Love Your Kidneys ~ and They Will Have Your Back!

This is the first in a series of articles about your back health and your overall health.  Knowing our bodies is a big step toward sensitive and effective self-care.  As your kidneys and adrenals profoundly affect your back health, and how you work with and to dissolve stress and tension in your back, let’s begin with your kidneys.  I want to thank my student and new friend, Nicole Friedman for the basic kidney rundown and for inspiring this concise series.

Kidney-functionYour kidneys are two fist sized kidney bean-shaped organs that rest against your back muscles just below your rib cage in the upper abdominal cavity, symmetrically opposite each other on both sides of the spine.  WebMD calls them sophisticated trash collectors.  While generally misunderstood and unappreciated by most people, kidneys are responsible for:


  1. Filtering and extracting toxins, excess salts and waste products from your blood to the tune of about 150 quarts of blood every day! Inside your kidneys are about a million nephron filters! The waste and extra water go from the kidneys through the ureters to the bladder to be excreted.
  2. adrenals2Balancing body fluids and forming from one to 2 quarts of urine every day. If your water intake decrease the kidneys adjust leaving the water in the body instead of excreting it
  3. Balancing the pH in your body
  4. Producing hormones that help: regulate blood pressure, produce red blood cells, and keep your bones strong
  5. Absorbing minerals and keeping electrolytes in balance
  6. Regulating red blood cells (sending signals to your marrow to produce more oxygen-carrying red blood cells if oxygen levels decrease)
Click here to visit Calley's Official Yoga Site

Click here to visit Calley’s Official Yoga Site

About The Rama Exhibition

Calley O’Neill is a highly respected artist, muralist, visionary designer and social ecologist from the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Journalists have described her art, which spans four decades, as ethno-visionary, dynamic, symbolic and breathtaking. Calley finds her expression through classical glaze painting in mixed media works, public murals, stained glass and mosaic. Her landmark Healing Gardens of Makahikilua master plan for North Hawai’i Community Hospital in Kamuela received national recognition among top landscape architects in the field of therapeutic garden design. A great team player, Calley’s input raises the bar and sparks innovation toward healing the Earth and its inhabitants. Journalists have described her as ‘a way-finder’, ‘a life giving force’ and ‘a force of nature.’ Calley is known for exceptional quality draftsmanship, a crystalline mastery of glaze painting, stimulating diversity, relentless experimentation, and her love of the Earth and humanity. Her magnum opus is Rama, Ambassador for the Endangered Ones, and she continually works on the exhibition paintings in her Waimea studio and her plein air pop-up studio and tree gallery at the Four Seasons Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu, where she is the Artist in Residence. Her paintings are both visual prayers and wake-up calls. Calley earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, summa cum laude from Pratt Institute, New York (1974) and a Master’s Degree in Social Ecology from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont (1977).
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