Most of us are not necessarily conscious of the fact that when we look at others, we observe their level of vitality and radiance, which is an indication of their Qi (pronounced Chee). I recently came across two women who had quite a bit in common. Both are brilliant, successful in their careers, hardworking, and living what appears to be an exceptional life. Their glow, however, seems to have been hijacked.  A gray, dull, pallor overshadowed their complexions.  Still beautiful in their own right, I would liken their effect to dried flowers as opposed to fresh flowers, which are moist and radiant.

When I was a student of Chinese Medicine, I learned that one of the most significant aspects of this healing modality is Qi. Qi is another name for life force, and it determines the strength and power of one’s constitution.  Your constitution is one’s overall level of health determined mostly by DNA, but is greatly influenced by lifestyle.  We are all born with a certain level of Qi and constitutional forbearance.  The amount of good Qi we have is often a reflection of our natural glow, our radiance, or lack thereof.

There are practices and ways of life that can increase, maintain, or deplete our glow.  One of the things that decrease Qi is life itself.  Qi is naturally leaked from our energy bank by living on this planet and going through life’s trials and tribulations.  However, we can and should make sure we’re doing what we can to either maintain or increase our life force.

When our glow has been sapped, it’s one of those things that makeup can’t hide. It has to be addressed from the inside out. The gray pallor is a reflection of an injured or depleted Qi.  There are numerous causes for a depleted Qi, most notably, it’s caused by a lifestyle that is out of kilter; a lifestyle of burning the candle at both ends and thereby exhausting the Qi.  For many successful women and men, the root cause of Qi depletion comes from excessive work hours, 60, 70-hour workweeks.  While there are some people who can maintain their Qi with this lifestyle, most cannot.

In addition to exhaustion, Qi depletion can also be exacerbated by poor diet, lack of exercise, not enough sleep, constant stress, an addiction, abusive relationship, or a major illness.

How’s your glow?  How would you rate your overall vitality, vim, and vigor? If you are not sure, one way to find out would be to consult with an acupuncturist.  Within minutes, an acupuncturist can tell from the pulses in your wrist, the color and texture of your tongue what needs to be addressed to unblock channels and get your Qi flowing.  Another great way to have your vitals assessed and treated is with Ayurveda treatments.   Often times, there is a dire need to rest, replenish and just be.  Of course, yoga, meditation, and breathing practices will also improve Qi. Make sure you are protecting and enhancing your Qi.