Points - Ask the Doctor

Q: What are some ways I can increase my energy and vitality?

A:Here are four little secrets to help you boost your energy and vitality, so you can accomplish your goals this year, whatever they may be:

Fatigue can come from a deficiency of B vitamins. The B complex is important because it provides co-enzymes that aid in carbohydrate metabolism Ė and carbohydrates give your body energy. So itís necessary to get all of your B vitamins. Foods rich in vitamin B include whole grains; eggs and fish (especially shellfish); sunflower, sesame and other seeds; and leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and collard greens. Of course, you can also take B vitamins as a dietary supplement. Just be sure to take the whole B complex to avoid imbalance.

Every time your body produces energy, your cellsí mitochondria Ė their tiny power generators Ė require magnesium. Itís an essential mineral, but many people donít get enough of it because of two common dietary habits that leach magnesium from our bodies: too much salt and too much diary. Additionally, if you eat a lot of processed foods, itís likely that you donít get enough magnesium in the first place.

So to boost your energy and vitality, make sure that you eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, beans and lentils, whole grains, avocados, bananas, and dried fruit. For those of you who are chocolate lovers, youíll be delighted to know that dark chocolate is rich in magnesium too. If you opt for taking daily supplements, a typical daily dose is 500mg.

Lung capacity is directly proportional to energy and vitality. If the lungs arenít working optimally to supply the body with oxygen, all the metabolic processes go haywire and youíre likely to feel sluggish and moody. So itís important that you work on expanding your lung capacity. You can accomplish this by doing cardiovascular exercises, taking regular brisk walks, practicing deep breathing exercises, or learning to play a wind instrument Ė saxophone, flute, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, even a pennywhistle.

In the Self-healing Qigong DVD, I also share several Qi Gong exercises that are very helpful in strengthening the lungs. You may want to check it out, if you havenít already.

The thymus is a fist-size gland located in the center of your chest, just behind the sternum. It plays a crucial role in the functioning of the lymphatic and immune systems. As we get older, the thymus gland gradually shrinks to the size of a pea by the time we reach age 70.

To prevent this atrophying, the Chinese use astragalus root, an herbal adaptogen that corrects both high and low metabolic imbalances, strengthens the immunity, and promotes vitality. Astragalus root is one of the ingredients in our Five Element Ė the Chinese Longevity Formula.

Additionally, there is a very powerful acupuncture point called the "Chest Center," which is located midway between the nipples. Using your index and middle figure, gently tap on this point against the sternum 50 times, morning and evening, to stimulate the thymus.

Try implementing a couple of the vitality secrets I shared today and see if they help you improve your energy, vitality, and overall sense of wellbeing.

About our Doctors

This month's Ask the Doctor question was answered by:

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, Ph.D., D.O.M., L.Ac. . from his website:


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