Put The Fizz Back

By Dr Guy Ashburner | October 1, 2008

Put The Fizz Back

Put The Fizz Back. Surprising ways to boost your energy as you power through the end of the year. It’s 6am, your alarm is bleeping, and you can barely muster up the energy to hit the snooze button. All you want to do is curl over and go back to sleep, but you have to get the kids’ lunches ready and be time for that 8.30 meeting. You can’t understand why you’re so lethargic, but it seems as if the oomph has simply fizzled from your body.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone. As spring leads into summer and the end of the year rushes up, so everyone’s energy levels tend to flag. Dr Ela Manga, Medical Director of the Wooldlands Wellness Centre and Spa, explains that of all the symptoms patients come to the doctor with, fatigue is probably the most common. “Every person has at some time in their life experienced fatigue, which can only be described as a feeling of low energy, lethargy and listlessness.”

Manga adds that, “The rythm of life should be a balance between rest and activity, but our way of life seldom allows for this.” She explains that if you think you are fatigued, it is vital to see if this is related to your lifestyle, or if it is a symptom of something more serious. Often your feelings of lethargy are caused by stress and lifestyle. “Many people experience symptoms of adrenal burnout without even realising it,” Manga says. “We push our bodies and minds beyond what we are physiologically designed for, and work against the natural rythms of our body and of nature, completely ignoring the need to take a break,” she warns. Fatigue is often your body’s way of telling you to slow down.

Put some zing in your step Just because your body is giving your warning signs, doesn’t mean you need to switch off completely. Here are seven alternative energy-boosting means you may not have considered.

Listen To Your Body

Dr Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathy once said: “To find health should be the object of the practitioner. Anyone can find disease.” Osteopathy is considered to be a “hands-on” therapy that involves no surgery, medication or gimmicks, explains Cape Town practitioner, Dr Guy Ashburner. He adds that it aims to restore the normal structure of the musculoskeletal system, which in turn improves the function of the nervous, circulatory, immune systems. This allows for faster healing, reduced pain, it easier for your body to function normally. It also limits the chance of problems occurring in the future.

“The question to ask yourself is whether you feel like a stagnant pond or a healthy free-flowing river full of vitality,” explains Ashburner. Practitioners of osteopathy have long believed that the primary cause of disease comes from within, and that most cell conditions are problems of a deficient nerve, blood and lymph supply. “Removing obstructions to this supply promotes health,” says Ashburner, who adds that, “An unhampered organism possesses the machinery and qualities for the prevention of disease. Once you have removed obstructions, you will have a healthy, positive outlook with plenty of energy.”

Osteopathy increases both physical and mental relaxation; that in turn is a big de-stressor affecting both the hormonal and immune systems. This is done through manipulation, stretching, pressure and mobilisation. Osteopaths are usually trained in craniosacral osteopathy, which utilises gentle adjustments of your body, without clicking the joints. “Most patients will find relief in two to three consultations,” he adds.

If you are suffering from fatigue, it is possible that you feel tired in both your body and mind. “The most direct and only way to eliminate the effects of fatigue on your health is to identify and treat the root cause, he adds. Osteopathy will help find this root cause, will help address the physical affects fatigue has on your life, and will identify which specific osteopathic management will support your ability to cope with fatigue, thus boosting your energy levels.

Look Into Your Eyes

You have probably heard the saying that your eyes are the mirror to your soul, and when it comes to the science of iridology, this proves true. Dr Svet Bulatov, iridologist and homeopath, believes that your whole body is represented on your iris. “The right iris reflects mostly the right side of the body, while the left reflects mostly the left side and can show genetic background up to four generations back,” Bulatov explains. He adds that in men, the right iris reflects the genes from the father, while the left reflects genes from the mother.

In women, this is reversed. It takes just six minutes for an experienced iridologist to gather important information about you mentally, emotionally and physically, and often the root cause of disease can be found directly in your eyes. “We all have the potential to be healthy and vital throughout our life,” explains Bulatov. He adds that people often feel tired, despite getting enough sleep and this is related to an imbalance of the sympathetic nervous system. “It can be severe, moderate or mild. Any age can be affected and is often misdiagnosed as being either depression or all in the head,” he explains. Iridology will help identify the reasons why you are lacking in energy through various tell-tale signs in your eyes. From this, Bulatov, explains, a unique lifestyle programme is created that incorporates a metabolic typing eating plan (see point four below), supplements, Chinese herbs, exercise and both personal and business advice.

Beat Your Chest

Maybe King Kong had the right idea after all, as he pounded his chest with his fists. Manga explains that one of the quickest ways to get a boost on energy is to tap on your sternum as this helps stimulate your thymus gland. “According to energy medicine, the thymus gland controls the life energy of your body and is vital for your immune system function,” she adds. To get the best benefit, you need to be completely relaxed.

Place your feet shoulder-width apart. (Men should stand parallel, while women should stand with feet splayed out at a 45 degree angle). Make sure your weight is centred on the balls of your feet, rather than your heels. Make a loose fist and start tapping on the middle of your chest. The first tap should be firm, pausing for a second, followed by two lighter taps. This should create a drumming sound in your chest, as the vibration of your sternum will help improve your thymus gland. You need to breathe naturally throughout. This can be done morning or night, and Manga says that you should ideally follow a minimum of 20 sets, taking between three to five minutes per day. “Done every day this will help improve your wellbeing.”

Keep Moving

Humans are designed to keep moving, explains ergonomic expert Malte Lenkiet, of the Dauphin HumanDesign Group in Germany. As adults, we should spend up to 60 percent of our day sitting, 30 percent walking, and 10 percent standing, but this doesn’t happen. He explains that the average person sits for 13 hours a day, which is not what our spines were designed to do. “Look to the youth. They cannot sit still for long and even when they do sit they constantly shift around. Our bodies are not genetically designed to stay still,” he adds.

This sedentary nature we have acclimatised to has resulted in poor posture, especially when you’re seated, inhibiting our bodies. “You need to move in your chair, as movement supplies nutrients to your spine, and increases your blood circulation and the supply of oxygen, which in turn will increase your vitality,” he says. Ashburner agrees. He adds that poor posture affects the efficiency of your body and your energy levels. “When sitting, bend forward in your seat and then wiggle your bottom back as far as possible before sitting up. The back support of your chair allows your spine to relax in its optimum position. When standing, grab hold of your hair and pull until it hurts. You should be standing a good 5cm taller than normal, and this is your optimal posture,” he says.

Determining Who You Are

Metabolic typing, says Bulatov, is an analysis that can be performed by homeopaths. The examination is done by observation, questions and a few tests to determine your own unique eating plan, supplements and exercise. “Each person is different from the other. Metabolic typing gives us the knowledge and tools to determine who exactly you are and how to treat you,” Bulatov explains. There are three basic metabolic types: carbohydrate, protein and mixed. However, these can have subtypes and additional characteristics that need to be considered. “Once the analysis is complete, all pieces of the puzzle are there. The designed lifestyle programme creates amazing changes within a few days to a few weeks and re-assessment is done every few weeks or months.” Bulatov adds that this is one of the most effective strategies he knows for long-lasting vitality.

Sip From Nature’s Nectar

Feeling a dip of energy mid-afternoon? Maybe you should count how many glasses of water you’ve had during the day. We know you should ideally be drinking eight glasses of water daily for our general health and wellbeing, but did you know that keeping up your fluid intake will ensure that you keep the pep in your step? “We are made of approximately 67 percent of water,” explains Ashburner. “Poor hydration inhibits normal physiology functions of the nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and your circulatory and lymphatic systems.” All of these, when properly hydrated, will raise your energy levels.

Be Social

“Feeling energetic is key to feeling happy. Studies show that when you feel energetic, you feel much better about yourself. On the other hand, when you feel exhausted, tasks that would ordinarily make you happy can make you feel overwhelmed and blue,” explains author of the Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin. “Talk to your friends. I’ve noticed that if I’m feeling low, and then run into a friend, I walk away feeling much more energetic. Reach out if you need that boost,” she says.

Ashburner agrees and recommends that a healthy dose of laughter will go a long way to boosting flagging energy levels. “Recognise the impact that negative emotions have on your energy levels and find safe, healthy outlets to express your emotions,” he says. “Find a reason to laugh and enjoy an aspect of every day. Laughter really is the best medicine.”


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