Who doesn’t want more energy? It’s like the elusive fountain of youth, for which a large number of people seek. While some enjoy stable energy throughout their entire day, it is quite common for people to have certain times of day where their energy is lacking. Sometimes the chronology can be a clue in and of itself. To rob someone of their energy is to rob someone of their health. Productivity, happiness, employment, exercise, and so many other things, require sufficient energy to accomplish.
One of the cardinal signs of aging is decreased energy production by our cells. The mitochondria in our cells are in charge of producing fuel for energy. We rely on them for keeping our levels going. There are several key factors that play a significant role in the energy production of our cells. If we are to maintain a vibrant life, we must safeguard our mitochondria and our cell membranes. While we could go on for many pages about the various influencers on your body’s energy, I am choosing to speak on only a select few areas which are poorly understood, or rarely known by most of the patients that we see.
PEMF – let’s start our discussion on energy by talking about exciting new devices that induce cellular energy or exercise. While most of these devices will not give you the instant surge of energy that you may get from a Monster drink, they will improve the energy production of your cells by increasing ATP output. This is a powerful concept that can help your body heal faster. If your body can heal and overcome other afflictions, your overall energy will improve as your body dedicates more resources toward the necessary production. PEMF devices come in many shapes and sizes, and they also come with various output powers and price tags. If you are looking for a home unit that you will be able to use on an ongoing basis, then a low to medium output device should suffice. Be ready to spend between $700 -$2,000 on a quality machine that will last you for many years.
THYROID & ADRENAL HEALTH – you will never reach optimal energy production if your thyroid and adrenals are out of whack. Your thyroid is literally your ongoing energy producer. It controls the metabolism of your body, and it delivers its powerful message to nearly every cell in the body. That is why low thyroid function can present in so many different ways – fatigue, hair loss, constipation, depression, and more. While traditional doctors tend to put anyone with low thyroid markers on hormone replacement therapy, they may be missing an underlying cause. These glands do not become dysfunctional by themselves – there is always something driving the reaction. Some common issues include blood sugar dysregulation, infections, chronic stress, or trauma. A quality workup of these important glands should include at least four or five tests for the various functions of the thyroid, and a daily rhythm cortisol test requiring four samples for the adrenal glands. Work closely with a functional medicine practitioner to figure out what might be impeding your adrenals and thyroid.
DIET – most of you reading this article already know that diet plays a crucial role in energy production and maintenance, but I would be remiss if I didn’t include this in our short list. Some pearls I have picked up about energy from diet have been very helpful. For example, food sensitivities may be one factor affecting your energy. Even those eating a healthy diet, may have mild immune sensitivities to those foods. This immune reaction may lead to fatigue or malaise. An elimination diet or food sensitivity testing can be helpful in revealing the culprits. I also believe that those with sugar and carb cravings are suffering from poor energy production by their cells, so their body is begging for the fastest source of energy possible. This can be drastically improved by controlling one’s blood sugar. In general, you should seek foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories. Proper timing of your meals, and not skipping meals, is extremely important.
If you’ve ever let your blood sugar go too low, you know that your energy will immediately suffer. As your levels continue to decline, it will affect your brain and other vital organs, so your body does its best to control your blood sugar in a narrow range. You can make this job a lot easier by including the proper balance of protein, fat, and fiber in each of your meals. Eating a good healthy breakfast is the key to starting your day off right. Proper control of blood sugar will eliminate cravings, and ensure that your energy production is more consistent throughout the day.
OZONE – many of you are raising your eyebrows right now and wondering how the ozone layer could affect your energy. Well, I’m referring to concentrated molecule of oxygen known as ozone. It is three atoms of oxygen bound together, and when it is introduced into the body, it releases the oxygen and helps your body deliver more oxygen to the surrounding tissue. This is key in driving your metabolism and ensuring proper healing and recovery of damaged tissue. Check www.aaot.us to find an expert in Ozone therapies near you.
SLEEP – while it seems obvious that sleep is a primary player in your energy throughout the day, it is surprising how few people actually sleep well, and can report a full restful night of sleeping. Perhaps we know it is important, but we are not taking the proper steps to ensure our sleep is optimal. Entire books have been written on this topic, so I will focus on only a few factors that seem to be common for the general population.
- WIND DOWN – in our fast-paced world, wind down time is often neglected or ignored. So many people burn the candle at both ends, and push their bodies far into the night. Bright lights, heightened emotions, stress, excessive tasks, and other stimulating events can make it hard for the body to increase its natural hormones that prepare it for sleep. Try to avoid all of these things for the two hours prior to bedtime. This may require making some alterations in your home, curtains, lighting, decor, electrical appliances, etc…
- WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS – once the basics of sleep hygiene mentioned above are accomplished, some people still require additional help. There are many safe and natural alternatives to help you fall asleep and stay asleep better. Some of our favorites include controlled-release melatonin, 5HTP, Valerian, magnesium, and amino acids.
- TIMING – Most people are under the false assumption that as long as they get a certain number of hours for sleep, it doesn’t matter. This is simply not true. The best sleep is achieved when you go to bed around 9 or 10 PM
- BREATHING – if you haven’t learned how to do abdominal breathing yet, you owe it to yourself to spend some time on this. There are many videos on YouTube, or you can attend a class on meditation, yoga, tai chi, Chi gong, or others. This is a powerful way to get the body to relax, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and encourage deeper sleep.
- PEMF – see our section above for more information on PEMF. Certain PEMF devices are specifically designed to put out the frequencies that relax the mind and induce sleep. You may notice more restful sleep, more vivid dreams, or less snoring.
- MTHFR treatment.