Boost Your Energy With Eastern Medicine
With These Simple Changes
Sometimes, it feels like there’s not enough coffee in the world to give you the energy to get everything on your list done. Luckily, there are lots of other ways to boost your energy and give you the stamina to crush your day–and your to-do list.
In TCM and Ayurveda, energy comes from balance. We have to keep our bodies and minds in harmony to keep feeling our best. If you’re having trouble with fatigue and, you should incorporate fresh, healthy food into your diet, get enough rest, avoid working too much, and move your body in a way that makes you feel good.
But for those days when you need a little extra pep in your step, here are some tips and tricks from eastern medicine proven to boost your energy.
In TCM and Ayurveda, herbal supplements are prescribed like medicine. Some prescriptions are combinations of herbs and plants, but you can also take individual herbal supplements for energy.
In TCM, Ginseng is commonly used to boost energy levels. Studies show that it’s also great for brain function, so it’s the perfect herb for a study session or working on a big project at work. You can find Ginseng in tea form at most supermarkets and grocery stores. BUT, not all ginseng is the same! You should probably get American (panax quinquifolius) and not Asian (Panax ginseng) unless you are weak, cold and debilitated. The American ginseng is classified as cooling, but that is only relevant to other ginsengs which can be much hotter. This herb can be quite potent so double-check with your doctor before you add Ginseng to your daily routine as it can sometimes interfere with medications for diabetes, depression, and heart disease.
In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is a popular remedy for low energy. It also has a lot of other great benefits, including helping you manage stress better, lowering your cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone) and improving your brain function. Also known as Withania somnifera, for its effect on insomnia, Ashwagandha is available as a powder or tablet, and has been used for over 3,000 years to boost vitality and energy!
Hit Those Acupuncture Points
If you’re somewhat familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine, you probably know that acupuncture is a popular way to stay healthy and feel good. But you don’t need to go into an acupuncturist’s office and get poked with a bunch of needles, if that’s not your style. You can still get some of the benefits of acupuncture at home, by yourself.
All you need to do is identify and massage some acupuncture points throughout the day to keep your energy high and your focus on point. Or, you can use essential oils spotted on the point.
For the first one, look for He Gu or LI4 pressure point. This is especially great for getting rid of headaches and neck pain. Stretch your hands with your fingers extended, making a L shape with your pointer and thumb. Go to the middle of the L, between your two fingers and reach about an inch into your palm. Pinch this area with your other pointer finger and thumb and massage it.
You could also try Bai Hui spot. It’s easy to find, because it’s the very top of your head. Try resting your thumbs on the top of your ears and connecting your middle fingers over your head. Where they meet is where your Bai Hui spot is. All you need to do is gently press on the spot for a few minutes, and you should notice your mental fog disappear. This should help with mental energy and boosting your focus.
And don’t forget St26, Zusanli. Take your thumb and index finger and follow your tibia up to the depression at the top of the bone, approximately one hand width below the knee. This is a master point for the body, affecting energy, digestion, lactation, qi and blood.
The Early Bird Gets The Worm
You might think if you’re tired all the time that you should try and sleep late to get some extra rest. And while getting enough sleep is very important, it’s also crucial to get rest at the right times of the day. Setting your alarm for early in the morning (try 20 minutes before the sun comes up) will help you set a routine and keep you in sync with nature.
In Ayurvedic practice, waking up just before the sun helps you soak up all the Vata energy that the morning brings. This energy will help you keep moving throughout your day, because Vata is all about motion and vitality. So set your alarm for 5 or 6 am and see how it works for you!
Have a Ritual
Waking up early isn’t the only way to optimize your morning. In Ayurveda, having a morning routine or ritual is also key to staying active and energized all day while maintaining your focus. A morning ritual like making your favorite tea, doing yoga on the porch, or doing journaling helps refuel your ojas or energy storage. It also helps you prepare mentally for your day so you can be ready to take on whatever the world throws at you. If you’re ready for a more advanced version of this, you should look at optimizing to your body clock!
Take A Breath
Breathing is one of those things that we do literally all the time, but we don’t think about it very much.
But in Ayurveda, breath is one of the most powerful things we can do to help heal our bodies. For those days when you’re feeling groggy, overwhelmed, or low-energy, try something called Bhastrika or Bellows Breath.
- Relax your muscles and loosen up any tension. Make sure your shoulders are straight and relaxed, too.
- Start to take some deep breaths. Breathe in and fill your belly and upper lungs.
- As you exhale, breathe out quickly and forcefully through your nose for one second per breath.
- Make sure your diaphragm is powering this breath, and don’t let your neck, shoulders, or chest tense up.
- Do this for 30 seconds, and then breath normally for 30 seconds.
This should help get more oxygen to your brain and boost your energy levels in less than a minute! And, if this particular method doesn’t work for you, here are a few other breathing methods that might!.
Life gets hectic, and in the winter, most of us see a natural drop in energy too. So whether you need more physical strength and vitality to get through a tough spin class or you need your brain to be firing on all cylinders for a big test, try these 5 tips and tricks to boost your energy. And of course, don’t forget that a good diet, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise is some of the best medicine out there!