Okay, so you’re tired. Your energy is depleted, and you’re showing it in a number of ways. Maybe your energy is poor, you get sick easily, or your digestion is funky. If you took the quiz in my last post, you’ll understand a little bit about depleted energy, or Qi. The good news is there are some things that you can do about it using the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Here are my top six:
1. Eat Good Food
Your energy is made from the food you eat, and if you’re trying to fuel yourself by going through the drive-up window, eating packaged foods, and living on sweets, your body is going to rebel. So start giving your body something it can work with to build your energy stores. Think about lean proteins, whole grains (ideally sprouted), lots of locally grown veggies, and fruit that’s in season. Specific foods that enhance Qi include root vegetables, such as yams and sweet potatoes, along with pumpkins and squash, legumes (beans), some nuts and seeds, and most vegetables. Also, many people think that if it’s in liquid form, it doesn’t count. Not true! Jettison the soda, sweetened lattes, and sports drinks that are pretending to be healthy.
2. Pay Attention to Your Digestion
You can eat the healthiest food in the world, but if you can’t digest it well, it won’t help you. Cut out any foods that disagree with you, and choose those that are more easily digested. These include foods that are cooked, such as soups, stews, and stir fried meals. For many people with digestive issues, lots of raw vegetables and fruits only make things worse.
Along with what you eat, Qi is also made from the air you breathe. While it’s not something most people think about because they’re doing it all the time, deep and cleansing breaths can improve your energy. Take a few minutes each day to take a deep breath, open your chest as you breathe in, hold for five seconds and release slowly until your lungs are empty. Repeat this sequence for five or six breaths.
4. Check Your Posture
You can’t breathe properly or digest well if you’re slumped over a keyboard or folded into a couch. Writing this just made me sit up straighter!
5. Rest and Rejuvenate
It’s difficult to build up your Qi if you’re working a 70 hour week, studying constantly, or caring for others 24/7. Take time each day to rejuvenate mentally and spiritually. This may be as simple as taking a walk, reading a book, or spending time with a sympathetic friend.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Seven to eight hours a night is ideal. If you struggle with insomnia, get some help. In the clinic, I have found acupuncture and Chinese medicine to be very helpful
For more on rebuilding your energy, specific foods, and tips for better digestion, check out Simple Steps: The Chinese Way to Better Health.
This article was originally published on acupuncturetwincities.com.
*Image of “panda” via Shutterstock