I hear it EVERY DAY. How can I battle my chronic fatigue, naturally? People also ask me if acupuncture can help with fatigue or help to boost their energy?
The answer is absolutely yes, acupuncture can help you battle fatigue and low energy! However, acupuncture alone, one random treatment, isn’t enough. I’ve put together a list of the top 5 ways to boost your energy naturally,and battle chronic fatigue. Just doing one of these things isn’t enough, all 5 need your focus and attention.
Get quality sleep and limit caffeine intake
Nothing is more important for your health, over all, than getting good, quality sleep. Not getting enough sleep, not sleeping well (without sedatives) causes fatigue.
There is a dangerous cycle that is all too common and easy to fall prey to, especially when you’re really, really busy. You don’t get enough sleep, the alarm goes off, and you use coffee to fuel your morning. Ultimately coffee, and any other form of caffeine, are just masking your fatigue, and they actually effect your ability to get deep sleep the following night. If your body is having trouble waking up on it’s own, it’s your first sign that you’re not getting enough sleep, this could be hours or quality. Using caffeine to mask this is perpetual cycle, it’s a hamster wheel, and it’s really challenging to jump off.
We know that we need 8-9 hours of sleep per night, but it’s hard to achieve that when you’re working, parenting, and just living. I have to get up at 6AM, every week day, to get my kids to school, and myself to work. This means that I have to be asleep my 10PM , at the latest. On busy school nights, it’s a challenge. The truth is that if I’m feeling tired, I should really be asleep my 9PM, that can help me feel more energized the next day.
The number of hours you sleep isn’t the only factor, the quality of that sleep matters too. If you’re laying in bed for 8-9 hours but not sleeping sound, you’re going to feel tired the next day. I am always shocked at the number of people who tell me that they sleep great but then they reveal that they take a xanax every night. um….that’s not getting great sleep, that’s inducing sedation, there’s a difference. Did you know that xanax is the most prescribed mental health medication on the market? 50 million prescriptions written in 2013 and it goes up, every year. Here’s the thing, if you’re not sleeping well, without xanax, it’s a red flag that your body isn’t happy. If you want to know more about why sleep medications and/or alcohol induced sleep are not the same as natural deep sleep, listen to this podcast! https://www.kevinrose.com/single-post/matthew-walker
Want to know more about how to improve your sleep naturally? Aside from regular acupuncture, and cutting back on caffeine, we can also create a night time routine and a healthy sleep environment. I think this is one of the best books on improving sleep naturally.
If you’re struggling with fatigue, not sleeping well, over caffeinating, or looking for ways to improve your energy, you have to focus on getting quality sleep, 8-9 hours per night, naturally. It’s KEY.
B12, B complex, and PLANT BASED IRON
Let’s say you’re getting 8-9 hours of sleep per night, but still feeling tired, feeling like you could sleep 12 hours and it wouldn’t be enough, you could be missing out on some nutrients in your daily diet. Especially if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, but even those who eat meat can suffer from certain vitamin deficiencies. When it comes to energy, the culprits are generally Vitamin B12, iron, or a B vitamins, in general. Truthfully, unless you’re eating 3-4 cups of dark greens, with every meal, and eating meat, you’re not getting enough B vitamins or iron. It’s hard to do! If you’re feeling fatigued but you’re sleeping enough, consider adding one, if not all, of these supplements, and see how you feel.
The type of supplements that you take matters, big time. Cheap vitamins are a waste of money. Synthetic iron causes constipation, it doesn’t absorb well ,and it will not boost your energy. I recommend that anyone, especially women, who are struggling with low energy take a plant based iron supplement.
Along with iron, B vitamins are a must to increase energy. It’s really hard to get enough of them from food, and if you’re vegan, it’s actually impossible to get B12, so you must supplement. My favorite B vitamins are the food based supplements, where you are literally getting concentrated nutrients in a pill form. I love this B complex from Innate.
Vegans! Here’s a great B12 supplement, I like this liquid version, it’s easily absorbed and provides a quick, natural energy boost.
You can read more on why cheap, synthetic vitamins are a waste of money here.
If you’re not exercising, and you’re complaining of low energy, this is a no brainer. Exercise is mandatory for feeling good, and there is no substitution for it. Even if you just go for a walk around the block for 10-15 minutes, it’s going to increase your blood flow, get your heart rate elevated, and even boost your mood. We know that cardiovascular exercise releases endorphins and raises your dopamine, so why not do it? Every day. Just a walk.
I hear from people that they don’t have the energy, that they feel too tired to get out and walk. Here’s the thing though, if you have the desire to feel better, you’re doing to have to push yourself. Ask a friend or a family member to support you, see if they will walk with you. Know that this little push you give yourself could be your first step to feeling better. You can walk further and faster as the time goes on, and it will continue to improve how you feel.
Being sedentary isn’t good for anyone. When I think of the healthiest, happiest people I know, they are all active people. They garden, they walk, they bike, they go to the beach, and it brings them joy. It’s good for your spirit and your body, and it will increase your energy level.
Maintain a healthy weight
Did you ever watch that show the biggest loser? One of my favorite things that they did, on that show, was after the contestants had lost a bunch of weight, they would strap sand bags to their bodies and make them walk with them. It was a great visual and a great physical exercise to show how extra weight effects our bodies. The sand bags were the same amount of weight that they had previously lost. So, if they had lost 40 lbs total, they’d strap a 10 lb sand bag to each leg, and maybe 20lb bag to their stomach, and then, have the contestant walk with that extra weight. Imagine how exhausting that would be for your body? To carry around 20, 40, even 75 lb sand bags all day, while your’e trying to find more energy. Carrying extra weight is so hard on your body. It causes joint pain, a sluggish thyroid, and it’s depressing. Losing just 15-20 lbs can be life altering, when it comes to your energy level.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, please consider joining our weight loss program! It’s such a tremendous success, it works! We’re offering introduction seminars on Thursday, May 24th and another on Wednesday, May 30th, both at 7PM. Our next 6 week program will run from June 4th-July 9th. Click here to read more!
Finally, another shameless plug for acupuncture! You know I love it, I’ve been getting regular treatment for 20 years! I can tell when I’ve gone too long without it too.
Remember that talk about how exercise gets your blood flowing, releases endorphins and raises dopamine? Well, you can also do that by just laying in a recliner chair, relaxing, even sleeping, getting acupuncture. You can feel a difference right after your treatment, your head feels clear, you feel slightly blissful and yes, it can boost your energy.
Acupuncture also improves your sleep and helps you to relax naturally ( without xanax), so it works indirectly on your energy level as well. If you haven’t tried it, or you haven’t been in for a while, what on Earth are you waiting or? It’s seriously such a wonderful therapy. At my clinic, it’s just $20-45 a session, you pay whatever you want. We offer easy, online scheduling right here at www.calmcommunityacupuncture.com
To close this post, I want to mention how all of these healthy habits work together. Cutting back on caffeine, taking a B complex and plant based iron, exercising more, and getting regular acupuncture, are all ways to improve your sleep. By improving your sleep, 8-9 hours of quality, natural sleep every night, you’ll feel less fatigued and have more energy. If you have more energy, you’ll exercise more, and by exercising more, you’ll lose weight.
It’s really amazing what just 5 small habits could do to improve how you feel every day. Hope to see you soon!