Remedy: Question: I’ve been feeling really lethargic lately, is there anything I can do to feel more energized?

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It is always important to first seek medical advice. However, if nothing serious can be found then there are many spa treatments to help this issue. All of the following examples, although different in experience, contribute to moving energy more efficiently in the body and therefore dissolving blockages of energy that create lethargy. Deep tissue massage, Thai massage, reflexology, shiatsu, cranial sacral, acupuncture, and Ayurvedic treatments are a few to mention. Detoxification and remineralizing baths and wraps can be helpful in combination with massage. I recommend once a week having one of these treatments or alternating with several that resonate with your personal needs. Yoga and regular fitness classes, in combination with spa treatments, will quickly bring your energy and vibrancy back.

Amy McDonald is the Spa and Programs Director at EL Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa in Taos, New Mexico. Amy has been in the spa industry for twenty years and is an industry expert in integrating both spa and educational programs into transformational experiences for guests.

Elizabeth Somer, M.A.,R. D.

Blood sugar levels drop within a few hours of eating, so frequent small meals and snacks, rather than two or three big meals, help maintain a constant energy supply and avoid fatigue. Include complex carbohydrates at every meal, from breads, rice, and pasta to lima beans and yams, which are digested gradually, maintain an even blood sugar level, and provide a constant fuel supply for the body and the brain.

People who eat breakfast are more energized throughout the day than are breakfast skippers. Make sure your breakfast includes a fruit, whole grain, and protein, such as scrambled egg substitutes, whole wheat toast, and orange juice; a whole-grain bagel or English muffin with low-fat cheese and fruit; or a low-fat bran muffin with applesauce and yogurt. Skip the quick-fixes, such as coffee, colas, and sugar, since they undermine energy levels in the long-run.

Finally, what and how much you eat at lunch can make or break your energy level mid-afternoon. Keep lunch light and low-fat, and include protein- and carbohydrate-rich foods. Of course, low iron can cause fatigue, as can mild dehydration. So include lots of iron-rich beans, leafy greens, and extra-lean meat in the daily fare, and drink at least eight glasses of water each day; even more if you exercise intensely. Check with your physician if chronic fatigue persists.

Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., is the author of several books, including Food & Mood (Owl Books, 1999) and Nutrition for Women (Owl Books, 2003).

Nancy Welliver

Fatigue is the most general of symptoms, and is caused by a number of things, from the most benign to the most life-threatening. I recommend that you get a thorough exam and some blood work done by your health provider. Having a diagnosis will allow you to treat the root cause of the fatigue, ensuring better results. That said, most of the fatigue suffered in our culture is from over-stimulation. I recommend nerve tonics rather than stimulants. My favorite nerve tonics include fresh oat seed, schisandra, licorice root (avoid with high blood pressure), gotu kola, Siberian ginseng, and reishi. You should be able to find liquid extracts of each of theses at your health food store. Mix them together in equal parts and take 1/2 tsp twice a day. It may take three to six weeks before noticing a change. Continuing them for three to six months is recommended.

Dr. Nancy Welliver has been a practicing naturopathic physician for the last eleven years and is currently a faculty member at Bastyr University.

Amy McDonald

Healing Lifestyles & Spas Team
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