Everybody gets tired from time to time, usually the result of overdoing it mentally, physically or both. The usual fix is a little down time and better sleep. However, if you’ve had plenty of R & R and still feel tired, it may be time to figure out why.
Fatigue is a common problem for many people, but it can show up in different ways. Fatigue can run the gamut from just feeling tired in the morning to being so completely exhausted that it’s difficult to get through the day. Some people are able to get things done, but have a tough time finding the energy to be motivated. Others define fatigue by the changes they’re experiencing, such as sleeping more or the inability to get through their regular workout at the gym.
There are a wide variety of conditions in Western medicine that can cause fatigue. They include:
- Thyroid problems
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Poor sleep, or the Epstein Barr virus that is responsible for chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Certain medications may cause fatigue as a side effect.
If those diagnoses have been ruled out, your doctor may be stumped as to why you’re feeling so tired.
In Chinese medicine, when a patient comes in complaining of fatigue or exhaustion, a practitioner’s first thought is a depletion of energy, or Qi. This is the energy your body needs to fuel all of its complicated functions, and is made from the food you eat and the air you breathe. When you’re not eating well, digesting poorly, or using up more energy than you have, you’re going to feel tired.
There are many other patterns, however, in Chinese medicine that may account for your fatigue. This can include a depletion of some other vital body substance (Blood, Yin, Yang, or Essence), or a blockage that’s impeding flow and binding up your energy. A common example of a blockage is caused by excessive stress, which occupies your mind, makes your muscles tight, shuts down your digestion, and can be utterly exhausting.
7 Things You Can Do for Yourself to Help Boost Your Energy Naturally.
- Eat well. This means lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and good quality proteins.
- Pay attention to your digestion, too. If you’re having any symptoms, such as heartburn, stomachaches, bloating, nausea, or bowel issues, your digestion needs some attention. Enlist the help of your acupuncture practitioner; they have a number of healing strategies to get your digestion back on track.
- Close your mouth when you breathe. Remember that in Chinese medicine, your energy is partially made up from the air you breathe. Often mouth breathers are also shallow breathers, and closing your mouth helps you take in fuller breaths. Consciously taking in a few deep breaths several times during the day may also help you feel more energized.
- Get your stress under control. Unrelenting stress uses up a lot of your energy. In addition, it negatively impacts your digestion and makes it harder for your body to build up more energy and make the nutrients you need for good health. Do whatever it takes to find some calm in your life.
- Are you getting enough sleep? If you’re constantly feeling fatigued, it’s likely that your body needs more rest and good quality sleep. If sleeplessness is an issue, it’s also a good reason to see your practitioner.
- Exercise, but just a little. Moving your body gets things flowing; your heart and lungs, blood, and ultimately your energy. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Also, avoid exercising close to bedtime, as it’s likely to interfere with good sleep.
- Finally, enlist the help of a practitioner of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. They can help you pinpoint the source of your fatigue and help you develop a plan that combines acupuncture, herbs, diet, and lifestyle to help you have more energy. Your body will thank you.