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Five Healthy Ways to Boost Your Qi!

by Dr. Elizabeth Langer

Sometimes you are just feeling "blah." You feel completely off and can't seem to get your  energy up. You are so overwhelmed with exhaustion that you feel it in your bones. Your  digestion is sluggish and you may be experiencing constipation, diarrhea, or symptoms of  IBS. Worse yest, you are always getting sick!

What's going on?

Most likely you are experiencing a common condition in traditional Chinese medicine    (TCM)  referred to as Qi deficiency. The good news is that there are many ways to boost    your Qi naturally so you can feel like you again!

But what is Qi and how does it keeping you healthy?

Qi, more commonly known as Chi, is the fundamental energy that sustains life and makes      things work. According to TCM principals, Qi is the substance responsible for keeping us  alive and making our bodies work. It powers respiration, digestion, circulation, and  elimination.

When Qi is imbalanced or depleted in our bodies, we get sick. If we are injured, Qi (and    Blood) stagnates or "gets stuck." If the injury is sustained for too long, then the Qi (and    Blood) becomes deficient.

Qi circulates throughout our bodies in channels known as Meridians. We cannot see this    system, but research is being done and it's visibility is being shown in Quantum Physics.      Some scientists have identified it as the Primavascular System.

So now that you have an understanding of what Qi is and what does in your body, let's talk  about five ways you can boost your Qi so you can live a healthy life!

1. Eat a Healthy Diet                                                                                                                This doesn't mean to go on a diet, rather commit to eating sensible and well-balanced meals    that give your body energy. And a healthy diet for one person may not be the same for      another. However, there are a few basic rules to eating well.                                                                                                                                                              First, stop eating crap! All the cookies, crackers, and chips contain chemicals that clog your    arteries, make you gain weight, and suck your energy because your body has to work extra  hard to process them. This doesn't mean that you can't treat yourself, but when these  "treats" happen once a week or even once a day, this can be a problem.                                                                                                                               

Another basic tenet is to eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Two of the healthiest diets,  Paleo and Raw Vegan, have one thing in common, they are both high in fresh fruits and  vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables will give you most of the vitamins and minerals your  body needs, plus a good dose of fiber to keep you regular!                                                                                                                                           

Chew your food! There is a saying that the "stomach has no teeth." In our society, it is    considered "hip" to be "on-the-go" or "too busy" for meals. That attitude comes with  consequences. If you don't take time to chew and savor your food, you don't digest as well.  This means that in addition to not absorbing your nutrients, you will also be more likely to  experience gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.                   

2. Move!                                                                                                                                       I know that this may seem counter-intuitive, but if you don't take time to exercise, your energy will continue to decline in a rapid spiral. And this doesn't mean that you have to go  all out at the gym. Try walking 30 minutes after meals. Maybe something gentle such as  Yoga  or Tai Chi?   If all you can do is some light stretching, please do it. You won't get better if your body continues to stagnate. If you have a pre-existing condition, by all means, consult a trusted health care provider.   

3. Practice Qigong/Tai Chi                                                                                                   Qigong and Tai Chi are internal martial arts that cultivate Qi, and develop strength and stamina. So if you were a sickly kid or have lived a life that was hard on your body and spirit, practicing Tai Chi and Qigong are absolute necessities.  Qigong and Tai Chi focus on breath and use gentle movements to help you to restore balance and bring your body back to a natural state.                                                         

4. Acupuncture                                                                                                                         And I'm not just saying this because I'm an acupuncturist. Acupuncture stimulates points on your body that increase your energy and get you out of pain.

Acupuncturists usually  offer adjunctive therapies such as moxibusion, cupping, therapeutic massage/Tui Na, or dietary counseling. Many prescribe herbs. If you are afraid of needles, acupressure can be  almost as useful. Many massage therapists and chiropractors will often integrate acupressure into their treatments for better results.          

5. Turn Off and Tune In                                                                                                         By this point, you have most likely heard about how cell phones give you cancer, how microwaves poison your food, and you will need glasses if you sit too close to the television.  So I'm not going to lecture about that.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But the constant stimulation of our cell phones, iPADS, computers, and televisions can  make  it very difficult to relax. And because it's hip to be "on-the-go," the pressure to  conform can be overwhelming. Seriously, how many of your Facebook "friends" are really  going to grab a coffee with you? Granted, some may live across the globe, but for the most  part, no. The constant bombardment of the simulated reality of your "friends" and  "followers" can leave you feeling disconnected and ungrounded. And when that happens,  your energy can easily become drained.

These are just a few of the ways you can boost your Qi. If you would like to learn a little more, send me a message and we'll talk!

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