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Home > Newsletters > July 2008 > Self-Help for Low Energy

Self-Help for Low Energy

By Maoshing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., Ph.D.

Are you often tired after the simplest activities? Do the days drag on until you reach home, only to slump on the couch and crash, unable to enjoy your daily activities? If so, you are suffering from low energy. Energy normally fluctuates according to daily rhythms, which vary from person to person. In general, we have more energy in the morning and wind down toward the evening. However, many people suffer from chronic low energy and fatigue. They start the day tired and end the day tired. The causes of low energy are numerous. But first and foremost, low energy is often a result of stressful living in our modern world. Coping with stressful situations requires a lot of energy, leaving the average person drained and at times depressed. Poor diet also contributes to low energy. Instead of eating foods with a sustainable energy content, most people eat too many foods made of simple sugars, which supply a rapid burst of energy, but burn out fast and furious, leaving us depleted. Lack of exercise is the final nail in the coffin. Exercise helps us deal with daily stresses; without it, the body is rapidly depleted of vital energy.

Energy is qi. The level and quality of a person’s qi define how he or she feels. Chinese medicine recognized the concept of vital energy thousands of years ago and has developed a full understanding of the essential functions and role of qi in health and wellness. As a result, very effective means of addressing low energy have been developed. Once we’ve figured out the underlying cause of the fatigue, I work with internists to create a treatment plan specific to each patient’s needs. Treatment usually consists of acupuncture and herbal therapy for three months or more, depending on the condition. I then counsel each patient on a dietary, lifestyle, and mind-body exercise regimen. In the more than twenty years that I’ve been working with patients with low energy, I’ve helped the majority of my patients overcome their fatigue.

Here are some dietary tips you can begin using. For more advice on herbal therapy, exercise, acupressure, and daily supplements, check out “Secrets of Self-Healing.”

~ Quick Diet Tips ~

  • For sustained Vitality and energy, the foods you consume must be wholesome, organic, and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The foods you eat must also be easily digested and absorbed.
  • Avoid all forms of processed sugar, including sodas, sweetened juices, and pastries. Sugar is extremely damaging to your energy levels, as the initial rush is followed by a spectacular crash, something we’ve all seen in children.
  • Alcohol, coffee, deep-fried and fatty foods, and cold, raw food should also be avoided, as they can injure the spleen and stomach and impair digestion.
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July 2008
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