Energy Tips from Quiet Austin
Energy is a hot topic these days, there are hundreds of energy drinks, though none better than water. Lots of alternative therapies to build your energy, balance your energy, calm your energy. Acupuncture is a popular alternative therapy and energy workers seem to be popping up on every corner. We all know when our energy is low and when it is abundant. But what is this energy we value so highly? Different cultures have a lot of words for the energy of the human body such as prana and chi. There is talk of chakras and auras, but really this brings us no closer to understanding our body’s energy and how it works. We can directly feel an increase of energy by briskly rubbing our palms together and experiencing that heat that creates. But human energy like the paths of the wind remains an elusive subject.
Here is what we do know, energy travels around the human body through many sources. Nerve fibers of course are the most obvious, but energy also travels on breath, awareness and fluids. That is why a lot of exertion will leave us winded or the attention of someone we find attractive will bring a flush of energy to our faces. This is also why it is absolutely crucial to not be dehydrated. Almost all of the “energy” drinks on the market require energy to digest or to process the indigestible ingredients. If you find yourself fatigued or mentally cloudy the most effective way to deal with the immediate situation is to slowly sip a large glass of room temperature water. Our body also uses energy to cool off ice water as it integrates into our systems. The energy elevating benefits of clean filtered water go way beyond just drinking a glass of water though. You can use water to build your energy in a more long term way.
If you are one of the many people lucky enough to live near a natural springs like Barton Springs in Austin, Texas or EcoFina Springs in Northwest Florida you know that jumping into cold water is instantly energizing. But for the many people who do not have access to a natural spring you can still benefit from this cold water energy building phenomenon in several ways. The first is to filter your shower water so that your skin is not absorbing so many impurities. Then when you shower keep the water at a comfortable lukewarm temperature until the very end. At the end of your shower turn the water to complete cold and let it run over your face for a few moments. Do this for a month or so and then take it up a notch by ending the shower with sixty seconds of cold water all over your body. Do this for a month or so then you can kick it up another notch by first taking a lukewarm shower then running hot water just over your spine increasing circulation around the spine, the major highway of our nervous system which is our energy system. Then at the very end let cold water run over your whole body for sixty seconds drawing this increased circulation into your fingers and toes. This process will strengthen your circulatory system which increases your energy levels.
If this sounds too extreme for you, you can reap a lot of the same benefits by alternating between ice cold and hot foot baths. The alternating temperatures create a vascular pump which draws circulation all through your tired legs. The connection between the energy of the body and dehydration is really not that mysterious. Imagine how a flower begins to droop when it is not watered. Now your head may not hang as low as that flower but the exact same drooping is happening when you are dehydrated. Drink up and shower smart and your energy increases. It’s really that simple and you’re worth it!
- Signe Wendt, Yoga Therapist