Just as hunger is a sign you need to refuel, fatigue is your body asking you to rest because of low energy reserves. The problem in our hectic modern day lives is that rather than listening to what our body is telling us, we tend to override it with caffeine, sugar and stimulants to help us get through the day.
What’s fascinating is that tiredness is an energetic sensation – and in Chinese Medicine the time of day that you experience fatigue is key to pin pointing the cause.
What is Fatigue?
Fatigue is a sign of imbalance, which is led by the organs. In Chinese Medicine we have an organ clock that represents the time of the day when each organ is functioning optimally and has the most energy. So the time of day you tend to feel tired will point to a particular organ deficiency or imbalance.
If you are tired in the morning, this is linked to your digestion.
If out of balance, symptoms that may arise include acid reflux, stomach ulcer, bad breath and a muzzy head.
The spleen extracts nutrients from food, transforms it into energy and transports it to other organ systems. Imbalances may show up as loose stools, bloating after meals, craving sweets, and low energy.
If the fatigue hits you around lunchtime, this is linked in Chinese Medicine to your cardiovascular system.
*1-3pm Small Intestine
Afternoon fatigue points to your kidneys and bladder.
*3-5pm Urinary Bladder
This is a time of the day when you can feel a dip in energy levels, especially if you are not well-hydrated. This is why we traditionally take tea at this time of day.
Dark circles under your eyes are a sign of Kidney depletion.
Some people just feel exhausted all day long. This could obviously point to any number of medical issues so please speak to your GP if you are concerned. In Chinese Medicine this signposts to all of your organs being deficient and imbalanced – and we’d say you need to support them all!
Why does stress make us more tired?
When we get stressed the body takes blood flow away from peripheral organs – such as skin – to provide muscles with energy. This makes us look and feel tired.
The stress response also has a knock-on effect on the kidneys – the energy batteries of our body. If not allowed to rest, they will in turn get stressed. This contributes to deterioration and general lowering of energy levels as you age.
How the Hayo’u Method can help
Fatigue is a sign of imbalance within your body. Strengthening the organs which are weak and need support will help restore that balance.
We need to boost your energy levels in exactly the same way we’d eat to satisfy hunger pangs.
The energy that fuels your body comes from the food you eat and the air you breathe. If those processes are not working well, you’ll become low on energy. Poor digestion often makes you feel tired right after meals, because your body is diverting all your energy into digesting what you’ve eaten.
So proper breathing, digestion and good energy flow around the body are all crucial to keep your energy levels up. Most of us can’t go off and lie down in an office as in Asia (where they recognise the importance of this!)
Which is where the Hayo’u Method comes in. You can practice our one-minute rituals anywhere and anytime to help your body’s energy levels.
If you always seem to get tired at a specific time of day, this is when you should be practising our rituals.
The two rituals below in particular will help to combat daytime fatigue:
Rescue Breath Ritual
Improve your breathing in just one-minute. The single most effective way to reduce your stress levels is to take conscious, deep, abdominal breaths. By moving your awareness out of your head and into your breath, your heart rate slows, your mind is calmed, and your blood oxygenated.
Deep breathing engages your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your bodies ‘rest’ mode.
Learn the Rescue Breath Ritual here.
This simple technique supports the circulation system which helps the heart and the blood. Regular exercise releases endorphins which counteract anxiety, so limiting cortisol.
Focus on drumming your kidney area to directly support the adrenals by oxygenating the area and unblocking Qi stagnation. It’s widely believed that twisting supports the kidneys and adrenals.
Learn the Reset Ritual here
Stop doing any exercise which produces cortisol – like running, gym, boxing etc. Take gentle exercise instead, outside if at all possible. Natural light affects the pineal gland and will help reset your brains stress response. Walking, swimming and Pilates are all fantastic, relaxing workouts which don’t stress your body further.
Beauty Restorer Ritual
Tired isn’t a good look – but because organs are energetically depleted, when we are low on energy the body will take reserves of blood and Qi (our vital energy) and direct them inwards away from the skin to prioritise vital organs.
The Beauty Restorer ritual activates acupressure points in your face. These acupressure points stimulate the meridian channels which link directly to the organs in our body. Activating these points directly supports our organs and internal health. This has the double benefit of supporting the organs whilst the Gua sha technique simultaneously draws qi and blood back into your face, limiting the detrimental effect on your looks.
Learn the Beauty Restorer Ritual.
In the evening, have a long soak with our bath minerals and practise an extended version of our Rescue Breath Ritual. Potent ingredients including Himalayan pink salts supercharge the water to relieve stress.
The combination of water, deep breathing and the bath minerals will help reduce anxiety levels and switch your nervous system into its rest phase.
A final tip – get some quality sleep; According to Chinese Medicine, your body gets rid of toxins while you sleep. If you’re not getting enough rest, those toxins will accumulate in your body, causing stagnation and fatigue. So follow your bath with our Body Restorer ritual to send you off into a blissful dreamless sleep.
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Disclaimer: Gua Sha is a treatment designed to relieve muscular pain and tension and improve circulation. Results vary according to age, strength of body, skin type and medical conditions. If you are under the age of 16 and over the age of 60 or suffering specific medical conditions we do not recommend using the Body Restorer. At no point should treatment feel painful. Always start gently, observing the reaction to your skin and proceed with caution. If in any doubt, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or seek medical advice. This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.
Breathing, inflammation and the vagus nerve
Assessment of the Effects of Pranayama/Alternate Nostril Breathing on the Parasympathetic Nervous System in Young Adults.
Anant Narayan Sinha – Published 2013 in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
Gua sha and microcirculation
Gua Sha and Weight Loss
Effects of GUASHA on Heart Rate Variability in Healthy Male Volunteers under Normal Condition and Weightlifters after Weightlifting Training Sessions
GUASHA therapy could facilitate the parasympathetic nervous activity and modulate the balance between parasympathetic and sympathetic activities