Over one million Americans live with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a frustrating, complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity and does not improve with rest.
Those affected can get so run down that it interferes with their ability to function in day to day activities; some become severely disabled and even bedridden. In addition to extreme fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome encompasses a wide range of symptoms including, but not limited to, persistent headaches, throat irritation, flu-like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, poor sleep quality, and chronic muscle and joint pain.
The cause of CFS has not been identified, but factors such as hormones, viruses, elevated stress or a compromised immune system are thought to be contributors. Despite no cure, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can give sufferers the relief they need to improve their quality of life. Treatments help you avoid getting sick as often, reduce recovery time, improve your energy and stamina, soothe emotions, and enliven the mind.
According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, a condition known as Damp-Heat may be the culprit. Symptoms of Damp-Heat include fatigue, a general feeling of heaviness throughout the body, sore throat, dull headache, decline in mental acuity, and thirst.
An unhealthy spleen produces excess dampness that disrupts the proper metabolism of fluids and stops vital nutrients from entering the cells. The condition known as Dampness is highly viscous and as it clumps together heat tends to build up. Treatment typically includes points on the Large Intestine and Spleen meridians that will clear heat and tonify the spleen. Utilizing points on the spleen meridian can increase the available energy of its related organ.
Once the Spleen starts functioning properly, it naturally clears dampness from the body, ensuring the proper flow of Qi to the head, which clears up muddled thinking and brings clarity to the mind. Limbs feel more fluid and easier to move without dampness obstructing their movements. As food metabolism improves and the cells become stronger, fatigue lessens and the quality of sleep improves.
Using a point on the large intestine meridian, near the elbow, releases pathological heat. As heat leaves, symptoms such as sore throat and muscle pain subside. The tongue will mirror what is happening inside the body, and thus change accordingly. The yellow will start to fade away and eventually give rise to a healthy pinkish color. The sticky or greasy coating will also disappear, to be replaced by a thin, clear veneer.
If you feel exhaustion comes on too quickly, without good reason, or if you currently have a diagnosis of CFS contact an acupuncturist today to schedule an appointment and to learn more about what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!
Acupuncture Found Effective for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (2018). HealthCMi. Retrieved from https://www.nccaom.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Acupuncture%20Found%20Effective%20for%20Chronic%20Fatigue%20Syndrome.pdf
St. John, M. Valskatgis, P. Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia—Treatment Protocols. New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes. Retrieved from https://theory.yinyanghouse.com/treatments/acupuncture_for_chronicfatigue
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360490
About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.