● By Aimee Cormier
By Jessica Andrus
Spring is here in full force. The first sightings of azaleas and wisteria blossoming are sure to improve everybody’s mood. Dealing with the recent capricious winter has been physically draining, but now it’s time to welcome a brand-new beautiful season. It’s time to boost yourself up and increase your energy.
One way to get revved up when you are feeling drained is by sniffing some refreshing scents. The practice known as aromatherapy uses plants and essential oils to improve a person’s health, mood and cognitive well-being.
If you find yourself getting weary throughout your day, but don’t feel like grabbing another cup of coffee, get a whiff of a little bit of peppermint oil. Research shows peppermint triggers the trigeminal nerve in the brain, which stimulates and improves mental clarity while raising energy levels.
Several fragrances have the ability to relieve a bevy of health concerns. Peppermint can also soothe headache pain. The scent of green apples has been proven to curb your appetite. Citrus scents, like oranges, grapefruits and lemons can reduce stress and anxiety, thus bringing a boost to your attitude. Lavender is the reigning scent in producing a good night’s sleep.
“To kind of put things into perspective, acupuncture aligns everything,” explains local acupuncturist Lori Scott, who owns her clinic located at 221 N. Lewis St., in New Iberia.
Acupuncture is one of the main forms of treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. Along with the occasional use of herbs, sharp, thin needles are inserted into certain points of the body, known as acupoints. The process alters the body’s energy flow to produce healthier patterns.
Scott, a native of New Iberia, has been practicing acupuncture for 10 years in Abbeville and recently opened her office in New Iberia. She describes the practice as a system of medicine that uses 14 major meridians, or any of the pathways along which the body’s vital energy flows.
To assure her patients are properly treated, Scott asks a series of questions to determine what is happening within the meridians and within the system that relates to Qi—pronounced as “chi”—, an energy that flows in the meridians and carries information from one acupoint to the point of the body where the pain resides.
“I think most people should try acupuncture at least once,” explains Scott. “It’s supposed to be a preventative medicine so it can really benefit people who have a high level of stress within their day, which is almost everybody.”
Another practice you can adopt is exercising daily. The most well-rounded exercise regime includes cardio, weight training, weight bearing exercises and stretching. To get the most out of your stretching routine, try including yoga. Yoga includes breath control, simple meditation and bodily postures. The traditional spiritual Hindu exercise covers a range of physical, emotional and wellness issues, making it the perfect physical activity to increase your energy.
“When you clear your mind, you’re going to feel more energetic,” explains Evelyn Migues, who has been working as a yoga instructor for 20 years at the Cyr-Gates Community Center in the New Iberia City Park.
Migues explains that human beings are born with a particular level of vitality and as time passes, we lose that as it is replaced with stress, tension and anxiety—things the human body is not wired for.
“As the tension releases in the body,” Migues continues, “it releases natural energy. We’re kind of overloaded. Our senses are overloaded. When you move something out, your vitality that’s already there can blossom.”
Research finds that regular yoga exercises can boost your energy level. Migues explains a normal class offered at the community center covers all levels of yoga, whether you are just starting out or are an advanced yogi. Even those with limited mobility associated with back pain or other issues, can participate in and benefit from yoga.
“You’re not always limited by your mobility,” relates Migues.
Classes are currently being offered at the community center during the morning and on certain days in the evening. More information can be found at CityofNewIberia.com.
Food And Beverages
Another substantial part of operating at your maximum energy level is to have a complete diet. To conserve and gain energy, try eating light meals. Eating too much means your body uses most of its energy digesting. Start your day off with a breakfast consisting of whole grain foods, like cereal, and comparable sides, such as fruit and yogurt.
Limit your carbohydrates intake and opt for meals that are high in protein. Proteins can help regulate the power that releases energy throughout the body. Staying hydrated throughout the day is another way to keep the Sandman at bay. Drinking plenty of fluids will maintain the pep in your step. The recommended amount of water intake is eight glasses a day. If you need any sweetener or flavor added, try including sliced lemons or cucumbers. Eating watermelon also increases hydration.
Most Americans’ diets include a substantial amount of coffee. Caffeine is a convenient and trusted means of quickly increasing energy levels. Ingesting 300 milligrams of caffeine a day can let you reap its energy-boosting benefits. If you’re not much of a coffee fan, drinking black tea will give you the same results.
Laughter truly is the best medicine. It can increase happiness, strengthen your immune system as well as boost your energy. Physically, laughter decreases stress, elevates your immune system and the antibodies that fend off infections. Endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland, are released when you laugh.
With all these avenues available, spring looks like it will be great time to renew, revive and rejuvenate.