Lethargy, this is an issue that I've yet to sit down and write proper. Many of us city people have it these days, why do we feel so lethargic? And how do we deal with it?
Firstly, how do we categorize lethargy? It has the following symptoms:
- Feeling tired despite more than 8 hours sleep
- Wake up feeling tired
- No energy to carry out simple daily work
- Brain functioning slowly = slow to react
- Don't feel like walking about
- Feeling hot or cold easily
- Feels like dozing off anywhere
- Feels tired or yawns easily
- Poor digestion
If you have 2 of the above symptoms, you have mild lethargy issue. If you have 4 and above, you have mid to serious case of lethargy issue. If you have all, then it's quite bad...
How do lethargy comes about?
Lethargy comes about in 3 main areas: Food, Stress, Overworking.
With food, when we over-consume cooling or heaty food, our spleen and stomach system will be weakened from needing to work extra to digest these extreme characteristics. In time, Dampness or Damp-heat will accumulate in the digestion system and lethargy comes.
If left on its own devices for a long time, the Damp and Damp-Heat can travel to the limbs and cause joint issues as well.
With stress, our body immune and usual functions are disrupted via our emotions, and if the stress is deep and long enough, the disruption can weaken the digestive system to a point that Damp and Damp-Heat starts to accumulate. And lethargy comes.
With overworking, many people binge on food or reduce their feed, adding onto the stress of the spleen and stomach functions, Damp and Damp-Heat comes, and lethargy comes.
How lethargy reflects our state of health
In the TCM perspective, wrong food and/or stress and/or overworking affect our state of Qi and blood. They'll in turn affect the state of our internal organ health, on how our body deal with the dead cells, emotions and food synergies.
Meaning, it will impair our body system from carrying out it's duty to keep us healthy, produce healthy cells and repair wear and tear internally, and critically, digest our food for use. Once our body got seriously impaired with its duty, our Qi and blood will be weakened.
And our internal organs start to weaken in domino effects.
With such domino effects and left unresolved, our body will display issues more than just lethargy e.g poor skin, poor libido, poor sex performance, poor temper, poor sleep, poor memory, poor toilet affairs etc.
This why as city people age, they feel more than just the simple tiredness, they also feel a whole host of issues from their total health.
How do we deal with lethargy?
Firstly, our state of mind.
In the TCM perspectives, over-thinking or thinking too much for anything in Life weakens the Spleen significantly. Spleen is the most important digestor of food, it converts food into the vital nutrients to be sent to the rest of the body.
When the spleen is weakened, a multitude of issues come.
City people are easily depressed by events in workplace and life these days, easily feel repressed or hopelessness. We're no longer in the warring WWII era, the overall stability of our environment provides actually a chance to be happy.
If we feel stress from work, we should know that everyone is the same, you are not alone, we are not alone. How about feeling abit of relief? How about spending the weekends doing happy things for yourself?
If the work is too much to handle, how about spending less and settle for a smaller job scope?
With a stable modern environment, we have choices. :)
Secondly, our diet.
Many people's health are poor from the wrong diet (eating to their fancy) or pandering to food fads, these affect our health tremendously. How do we know we're eating wrong?
By listening to our body signals.
When we eat certain food, do we feel good?
Do we feel better?
Do we feel worse?
Do we sleep better?
Do we have more energy?
When do it all start?
What food to take for us to feel better?
For the above questions, you can keep a Food Journal and record your daily meals (what exactly you ate) and snacks, then note down the body responses next day. This provides a good benchmark if our body likes certain food.
I used to do this to monitor my health. :)
Usually, extreme Cold and Heaty food cause issues to our health, what are they?
Cold = Fridge cold food, raw food, frozen food, kangkong, cabbage, radish, carrots, taogeh etc.
Heaty = Heavy spices and/or chilli, fried food, pan-fried food, BBQ, grilled, most snacks.
I find that city people tend to over or under exercise, either extreme is bad.
When we over-exercise, it impairs our Qi and blood, because our body worked too hard to recover itself from just a night of sleep. When we under-exercise, the Qi and blood circulation are impaired from the lack of meaningful movements.
So how much is too much or too little?
Start by strolling and the correct breathing techniques, I don't recommend Western exercises because it's often too stressful to our joints, Qi and blood. I've a few dearie gym hamster students whose health worsen with more exercise, and found the answer with us at Infinite Qigong®.
There are a few breathing techniques around, and some can be detrimental to our Qi and blood, for one, I don't recommend Dan-Tian breathing, or the Reverse Breathing. It actually cause more lethargy, and bloat up our tummy for most people.
What do Lethargy leads to?
Allowing lethargy to continue can lead to coughs, colds, flus that get more and more difficult to heal completely. Then dire chronic illnesses follows e.g Diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancers etc...
90% of the people who gotten the dire chronic illnesses reported years of lethargy prior. No one stable emotionally, reasonably energetic, happy and healthy gets the scary illnesses this way.
There has to be years of build-up before anything strikes.
By right, all humans should recover their energy after a night's sleep. Ifthis doesn't happen for a period of years, then we're up for health issues that can be difficult to reverse when the dire illnesses strike.
Never ever think that lethargy as a sign of aging, everyone can age easily without all the illnesses wrapping around them. I've seen alot of elderly happy and healthy, this is the right normal, we should aim for such end-stage of our life instead of surrendering to the wrong ideology.
Gosh, it's so difficult to be healthy!
Not at all, I'm here to help. :)