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July/August 2006

Build and Balance Your Energy

by Dr. Grey R. Larison Ph.D. and Dr. Irving C. Marcus OMD

Everyone wants to have enough energy to enjoy the activities of life without suffering from unwanted fatigue and pain. And yet, today, so many people seem to be chronically fatigued and feel that their life is out of balance. So, how do you build your energy reserves and keep in balance?

Good energy starts with good food. The food that we eat is the source of all physical energy and the better quality food we eat, the more energy we will have for our daily activities. Avoid processed foods and foods with lots of sugar. Also avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs because these all steal energy from your system. Focus on consuming fresh, clean, whole foods that are picked ripe and eat them as shortly after picking as possible. Shop in the outer isles of your local supermarket where you find the fresh dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meats and fish, or at local organic farm markets. Make preparing meals with these fresh foods a family event - a time to talk and share one of life’s simple pleasures.

Regular exercise builds energy. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, bicycling and swimming will make you stronger and more energetic all day long. It will also help improve the quality of your sleep at night. Getting the blood circulating with exercise moves nutrients and oxygen around to all the tissues and organs of the body, so that they can function more energetically. Even if you haven’t exercised for years, just start a 30-minute program today. You will feel much better and be more energized next week!

Complementary medicine offers many avenues to balance one’s physical and mental energy. Balancing one’s physical energy is the goal of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to TCM, “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) is the animating power that flows through all living things. When the energy becomes blocked or stagnated, it creates an imbalance or pain. This is your body’s way of telling you that something is out of balance. In well-balanced individuals, Qi flows smoothly in a specific pattern in the body. Acupuncture promotes the movement of the body’s energy to remove these blockages and create harmonious flow and balance for the individual.

A second technology that can be used to balance one’s mental and emotional energy is Neurofeedback (or EEG Biofeedback) which trains your brain to be more flexible, resilient and capable of moving energy into those brainwave frequencies needed for the task-at-hand. For example, if you need to be very focused and using your critical thinking skills, the energy needs to shift into the higher beta range of brainwave activity. If it is time to go to bed, that energy needs to drop down into delta (sleep) EEG frequencies. When we are mentally out-of-balance, we get “stuck” in a specific brainwave band. With Neurofeedback, you can train your brain to make those energy shifts much more easily and keep your cognitive life in balance.

Being and staying “in balance” is a modern day mantra. We can relate it to almost any aspect of life. When in balance we feel and are at our best. So make
being in balance your goal.

Irving C. Marcus OMD is a member of Saint Mary’s Wege Institute for Mind Body & Spirit since fall of 2000. Irv is a California trained practitioner of Chinese Medicine and a Nationally Board Certified Acupuncturist. In his twelve years of general practice, the most rewarding part of his work is educating people to learn that they have the power to heal themselves.

Dr. Grey R. Larison, Ph.D. is a Neuropsychologist with thirty years experience working with children and adults. He is a partner of Neurotherapy Associates of West Michigan and practices EEG Biofeedback at the Wege Institute for the Mind, Body and Spirit in Grand Rapids (616) 752-5214.

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