Our world is full of energy thieves. Excessive noise, environmental poisons in our air, water, food, chemicals we come in contact with to which (often unbeknownst to us) we may be sensitive or allergic, eating junk foods, even changes in the weather. All these things can drain us of energy.
A well functioning immune system is dependent on your body’s ability to clear itself of the destructive chemicals we encounter every day in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink - even from the plastics we store or microwave our foods in. Here are just a few of the energy-stealing environmental hazards the body has to clear, if you are to sustain high levels of energy and to resist illness and premature aging:
cadmium and lead in cigarette smoke
mercury from fillings in teeth
aluminium from anti-perspirants, pots and pans and antacids
lead solder from canned foods
oestrogens from oral contraceptives and HRT
non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug contaminated foods
solvents like formaldehyde, acetone and toluene
pesticides and herbicides: DDT, DDB, dioxins, halogenates like PCB and PCP which act as oestrogen mimics and screw up our reproductive systems
A major issue in energy-making is to keep your body clean - inside and out. This way you help protect yourself from the damage which toxic substances in our environment can cause.
To guard itself, your body stores much of the damaging waste it picks up in your tissues - particularly in fat cells. Any kind of stored waste or toxicity suppresses vitality and immunity.
heavy work for your liver
The organ at the center of clearing the body of environmental pollutants is the liver. When your liver is working well and is not overburdened with potentially destructive elements, your body remains clean, your immune system is free to function well, and your energy levels can soar. When the liver is not working well, neither is the immune system. The liver, which manufactures important biochemical factors the immune system needs, helps produce lymph, and plays an important part in clearing the blood of cellular rubbish, yeast, bacteria, and other negative micro organisms. Good liver function is central to an experience of high energy. Damage to the liver and poor liver function is invariably present when someone has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Epstein Barr Virus, as it is when there is an overgrowth of Candida albicans. When your liver is poorly functioning all sorts of problems show up - many of them symptoms for which the average doctor has no explanation and no safe effective treatment for: depression, confusion, constant fatigue, numbness in hands and feet, headaches, aches and pains, sweating, and impaired function of the nervous system.
Any good practitioner of natural medicine will tell you: at the core of every person with chronic low energy is an over-taxed, under-functioning liver. Experts often refer to it as a sluggish liver or a congested liver. Unfortunately a sluggish or congested liver can be tough to identify using standard medical tests, which examine serum bilirubin and other things like GGTP, LDH and AST. Often physical damage to the liver has occurred before poor functioning of the liver shows up in these tests. Nutritionally orientated doctors prefer therefore to measure serum bile and to establish how quickly your liver clears a specific substance in order to determine how well your liver really is working, long before serious damage has taken place. If you are chronically tired, with or without such tests you can be pretty sure you need to take steps to protect your body from pollutants as much as possible and give your liver some extra support to do its job well. Here’s how:
environmental protection & liver support
If you use paints or solvents always wear a mask
If you smoke, stop; if others around you do stay away from them.
Always chose biodegradable cleaning products and forget the chlorine bleaches.
Avoid as many environmental pollutants as possible.
Don’t cook foods in plastic containers in a microwave.
Explore having the amalgam fillings in your mouth replaced with safer alternatives.
Stay away from all drugs - prescription and otherwise - unless they are absolutely necessary.
Exercise moderately but regularly - long walks are a great way to energize liver functions.
Grow your own foods in the garden organically and go on a 2 day fresh juice fast or fruit fast, or a 10 day high raw regime every three months.
look after your liver
For lasting energy, this is a must. Without a top notch liver it will always elude you.
How do you get your liver to function well? Follow the guidelines above. Also, avoid drinking alcohol so long as your energies are depleted or unstable.
Even once your energy has been restored, it is a good idea to be careful about how much alcohol you consume. It is better to take alcohol in small quantities only and periodically rather than every day. If you really value a high energy way of life you might consider replacing it altogether with other things you enjoy - like dancing for instance, or laughing, or making love. When you do drink alcohol, support your liver using the special liver helpers listed below. They can also be useful in improving sluggish liver function while energy levels are still low.
natural liver support
Take anti-oxidant nutrients: a good multi-vitamin supplement taken for several weeks or months can help the liver more easily handle the elimination of toxicity and heavy metals.
Try milk thistle: this plant (Silybum marianum) is rich in bioflavinoid compounds with powerful protective and anti-oxidant properties - many times more powerful than Vitamin C and Vitamin E. A supplement of clean milk thistle enhances detoxification, increases the liver's capacity to neutralize and detoxify harmful chemicals and heavy metals and protect the body’s natural anti-oxidant enzymes from damage. Nutritionally orientated doctors recommend between 80-200 mg of milk thistle three times a day.
Use lipotrophic agents: compounds such as choline, betaine, l-methionine, and l-cysteine are known as lipotrophic agents - that is they help promote the flow of bile and the breakdown of fats in the body. Lipotrophics increase the levels of a couple of important liver elements - S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and glutathione - a super detoxifier and protector from free radical damage. They are used to treat lots of liver disorders - from cirrhosis and chemically caused liver damage, to hepatitis - naturally.
Exercise regularly: moving the body gets a good flow of blood through the liver and activates its functioning. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it will make an enormous difference to how your body functions.
under the weather
Next time you feel out of sorts and somebody suggests it might be the weather, don't scoff. Weather changes can also steal our energy. Age old beliefs that "ill winds" bring sickness, odd behavior and general misery have been well supported by studies from all over the world correlating the presence of a high level of positively charged ions in the air, or an absence of negatively charged ions, with such phenomena as increased suicide rates, crimes and various illnesses including migraine, rheumatism, and nausea. This can be the result of ill winds blowing such as the Foehn in the Alps, the Sharav in the Middle East or the Chinook in America's Rocky Mountains. Our modern concrete office buildings, furnished with synthetic materials and artificial air-conditioning, also lack negatively charged air ions. If you work in such an environment, speak to your boss about how much he can decrease absenteeism amongst his employees by installing air purifiers and ionizers.
light up for energy
Light matters for energy too. When you don’t get enough full-spectrum UV light entering the eyes in winter or when you are constantly indoors, some people experience big drops in levels of melatonin - an important brain hormone which regulates our body clocks and influences our moods. This can lead to a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Your energy seems to drain away and you get depressed, or suffer disturbances in sleep and appetite. The remedy? Try exposing yourself to plenty of full spectrum light artificially, if it is too gloomy to get under the real sun. Next time you replace a lighting fixture in your home or buy a desk lamp, go for one which uses full spectrum tubes. If you suffer greatly from light deprivation consider buying a full-spectrum light box. Studies have shown that exposing SAD sufferers to full spectrum light by having them sit in front of a light box for several hours a day lifted the spirits of 60 to 80% of the people tested.
heavy metals and hard work
There are other environmental energy thieves to be wary of, such as heavy metals like lead, aluminum, and mercury from amalgam fillings. Office pollution, too, can be a real problem, and a hard one to solve sometimes unless you can make your employer aware of how employee performance can be greatly improved by providing a clean work environment. Here is a brief guide to the environmentally-based energy thieves.
Caused by static from electrical appliances,
computer screens, TV, radio and mobile phones, microwave ovens, electrical dial-face clocks. Symptoms include mental and emotional confusion
and hormonal imbalance
Don’t sleep under an electric blanket.
Unplug the TV in the room in which you sleep. Sit at least 3 feet away
from a computer screenand 6 feet from your TV. Give away your microwave oven.
Heavy metal pollution: ie from lead,
aluminum, mercury, cadmium
Cooking with aluminum pots, drinking orange
juice packaged in aluminum lined boxes, using certain antiperspirants.
Mercury from tinned tuna and amalgam dental fillings. Cadmium from
instant/non-organic coffee and other crops grown on contaminated soils.
Heavy metals interfere with energy producing enzymes in the body leading
to fatigue as well as mental and physical disorders
Replace aluminum cooking pots/kettles.
Drink spring water such as Volvic. Use sea algae supplements and add
seaweed to soups and salads to chelate and eliminate the metals. Eat
apples (pectin helps bind and remove heavy metals from the body).
Unusual winds and shifting barometric
pressure cause depletion in negative ions resulting in depression,
fatigue, irritable behavior. Lack of adequate UV light, such as during
the winter, causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Use an ionizer in the room in which
you work and by your bed at night. Consider full-spectrum lighting.
Concrete buildings, plastic furniture,
and synthetic decor deplete negative ions. Stale air recycled through
conditioning and heating systems contains bacteria which challenge
the immune system. Fluorescent lighting disturbs the nervous system, photocopier and printer chemicals cause allergic
reactions. General office pollution symptoms: fatigue, headaches,
irritated eyes, skin rashes.
Use ionizers and replace fluorescent
strip lights with full spectrum ones. Keep photocopiers and printers
in a room separate from the one in which you work. Take a break from
your computer screen for a few minutes every hour. Use radiation control screens.