Ways to Get More Energy—Naturally

Hello hello! On Monday we talked about signs you don’t have enough energy, and what that means when it comes to Chinese medicine. Today I wanted to give you a few quick tips on what you can do at home and how we can tackle that problem in the clinic.

I get quite a few patients or potential patients that ask me if I treat for general wellness. I always ask them what they mean by that—it can be different for everyone—and most often, they are concerned with their energy level. Namely, it’s really low. And yes! The great answer is that I can boost your Qi. Here’s how.

If you’re dependent on caffeine or experience an energy lull in the afternoon:
Overall, this means your body’s Qi is depleted. You don’t have enough energy to sustain yourself through the day and feel fatigued. One solution is to eat more regularly. Eating more often will give you consistent energy through the day. Start with a better breakfast—make sure to include protein, fat, and carbs rather than, say, a cup of coffee and and a banana. It can be as simple as eggs and oatmeal with butter. (And with a bit of bacon if you want!)  If you have these low-energy symptoms, it’s really helpful to use acupuncture to boost your Qi. Herbs can also help strengthen energy. The great thing about herbs is that you only take them for a while—to help build up your body’s ability to make more energy. You won’t take them forever, just until you feel great again and your body can do it on its own.

If you’re tired after eat, crave sugar, or have loose stool:
These symptoms all indicate your digestive fire is low or off. One way to help is to eat more cooked food. Cooked food is easier to digest and doesn’t strain your digestive fire quite as much. Specifically,  yellow and orange vegetables are great because they target your digestive organs. Think: sweet potato, carrot and squash. I often use acupuncture to strengthen digestion, gently needling the abdomen and some other points on the body. We can also use herbs to balance people’s digestive function more efficiently–one of my specialties!

If you get sick easily:
If you are getting sick easily, your immune system energy is really low. (For instance, if you’re getting colds more than a few times a year.) One of the things I recommend people do is to keep their necks and heads warm. In Western medicine, they teach that we should wash our hands a lot to prevent ourselves from getting sick. That does help, because then we’re not as subjected to viruses and bacteria. In Chinese medicine, we believe viruses more easily invade through the body if certain points on the head and neck, called the “Wind Gates,” are exposed, so covering up the head helps boost your immunity.  We will often do acupuncture to strengthen immune system and gentle cupping on the back.

If you’re cold all the time
As we talked about on Monday, that means your Kidney energy, or pilot light, is low. At home you can keep your feet and back warm to help! Wool socks, long underwear or an extra shirt or camisole should help keep your center warm. Eat more warm spices for this pattern, too, such as cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and nutmeg. This is a great application for moxibustion, which is burning mugwort to warm up the body. Herbs can strengthen Kidney energy, too.

Chinese medicine is such a great option for maximizing your energy. Hope this gives you a great place to start. We all deserve to feel good all day long.