# 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 move. 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 a little bit more of an understanding of what Qi is and what is is responsible for in your body, let's talk about five ways you can boost your Qi so you can stay healthy and 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 digest. 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 with good digestion!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             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 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-exisitng 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. To learn a little more about them, click here
4. Acupuncture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         And I'm not just saying this because I'm an acupuncturist. Acupuncture can stimulate points on your body that will help to increase your energy and get you out of pain. Many times acupuncturists will offer adjunctive therapies such as moxibusion, cupping, therapeutic massage/Tui Na, or dietary counseling. Many often 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 maximum relief.
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 with all the craziness out there, the constant stimulation of our cell phones, iPADS, computers, and television can make it very difficult to tune into yourself.   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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 And the constant electromagnetic radiation and heat can be damaging to your eyes... Okay, I lectured after all.

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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