Have you recently experienced any of the following conditions?
* Waking up feeling tired, no matter how long you have slept.
* Overactive mind: unable to switch off at bedtime.
* Poor appetite in the morning and noon (skipping meals); cravings and overeating in late afternoons and evenings.
* Feeling bloated, fatigued and with sugar craving after meals.
* Irregular and poorly formed bowel movement: feeling drained or still feel not empty after the job is done.
* Cold hands and feet – even in the summer time.
* Experiencing mood swings and not at peace with your own company.
* Low or no libido.
* Getting sick more frequently and experiencing long recovery times.
If your answer to any of the above is yes, your body is in an imbalance according to Chinese medicine.
An analogy I like to use is that maintaining optimal health is like caring for a car. If you have a range of discomforts but have had no illness identified by doctors – it is like a car that is still drive-able but worn down (e.g. oil leak and low battery) and in need of a tune-up.
In Chinese medicine, the symptoms listed above are considered as red lights on the body’s dashboard. Each ‘red light’ or symptom has its underlying indication;
* Fatigue in the morning: means the body is unable to recharge its battery (energy) effectively through sleep.
* Unable to switch off at bedtime: means the racing mind has built up too much momentum throughout the day – and so slowing down by night time has become too hard or takes too long.
* Lacking appetite in the morning: means a weak or overloaded digestive tract has failed to empty on time and therefore not rested and recovered by the morning.
* Bloating and fatigue after meals: means the stomach is weak and lacks the sufficient blood flow for digestion after meals so it borrows the blood supply from the brain and muscles – leading to a foggy mind and physical tiredness. The bloating shows that energy absorbed from the digestive tract has not been distributed efficiently and is trapped in the abdominal region.
* Sugar cravings: means the body is low on energy because a weak digestive system is not converting food into sugar efficiently. To compensate, the body is looking for an immediate sugar boost.
* Irregular and poorly formed bowel movement: means that the large intestine is sluggish and unable to eliminate garbage effectively.
* Cold hands and feet: means poor blood circulation in the limbs as a result of energy depletion. In this situation, the body reduces blood supply to less important areas such as the digestive tract, hands and feet in order to safeguard supply to critical organs such as the brain and heart.
* Experiencing mood swings: means that you are low on energy and facing a regular outpouring of repressed emotions.
* Low or no libido: means the body’s energy levels are so low that it has to cut down energy supply to less urgent systems such as the reproductive system.
* Getting sick easily and difficulty recuperating: means the body is weak and low on immunity and also lacking the energy to repair and recover properly.
You may notice that almost all of the above symptoms are rooted in low energy and fatigue. Intuitively, we try to fix the surface layer signs of fatigue without seeing what is beneath it. So people drink coffee or caffeine-rich energy drinks to seek an instant energy boost. Many self-help books encourage readers to be hyper-focused on man-made goals and to push through physical warning signs and emotional lows.
People also shop around in supplement stores and natural therapy clinics trying to get a quick fix for their exhaustion. But, as soon as their symptoms are relieved, they resume the same lifestyle that led to an energy depletion in the first place. It is as though the driver has acknowledged a red light on the dashboard, pulled over and simply placed a band-aid over the red light and resumed driving. The red light is an important and helpful warning. If the driver ignores it and maintains an abusive driving pattern, the car is destined to break down quickly and permanently.
The right way to address fatigue at its core and fix it for the long term, is to lead a lifestyle in which you are recharging more energy than you are using up. In doing this, it can be useful to learn tips offered by “The Energy Book“. They are simple and practical steps that can be incorporated into your busy routine easily.