Feeling sluggish? Tired? So are many Victorians.

In fact, “lack of energy” is a common complaint heard in doctors’ offices around Australia. But you can put down the espresso and Red Bull, because there are natural methods to restore your depleted energy reserves!

Boost your Winter energy

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is focused on the maintenance of Qi—the body’s vital energy. Strong Qi is essential in times of stress and to prevent illness, and helps with overall health and healing.

TCM considers the kidneys to be the main source of Qi for the body. The kidneys are associated with the water element, which rules Winter. That makes this season the time when our energy is most easily drained, as well as being the perfect time to regenerate depleted Qi.

Ancient Chinese texts advocate going to bed early and rising late, along with eating well, staying warm and not overexerting the body. It helps to avoid cold or raw foods, and replace them with warm, hearty soups, whole grains and roasted nuts, which keep the body warm and nourished.

Here are some other ways to nurture kidney Qi through the diet:

• Water: Drink an adequate amount of water (the element associated with both the kidneys and with Winter). Make sure it’s warm, or at room temperature, not chilled.

• Black, blue and kidney-shaped: Eat black beans and kidney beans, blueberries, blackberries and mulberries. TCM believes that kidney-shaped foods are beneficial to the kidneys, while blue and black foods—that correspond to the water element—help too.

• Nuts and seeds: Flax, pumpkin, sunflower and black sesame seeds, walnuts and chestnuts are considered effective.

• Vegetables: Eating asparagus, cucumbers and celery, along with all dark, leafy green vegetables can boost kidney Qi.

Winter acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbs can also support the strengthening of kidney Qi. Some of the popular herbs used for increasing energy are ginko, ginger, astralagus and goji berries.

If you’re concerned about your energy levels, or simply feel like you need a bit of a Winter boost, contact Dr Tsai and the team at Meridian Medical centre on 03 9886 9938 or email us to book in a consultation.

About Dr. Tsai

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