The human body is very forgiving. Think about all the ways we use our bodies. We lift and carry, workout and run, and push ourselves to the brink of exhaustion in many physical and emotional ways. Yet still, we rise the next morning to do the same things again and again. With a little rest and TLC, our bodies are ready to jump back into action and do the work we need to get done.

Have you given thought as to why or how the body recovers? It all comes down to energy. When we deeply rest or practice Qigong, the body constantly rebuilds its resources. But we want to be careful not to be on a constant cycle of use-deplete-repeat.

When the body is tired, it doesn’t have sufficient energy to complete new tasks. Exhaustion is the body’s way of letting you know that it’s depleted. If you continue to push, and feel as if you are “running on fumes”, you are asking the body to dip into its reserves. When we do this, we are using up our precious inheritance of Qi.

Your body has two sources of Qi: acquired and inherited. We can acquire new Qi daily through eating, sleeping, and Qigong practice. This is the Qi we use first, to complete all of our daily tasks. But when that tank is depleted, we dip into our inheritance, the gift we received at birth. This bank is not refreshed daily; therefore, we must use it wisely. Think of this the next time you gulp a caffeinated drink to stay awake or continue to work at your computer long past the point where your eyes are heavy.

Listen to your body. What messages is it sending you? Replenish your bank of acquired Qi daily to fuel your necessary tasks. If you are hungry, eat a healthy meal. Allow yourself time to rest—body and soul, to not only allow your muscles to recover, but to reconnect with yourself. When we listen to our body’s messages, we learn to put ourselves first. And when we truly know our own value and worth, amazing things are bound to happen.

Mind, Body, Spirit, TCM

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