Can Chinese Medicine help chronic fatigue?
Article supplied by Mei Deng
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterised by prolonged fatigue associated with a wide range of accompanying symptoms. The clinical manifestation of CFS includes fatigue, difficulty concentrating, headaches, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle aches, joint aches, fever, difficulty sleeping, psychiatric problems (such as depression), allergies, abdominal cramps, weight loss or gain, rash, rapid pulse, chest pain, and night sweats.
For thousands of years, Chinese medicine practitioners have believed that blockages in the body's "life energy" — chi — are responsible for illness and disease. Acupuncture treatments seek to restore the natural flow of chi and return the body to harmony.
In Chinese medicine a typical diagnosis for chronic fatigue syndrome would involve kidney-adrenal exhaustion, spleen-stomach digestion deficiency, liver stagnation and blockage, and then a disturbed spirit. An overtaxation of one's vital energy resources. Treatment with Chinese medicine would involve trying to resolve those issues.
I have been treating chronic fatigue syndrome with Acupuncture including chinese herbal medicine, cupping and moxabustion for more than 20 years. I have seen it work. I devise an individualized program for each patient balancing the body and raising energy levels. CFS patients feel after undergoing an acupuncture treatment, an enhanced immune system allowing them to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep every night is a key factor for faster recovery from CRF. It's all about raising the vital energy.
After your body is balanced, good sleep, nutrition and gentle exercise will also be introduced according to the patient's ability to handle and maintain this. Happiness is also very important to help maintain the balance and not deplete vital energy.
Case Study 1
A 51 year old lady came in with right shoulder pain she'd had for three weeks. She has been unwell for many years. She was extremely tired combined with persistent headache and very bad memory. She couldn't think clearly, had restless sleep, panic attacks and lots of other symptoms.
"I have been seeing Mei for regular treatments for a year, in which time my health has improved enormously. I first started seeing Mei because I had persistent, strong pain in my right shoulder. That pain went within 24 hours of my first treatment and has not returned.
I have been unwell for many years and have a variety of diagnosed and trackable conditions, including adrenal collapse, malabsorption of various vitamins and minerals, and other hormonal problems. Mei has treated me holistically. Since seeing her I have experienced better sleep, regular menstrual cycles, increased energy, much needed weight loss, better skin, freedom from depression and anxiety, few muscle spasms in my back and a better functioning digestive system.
I consider Mei's treatments as a fundamental contribution to my recovery to full health and an investment in my own future. I am now able to see her less frequently, but I intend to continue treatment on a monthly basis to maintain optimum wellness for my age."
Case Study 2
A 38 year old lady, physiotherapist, came in with 4 months of fatigue and persistent sore throat, acne and anxiety.
For 4 months I was struggling with symptoms of fatigue, heaviness and whole body exhaustion. It was a horrible time as I had just started a new job and had used up all my sick leave within the first 3 months. I had to limit my social life enormously as I needed to be in bed by 8pm and wasn't able to do normal exercise. I also developed anxiety due to the worry that I would never be well again and not able to lead a normal life. My GP wasn't able to help me so I decided to see Mei. In December 2009, I started seeing Mei twice a week and complimented her treatment by following her suggestion to spend time swimming and sitting with the sun on my back to bring natural energy in.
Mei's treatment was very gentle and gradual due to my sensitive system. Mei knew exactly what was needed to balance my system and has gradually upgraded her treatment. After a month of treatment, I could definitely see and feel an improvement. After 3 months of treatment, I was feeling more energised, was coping better with work, and was able to do more socially. I then reduced the treatment to once a week and then once every 2 weeks. Eventually Mei started a treatment called cupping. This has really made a huge difference not only to my energy levels but also to my skin. (Acne) This treatment in combination with the needles has helped me so much more than I could have hoped for!
After about 5 months I was able to reduce the treatment to once per month. I am now feeling absolutely fantastic! I have wonderful energy levels which I appreciate every day. I am so thankful to Mei. All the way through, she has been 100% reassuring and incredibly caring. She is not only incredibly knowledgeable but also extremely encouraging and positive. I will be ever grateful as I now am able to live life to the full again."
Tips to Help Fight Fatigue:
Include the following:
* Pasta, rice and whole-grain cereals and breads for complex carbohydrates
* Lean meat, fish, poultry and other high-protein foods
* Fruits and vegetables for vitamin C
* Salty foods (if low blood pressure is part of the diagnosis)
* Gentle exercise. Tai Chi. Meditation.
* Drink a lot of hot water and get sun every day
Cut Down or Avoid:
* Caffeine, especially near bedtime
* Alcohol - avoid all-together
More about Mei Deng