Create Energy and StaminaCreate Energy and Stamina

By Dr. Mao Shing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., Ph.D, Dipl. C.H., ABAAP

Energy normally fluctuates according to daily rhythms that vary from person to person. In general, we have more energy in the morning and wind down toward the evening. However, many people suffer from chronic low energy; these people start the day tired and end the day tired. For most people, the decline in energy doesn’t happen overnight but sneaks up on them over time.

The foremost cause of low energy is stress. Coping with stress requires a lot of energy, leaving the average person completely drained. Poor diet is another contributing factor. Instead of eating foods that provide sustained energy, most people eat far too many foods that supply a rapid burst of energy in the form of simple sugars – that quickly burn out, leaving the body depleted. Another factor is the lack of exercise. Exercise helps us deal with daily stress, but without exercise, the body is depleted of its vital life-force energy or chi.

Energy equals quality of life. In Chinese medicine, chi refers to life force. The level and quality of a person’s chi defines how he or she feels. Chinese medicine recognized the concept of vital energy thousands of years ago and developed a full understanding of the essential functions and role of chi in health and wellness. Chinese medicine has produced effective ways to bolster energy, making use of exercise, foods, herbs and dietary supplements to help you tap into the energy within your being. Not only are you what you eat, but you are also when you eat. The human body follows a circadian rhythm, and because of this cycle, foods eaten at breakfast and lunch are processed differently than the same foods eaten at night. Start the day right with a breakfast that gives you the energy you need to function strong all day long. Studies show that when you eat your daily protein and fat at breakfast you tend to have more energy, but eating the same things at dinner tends to cause weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease.

You can turn the air you breathe into a remedy for fatigue. Citrus scents – grapefruit, lemon, lime and orange – have been shown to lift mood and increase energy. Other energizing aromas include orange bergamot, basil, rosemary, lemon balm, sandalwood, and peppermint. Use incense, scented candles or diffused essential oils in your home and office while tai chi and chi gong provide gentle stretching and flowing meditative exercises that can help you prolong your life and enjoy abundant energy.


Energy-boosting foods include beans and legumes, cherries and berries, chicken, fish, dark leafy greens, bitter melon, various mushrooms, nuts and seeds, squash, sweet potatoes or yams, whole grains, eggs, meat and chlorophyll-rich foods like barley-grass juice, chlorella, spirulina and wheatgrass juice.


  1. To give your energy a boost, try this Dao-In chi gong exercise:
  2. Take one of your heels and rub it against the sole of your other foot until you feel heat in the massaged foot. Them, reverse feet and repeat with the other heel.
  3. Rubbing the bottoms of your feet in this way activates a specific acupressure point for energy and vitality that is called Gushing Spring.
  4. Practice for five minutes on the right, and five minutes on the left.

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