Tiredness, exhaustion and insomnia are some of the most common stress-related symptoms that affect our health, causing nervous fatigue brought on by continued stress. Our bodies naturally cope with short periods of anxiety or worry as long as we’re able to rest and recover afterwards - but how many of us have time to rest and fully recover?
Our adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. They secrete a number of hormones that help regulate the body including adrenaline which rapidly prepares our body to spring into action in stressful situations. When they become overworked they produce excess levels of cortisol as a reaction to the body’s fight or flight response. This prevents the adrenal glands from producing other hormones we need to live.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), adrenal fatigue is seen as a deficiency in the Kidney energy. Kidney energy or Kidney Chi gives us the impetus, willpower, stamina and strength needed to carry out our everyday activities. It is the catalyst for every energetic reaction in our body, when our Kidney Chi is low our whole body is starved of energy.
How we store and use our energy
Our kidneys are like a rechargeable battery... when a battery is being recharged it builds up a store of energy to be used later when needed. Similar to a battery, the stored energy in our kidneys is used throughout our everyday activities and recharged when we relax, rest and sleep.
When we feel tired but continue to push ourselves, we may have a coffee or other energy drink in the hope that it will give us more energy. This is only a temporary energy boost and instead depletes our energy stores even more. If we don’t take time out to restore and replenish our energy levels, over time our batteries become drained to the point where our body struggles to sustain us.
Exhaustion can cause difficulty sleeping as our internal battery has become so drained it has lost its storage capacity. It can’t hold an energy charge anymore, ending up with us feeling tired and unable to relax. The ability to relax and the ability to feel energised go together.
Recharge your batteries with rest and relaxation
When we hold tension in the body this is a sign of fatigue, while relaxation is a sign of good energy reserves. There are a few changes we can do to help ourselves in lowering our stress levels:
• Give yourself permission to rest more by taking time out in the day especially if you work long hours.
• Reduce the intake of stimulants such as coffee especially in the afternoon and sugar intake.
• Take the pressure off yourself to get things done in the day, there is always tomorrow.
• Ask for help and share chores at home.
• Practice moving meditation techniques such as Qigong or Tai Chi which is a series of slow movements working with the breath and helps cultivate and strengthen your own internal energy store.
• Gentle walking in nature helps decrease stress levels and helps ground us. When we allow our body to connect with the earth, we enhance our mental, physical and emotional well-being and create a more sound, clear way of thinking.
Balance and moderation in everything.
Listen to your body, if you feel tired... rest.
How Shiatsu can help
The causes of exhaustion and insomnia is different for each of us, receiving a Shiatsu treatment where emotions and symptoms can be explored in a safe and supportive way enables us to relax and allows the body to heal and let go of tension, blocked, stagnant and imbalanced energies.
I offer the time and space to explore what’s going on and bring healing to the mind, body and soul, allowing you to take control of your life and bring yourself into peace, ease and balance.