Feeling less than zippy? Get your chi flowing with these methods.
I recently read a wonderful definition of the life force known as chi. It’s from Santa Monica-based Dr. Mao Shing Ni, a doctor of Chinese medicine. “Chi travels and circulates through the channels of our bodies, similar to the way water flows in a riverbed.” In a riverbed. I enjoy envisioning my life force, coursing through my body, sinuous, like a cold stream in Alaska rushing over smooth stones. But when chi gets blocked or slowed down, we feel less than energized. Chi can be blocked by illness, emotions, and poor habits, according to Chinese medicine. For this week’s Healthy Habit, let’s look at some simple ways to get that inner tide rushing again.
- Declutter. According to the International Feng Shui Guild, clutter represents heavy, stagnant chi energy, which will hold us back from fulfilling our life’s purpose. Addressing the home’s surroundings can be a first step for other positive, energetic moves in money, career, and relationships. Take control of clutter, and if you can’t, invest in some help from a professional, such as a personal organizer, a cleaning service, a feng shui expert or a therapist.
- Edit that calendar. Being too lonely can stress the body, but too much social whirl can be draining. Build in at least 15 minutes a day of nurturing “alone time” into the schedule for rest, contemplation and restoration. Focus on friendships with positive people and say no to places and hobbies that make you feel down, instead of recharged.
- Belly breathing. Shallow breathing won’t give you as much energizing oxygen into the blood. Explore deep breathing by lying on the floor or a bed and put the palm of your hand on your belly. As you inhale, note how the hand and belly both rise. Focusing on the out breath, totally empty the lungs before breathing back in again.
- Check the pantry. Out goes foods that have been processed, as well as those containing too much sugar and artificial ingredients. In goes whole grain foods such as oats, as well as seaweeds, fermented foods and organic, fresh fruits and vegetables. For protein, try tofu, nuts, fish, seeds and beans, rather than red meat and eggs.
- Drop out. The Bach Centre, which promotes the Bach flower remedy system, recommends olive for tiredness and exhaustion after exertion, and hornbeam for weariness before action, such as when facing the day. Dilute two drops into water such as a mineral water, and sip.
Just like in our bodies, clogged chi can have negative consequences. Try these five ways to help unblock your home's chi.