and by working both you can improve the results of each one separately. This is because if one sister Meridian has an excess of energy the other will show an energy deficiency. Stimulating both can alleviate the imbalance.

The Kidney Meridian is responsible for generating the horses core metabolic force and helps circulation, respiration and digestion. Skilful touching of this meridian can improve tiredness and prevent “burn out”. It also helps horses that have weak lower backs and arthritic changes to the spine and poor hair growth. On an emotional level this meridian deals with core survival – a primal force that controls the horses deep seated flight response. Touching here can help the horse deal with instinctive fears. An unbalanced Kidney Meridian makes the horse back away from new things instead of using his curiosity. He may become afraid, break out into cold sweats when afraid or become downright dangerous if challenged. This type of horse needs careful treatment and seems worse in winter when conditions are cold. This is when he needs his vital life essence massaged to replenish his energy and resist disease.

KidneyMeridianUse the diagram as a map first assessing how well your horse responds to being touched high on the inside of the hind leg. If he is ticklish or prone to kick, never put yourself in a position of danger. You may need to seek help from a Shiatsu practitioner who has a practised touch and can help you and your horse learn to accept work on this Meridian. Explore the Kidney Meridian with a soft touch, starting from the coronary band on the hind foot between the bulbs of the heal. This is what Shiatsu calls a “Ting” point.

Ting points are at the end of each meridian and are powerful points to regulate the flow of energy along the meridian. Just pressing here will energise the whole length of the meridian. This is a good point for kick starting the horses natural Chi energy. The Meridian then travels up the inside of the leg to the groin (touch carefully please)!

From here the Meridian travels along the belly, 2-3 inches from the mid-line and up onto the chest entering the body just at the side and top of the sternum, near the base of the neck. As suggested in the last month’s article, explore the subtle differences of texture – you may feel soft and spongy areas or hard and grainy spots. There may also be temperature variations: cold areas are un-energised and hot spots have too much energy. Just use your fingertips to touch and move this Chi energy where necessary. Be intuitive and move from area to area when it feels right to you. Don’t worry too much about exactly where the Meridian is – if you use several fingers whilst you touch the meridians you won’t miss them. Work on the Kidney Meridian will, over time help circulation problems, respiratory conditions and digestion as well as helping your horse gain a quick energy boost when needed. Emotionally your horse should feel ready to face new challenges and may begin to lose some of those deep seated fears.


A huge thank you to Caroline Thomas for this incredible fifth part covering the Kidney Meridian in this wonderful series of articles we will be bringing you over the coming months exploring the 12 meridians in depth.

Links to the previous articles in the series are below:

Part 1 – Introduction click here,

Part 2 – Heart Meridian click here,

Part 3 – Small Intestine Meridian click here.

Part 4 – Bladder Meridian click here.

Part 5 – Kidney Meridian click here

Part 6 – Heart Protector Meridian click here

Part 7 – Triple Heater Meridian click here

Part 8 – Gall Bladder Meridian click here

Part 9 – Liver Meridian click here

Also thanks to her very talented son Michael for the beautiful artwork that compliments the article.

For more information on Caroline visit her website http://emotionalhealing4animals.co.uk or follow her on Facebook at Hoof and Paw.