Every living thing has a life force: energy or Qi. That life force can be supplemented or depleted during a life span.
Plants need nutrients, sun, water and clean air to survive. They have a limited ability to acquire what they need by reaching out with their roots and leaves. Animals have more leeway to forage. As humans we have the same needs but more choices. But too many choices aren’t always beneficial. Wild plants and animals won’t survive unless they take advantage of the best nature has to offer. In general, we humans aren’t as smart.
Plants that aren’t healthy are attacked by disease or bugs. Wild animals that aren’t healthy are pushed out of their group because weak animals attract predators and deplete resources necessary for the hunters and young of the group to survive.
As humans, our survival instincts are no longer honed by the ever-present struggle for hunting and foraging for food. Staying fit no longer equates to being a strong hunter or gatherer and therefore an asset to our tribe. As the definition of a productive member of society has shifted and acquiring basic needs no longer determined by peak physical health, our inner sense of how to care for ourselves has become elusive. Partaking in foods, activities or living and working in environments that drain our life force no longer consciously triggers warning signs. Subconsciously though, making detrimental choices sets the bells and whistles off, creating chronic physical stress in our bodies which in turn contributes to chronic emotional stress, discontent and anxiety. Chronic stress is one of the things that deplete our life force.
For humans strong life force is evident with robust health, energy, creativity, positive mood and longevity. What consciously registers is that people with a strong life force are more attractive to other people. This natural attraction is a response to basic instincts. Hanging out with the strongest, healthiest people used to be the best way to survive.
Here’s a list of what increases your life force and what depletes it.
Increases Life Force:
Clean water filtered to remove chlorine and other toxic chemicals.
Organic vegetables preferably a wide variety of 5-10 types of different textures and colors, consumed three times per day. These provide a rich source of vitamins and minerals essential to give us energy, emotional stability and detoxify our bodies. Vegetables also help us digest our food, break down scar tissue and stabilize blood sugar. When we make vegetables half our food intake, they alkalize our bodies creating a hostile environment for harmful bacteria, viruses, fungus/yeast, and cancer cells. Also, vegetables provide the fiber and nutrients we need to detoxify our bodies and prevent constipation. They enable us to grow mentally and physically, stay active, young, and strong, and help our bodies heal at an accelerated rate.
Small amounts of fresh organic fruits provide live enzymes to help digest our food. Too much fruit, like any other forms of sweeteners, can impair health.
Organic protein three times per day is essential for mental acuity, stabilizing blood sugar, providing energy, regenerating our tissues, including our muscles and joints.
Starches the type and amounts, if eaten at all, depend on the individual. Grains provide some beneficial vitamin B components, but can also be difficult to digest causing weight gain and constipation. Yams, sweet potatoes and winter squashes are just as filling but easier to digest than grains. People who are very physically active or have fast metabolisms need more starches than those who are sedate.
Good oils include organic animal fats, organic olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, VERY small amounts of nuts, or nut butters. How much of each depends on the individual. If you have a history of breast lumps, tumors, cysts, fibroids, diabetes, gall bladder problems, respiratory issues, including chronic mucous and phlegm, it’s an indication you aren’t breaking down the fats you ingest. On the other hand a fat free diet is detrimental to your health. Good fats are essential for brain development and function, help to prevent dementia, stabilize blood sugar and weight, and are the building blocks for hormones: the communication network between our glands and organs. Many people need the help of a Holistic practitioner to regain the ability to break down fats and prevent future health problems and disease.
Organic Fermented Vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles are beneficial when made in a salt-water brine. The live culture feeds our gut flora. Our gut flora determines our mood, mental acuity, immune system and weight. Gut flora is now considered to be one of the most important aspects of over all health and key in avoiding life threatening super viruses, staph, strep, and other infections. Cultured vegetables must be refrigerated, to be effective, and in glass containers, as opposed to plastic. If they are in the non-refrigerated sections of the store all the live culture, and therefore any health benefits, have been destroyed. They are less expensive and more effective than probiotics. The recommended adult dose is a tablespoon of cultured vegetables, or a shot of brine three times per day. You can mix the brine with water and use the vegetables to flavor your food after it’s cooked.
Daily Exercise Stretching tones the body for optimal function, which also alleviates pain.
Cardio vascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs. Weight bearing exercise increases bone mass. And exercise that involves pumping the arms and legs, such as walking, facilitates lymph circulation throughout our body to filter and remove toxins.
Adequate sleep This is necessary to give the mind and body a rest and “re-boot” as with a computer. It also repairs DNA.
Short-term stress such as a new experience, or a mental or physical challenge is beneficial because it kicks in the healing gene sequence to restore DNA. Chronic stress can damage DNA.
Sunshine is a good source of Vitamin D, though not the only one. Deep-water fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut, and pure fish oil supplements are other good sources. However, food sources or supplements don’t replace spending time outside. Vitamin D supplements should be whole food as opposed to synthetic, which can be harmful. If vitamin labels show the exact milligrams they contain it means they’re synthetic and should be avoided. When blood tests indicate low vitamin D levels it means there’s a problem with assimilation of D and possibly calcium. A Holistic health care practitioner should be consulted.
Interaction with other people: family, friends, community.
Meditation, Yoga, Thai Qi, Acupuncture, Prayer or other means of achieving an Alpha State Studies show the body heals at an accelerated rate when in an Alpha State.
Helping others. Studies show helping others enhances the quality of life, which in turn enhances life force.
Decreases Life Force: Regular use of the following:
Tap water containing chlorine and other chemicals; distilled waters, which leach minerals from our bodies
Chemicals in food, cleaning products, toiletries, beauty products, laundry products, lawn-care products, perfumes and other chemically scented products.
Pesticides and herbicides on non-organic fruits and vegetables If you have to use non-organic wash them off well with a chemical free vegetable wash, or chemical free dish soap. Pesticides and herbicides are oil based so rain won’t wash them off. Just rinsing them with water doesn’t work to remove the toxins. Be aware that you aren’t getting a fraction of the vitamins and minerals eating non-organic that you would eating organic produce.
GMO FOODS Viruses and bacteria are used to transport the DNA of one species into another to create GMO crops. There’s been no FDA testing to determine the hazards of GMO foods. With the rapid increase of super virtues and lethal staph and strep infections one has to wonder if GMO foods are a contributing factor.
Non-organic or non-free range meats, poultry, dairy and eggs contain huge amounts of antibiotics, which destroy your gut flora. Eating antibiotics regularly in your food sets you up for antibiotic resistant bacteria infections and super viruses including flu. Life threatening staph infections and super flu are becoming increasingly more prevalent because of all the antibiotics people ingest with non-organic proteins. Non-organic or non-free range meats and poultry also contain artificial female hormones to make animals fatter, make cows produce more milk, and chickens produce more eggs. Artificial female hormones have been proven to cause cancer, AND THEY’RE STILL PUTTING IT IN OUR FOOD.
And if you’re eating non-organic meats or poultry you’re getting concentrated amounts of pesticides and herbicides in the animal fats where toxins are stored. When eating non-organic protein, you’re eating what the animals are eating, which includes the chemicals their tainted food. You ingest more pesticides and herbicides than you would by eating non-organic vegetables that haven’t been washed off with soap. You’re also ingesting these concentrated toxins in dairy products and eggs that aren’t organic.
Farmed as opposed to wild fish and seafood
Sweets, fruit juices and alcohol The latest nutritional research shows sweeteners, in all forms including fruit juice, but excluding Stevia, is a major contributing factor to heart attacks, stokes, Alzheimers and cancer. Alcohol is just condensed sugar and therefore even harder on your body than various types of sugar. Sorry folks, this includes red wine.
Artificial Sweeteners are extremely addictive and cross the brain blood barrier causing neurological disorders.
Dairy In this country dairy is a dead food. The live enzymes that help us digest it, and most of the vitamins and minerals, have been cooked out of it during the pasteurization process, to extend the shelf life. It’s very difficult to digest and causes digestive problems. It can contribute to nausea, including morning sickness. Dairy can create phlegm, which not only causes respiratory problems but can also contribute to the growth of cysts, polyps, fibroids, and tumors, which in traditional Chinese Medicine are all considered to be congealed phlegm. Non-organic dairy contains concentrated amounts of pesticides, herbicides, artificial female hormones and antibiotics. Yes, this includes butter and yogurt. The few probiotics added to yogurt after they’ve killed off the beneficial live culture doesn’t negate the harmful effects of this type of dairy.
Wheat causes insulin insensitivity, which can cause fatigue, weight gain and be a major contributing factor in diabetes.
Corn causes insulin insensitivity in most people.
Caffeine, except minimal use in organic forms.
A fat-free diet We need good fats. They feed the brain, which is mostly fat; so good fats help prevent dementia. Good fats are the building blocks for hormones, which enables the glands to communicate with each other and the rest of our body so everything functions properly.
Hydrogenated Oils Oils that have been heated and compressed; as in the production of plastics. This process prolongs shelf life, but also produces a harmful substance we can’t digest.
A sedate life style Strengthening our muscles and tendons keeps us in alignment and prevents back and neck pain. Stretching pumps the nutrients needed into the muscles and joints to insure mobility and prevent pain. Movement stimulates the Qi (the vital energy in our bodies) essential to blood circulation. Blood nourishes our organs and tissues to keep them healthy. Exercise stabilizes and enhances our energy and emotions.
Chronic Stress damages DNA
Isolation Not interacting with others on a regular basis.
Purposely harming others
Plants and animals don’t have as much say in their personal well-being. But you and I have any number of choices we can make on a daily basis. Our life force is like a big ball we’re pushing along life’s path. Sometimes it’s easier to move forward. Other times the ball gets away from us and rolls backwards. Getting the ball rolling in the right direction can take some effort but once done, it becomes easier and you have more incentive to maintain the forward momentum. Your life force is determined by your daily choices, hour by hour, minute by minute.
So here’s the challenge: for two weeks, see what you can do to enhance your life force. In one week you should see a difference. In two weeks amazing things can happen.
May the Force be With You.
(Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
Health & Happiness,
Nancy Burton, L.Ac. (Licensed Acupuncturist) and Health Coach
For help with your health issues call 541-646-0134 for an appointment.