No, this is not a trick and I won’t be asking you to stand on your head or move in any other way. In fact you can stay sitting. Everything in your body is connected through fascia-the connective tissue and this applies to your organs as well! And whether you know it or not, your organs are moving every time you breathe. Twenty one thousand six hundred times a day if you breathe on average 15 times a minute. Let’s say you live to be 90 years and you will take about 700 million breaths in your whole life. The distance that your kidneys can cover in your life is 8 times the distance around the Earth.

Your kidneys are attached to the diaphragm, which is the main breathing muscle. Or it should be but many people don’t breathe using their diaphragm (into their belly). They instead overuse their upper chest and shoulder muscles. So think about this when you breathe.

The kidney movements have been studied under imaging techniques and they found that with uncoached and quiet breathing the kidneys move in an up and down direction about 10mms (1cm). However during deep breathing this can increase to 40mms (4cms). So the maximum approximate distance your kidneys move in a single day is 864 metres!! And on average that would be about 400 metres a day if breathing easily with a bit of deeper breathing during the day up to 8 times around the Earth every year.

So how to move your kidneys without moving your body? Simply breathe more, breathe deeper, breathe better and into your diaphragm (belly).


Pham D et al (2014) A review of kidney motion under free, deep and forced-shallow breathing conditions: implications for stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy treatment. Technol Cancer Res Treat.13(4):315–23. 10.7785/tcrt.2012.500387.

Schwartz LH et al (1994) Kidney mobility during respiration. Radiother Oncol. 1994 Jul;32(1):84–6.

Van Sornsen de Coste JR et al (2006) Renal mobility during uncoached quiet respiration: An analysis of 4DCT scans . Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1;64(3):799–803.

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