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Health, Dr. Mao, Santa Monica

Dr. Mao's Wellness Living: Quick Tips To Improve Your Energy

Dr. Mao Shing Ni
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Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Posted Jan. 29, 2012, 1:06 am

Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist

As winter progresses, people may find themselves with less and less energy, leaving them feeling tired and less able to enjoy their days. In nature, winter is the time to slow down and rest. Although we do not need to hibernate, people also need to remember to slow down their daily lives along with the season. Some people may feel more energized with an extra hour of sleep, while others might need more. Here are a few tips to help you sleep better, so you can increase your energy, be more active, and feel better this winter.

Make Sleep A Priority

It is important to start out with the idea of giving yourself permission to take the time for an extra nap or an earlier bedtime. At first, taking extra time for sleep may seem unimaginable due to your busy schedule. However, it is important to focus on your health and make it just as much of a priority as everything else on your to-do list. Remember that without adequate rest it will be hard to accomplish other activities in your life. Put your sleeping times on your calendar and set an alarm to remind you when it’s time to get ready for bed.

Relax Your Brain

If you find yourself lying awake and unable to shut off your brain, try to write down all your thoughts and emotions each night before bed to help clear your mind. Write down any tasks, frustrations, or feelings, and when you’re done, tear up the paper and throw it away or burn it. If there are things you want to make sure to remember for the next day, write those down separately. Then you can head to bed with a clear and easy mind.

Create An Energy Boosting Meal Plan

Water is essential for properly flushing the system and hydrating the cells to prevent buildup of toxic waste products. Drink at least eight glasses of room-temperature water every day. Remember your breakfast, and always make it a nutritious one including high-quality protein like eggs, fish, or beans. Lunch is also important and should consist of vegetables and chicken or other protein, but stay away from starchy or fatty foods. These will only leave you feeling tired and groggy after you eat. Eat light and have dinner early in the evening to give your body time to digest the food before you head to bed.

Eating a snack at mid-morning and another in the mid-afternoon will help you to sustain your energy and prevent low blood sugar from setting in. Nuts, seeds, fruits, or a healthy dip like hummus are good choices and will keep you from reaching for a bag of chips or a candy bar.

Have A Daily Renewal

Having a program of daily renewal is like sharpening your ax every day so that you are able to work more effectively and feel more energized. While weekend spa treatments and yearly wellness retreats are refreshing and reinvigorating, their benefits are often short-lived unless you implement a sustainable daily program that reinforces their overall energy.

Take time every day to do the one activity that always makes you feel good and have more energy, be it walking, doing tai chi, eating a bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables, soaking and massaging your feet, listening to classical music, or sitting and meditating. You will be rewarded with more energy and a better outlook.

Guard Your Energy Bank

In Chinese Medicine, the abdomen is considered the storehouse of the body’s essence and energy. You are well advised to carefully guard your energy bank from potential robbers, which can include the weather, dietary abuses, insufficient sleep, and exhausting physical labor. Keeping the abdomen warm and protected is believed to have important health and longevity benefits. To replenish your energy bank, regularly apply warm and soothing treatments to your abdomen, such as hot water bottles, abdominal wraps soaked in rejuvenating herbal solutions, or pouches containing similar herbs. My Chinese formula, Abundant Energy, helps to support and stimulate your digestion to improve nutrient absorption and increase your energy and vitality through natural herbs, such as Japanese Apricot Fruit. Keeping your energy bank full will allow you to carry on every day with your busy schedule without suffering from exhaustion.

May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!

Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has appeared regularly on “Dr. Oz,” “The Doctors,” and “EXTRA.” Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to also founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit

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