Miriam-Webster defines Hope both as a noun and a verb. For purposes of this writing, I’d like to explore the action of hope: “to cherish a desire with anticipation, to want something to happen or be true; to expect with confidence; TRUST. 
To say the past few years have been easy and stressless would be a serious big lie. For me, it felt like an unnatural struggle at times trying to get my footing all the while being the face of strength for those near to me. In true transparency, it was hard and still is at times.
As a ferocious reader, relentless researcher, and generally curious person, I have spent countless efforts to be a solid source of guidance and care for those that rely on me. Classical Chinese medical theory gives the foundation to differentiate a situation down to the basics, yin and yang and then proceed accordingly. Even though I was upholding those principles, I was still left feeling that I was missing something. As if all the information that I had been assimilating had somehow dampened my fire.
In TCM, one’s fire can be explained as being part of the yang aspect. The idea of creating, moving, doing an action is another example. After several months of pondering, I realized that my hope had somehow been affected. My ability to HOPE, and more so, to TRUST in the power within and above became clouded and hazy.
From a five element point of view, the water element was overacting on the fire element. The Kidney and Urinary Bladder meridian system, as a yin/yang pair comprise the water element. Supporting these systems with specific foods such as dulse, kelp, Himalayan sea salt, and black sesame seeds, celery juice, asparagus, ginger, walnuts, fennel, salmon, plenty of water, and specific acupuncture points assisted me 
The Kidney meridian system is very sacred and important in TCM, as it is the source of your fire and houses your passions and willpower. In a nutshell, it is what drives productivity in one’s life. In a physiological aspect, the kidneys are responsible for excretion of toxins from blood through urine. The kidneys and heart also share direct communication as the kidneys regulate electrolytes, minerals, and fluids, an integral aspect of our blood pressure.
The Heart meridian system, part of the fire element, is also sacred and commands reverence from a TCM perspective, as it not only propels our blood and gives life, but also gives joy, love, and clarity of the mind. The same fire that gives our willpower transcends upward to give us our joy and ultimately our HOPE.
In my case, this is a profound example of the deep emotional connections within the kidney and heart meridian systems and our ability, given the proper tools, to elicit homeostasis and balance. With recognition comes change… with support, for me, came HOPE.
 (Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Hope definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope)
 (Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books. )
Blog postings by Natalie Maddox Rougie, AP, DACM owner of Palm Wellness in Tampa, FL.