Feeling run down seems to be the modern norm. Claims of ‘burn-out’ are thrown around like a badge of honour. But it really shouldn’t be like that.
If you’re tired all the time (TATT), lacking mental or physical energy or suffering from a constant low mood, it’s not something you just have to live with.
We spoke to Master Oh, a Korean energy specialist who brings Eastern healing to stressed out Westerners, to help them get a handle on their hectic lives. He believes that problems with your internal, fundamental energy – or ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chi’) ’ – is a big reason so many of us feel run down. We need to take care of our Qi and fix problems in order to feel whole, happy and able to cope with anything life throws at us.
Not taking care of yourself and demanding too much from your mind and body can make you feel low. But you can have low chi even if you’re taking care of yourself, which is why you can be eating well and exercising, keeping stress down and generally giving yourself a break, yet still feel shattered.
Master Oh explains it to me with a nice analogy:
“In Western terms, ‘Qi’ means vital energy. In my patients I see three different Qi problems – a shortage, a blockage, and an imbalance.
“We are born with a certain level of Qi. It is like your car battery and when this energy becomes low, it creates problems, physical and emotional.
He grins, “I recharge people’s battery.”
Symptoms of low Qi range from from fatigue, stress, anxiety and insomnia to depression, headaches, tension, and full blown burn-out.
Master Oh shared with us his top tips to boost your energy:
Start your day with a 10-minute meditation to clear and focus your mind. Make yourself peaceful and ready to deal with the day whatever it brings by making your mind positive and accepting.
Eat regularly and don’t snack on sugar to keep your energy levels steady.
Smile! This makes others happy, opens the energy pores on our face, attracting better luck and fortune for the day.
In the cold weather, keep your lower abdomen and the top of your head warm as these are two major energy centres. The lower abdomen is the location of the danjan, or human battery and supports the circulation of energy throughout the body.
Receive regular treatments to unblock the energy channels and boost the circulation of energy to create balance of body, mind and spirit.
The last of these, when everything else doesn’t work, is the energy healing that Master Oh does himself in his Central London clinic.
I went to visit him in the midst of the Winter Blues. I naturally slide towards the cynical side of life, but went with an open mind. After filling out a questionnaire about my mental and physical ailments, and what I was hoping to get out of the treatment, I sat down to talk things through with Master Oh.
He’s a very calm man, as you might expect, and smiles easily.
When he’s got an idea of your overall health and concerns, you lie face up on the bed and he, well, heals your energy.
It’s about as odd as it sounds. The major energy centres in the body are the abdomen, the forehead and the chest. Problems can be caused by anything from long term bad habits, to ancestral energy blockages that you’ve inherited (something else to blame your parents for).
The healing itself involves Master Oh placing his hands on you and pressing into pressure points. It feels strange to be massaged along lines on the body that aren’t usually massaged, and though not painful, at times it can be uncomfortable, particularly around the solar plexus and abdomen. By the end of the session, though, the discomfort disappears. Whether that’s the energy unblocking or something more terrestrial is for you to decide.
The personal stories of those Master Oh has helped are quite incredible, and he seems undaunted by the prospect of intervening when people are at their lowest ebb, often when they’ve tried myriad other treatments – medical and holistic.
I left the session feeling a tad dazed and gave myself permission to float round with no particular hurry for the rest of the day. Without having regular treatments it’s hard to see a real difference. But it’s definitely made me think more about my energy, and I’ll be sure not to let my battery run too low too often.
Find out more at masteroh.com.