by Maureen Cromey
An Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Expert
I’m always tired I need more energy'
Many of us place enormous demands on our bodies. We end up feeling not only tired but unbalanced and out of sorts, eventually even a good sleep is not enough to refresh and renew our Qi.
Increasing energy in Traditional Chinese Medicine terms is as much about harmonising the flow and distribution of energy in your body as it is about topping it up.
The energy or Qi that is our life force comes from several different sources. The inherited Qi is fixed in quantity and cannot be replaced. As we live our lives it gradually gets used up, much like the charge in a battery, and so it diminishes with age. Extra charge is lost through severe illness or demanding lifestyles. We have daily sources of Qi in the form of the air we breathe, the food we eat and we improve our uptake and retention of this Qi by gentle exercise, calm minds and adequate rest. This daily source of Qi is the fuel in our bodies and ideally we do not use more then we take in each day. When daily Qi runs low and we ignore tiredness signs we start to draw on the inherited Qi. If this happens too often this Qi diminishes and we begin to feel really tired. This is a deep tiredness that is very difficult to shift.
Stagnant or blocked energy can also make us feel really exhausted. Qi blocks up in the liver causing great discomfort. Usually the sufferer feels a lot better and 'energised' after movement, such as vigorous exercise, great sex, or a good night out with plenty of fun and laughter. Movement helps because rather than being deficient the energy is simply blocked and stagnating in one place. Once it starts to flow into the rest of our bodies we feel invigorated and energised.
In order to increase your energy we need to identify why you feel low. Are you genuinely deficient and need tonifying treatment? Or is it a stagnation of Qi and we need to harmonise the flow to feel well?
For good energy levels we need to exercise frequently, have a moderate and fulfilling lifestyle, eat well and sleep regularly. This can be very hard to achieve if you are already down and tired, maybe juggling family and work. It is at this point that a visit to your TCM practitioner will work wonders. Chinese medicine, herbs, acupuncture, diet, and exercise are absolutely brilliant at boosting energy levels and making you feel better. Your TCM practitioner will identify if you have deficient Qi or blocked Qi and prescribe herbs and acupuncture to treat this. Your practitioner will advise on an appropriate diet and lifestyle, suggest changes and support you making these changes. Once you start to understand your body it is easy to stay tuned in and look after yourself, boosting energy by daily lifestyle.
Good energy is not just about having more energy to zip around working harder and harder but having the right amount in the right place at the right time to feel truly well. It is about feeling comfortable in body and soul and enjoying a healthy longevity.