The Mayo Clinic describes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as a “complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.” It’s estimated that there are more than 200,000 cases of CFS in the U.S. and research has proven that acupuncture, combined with other treatments can help to alleviate the symptoms that come with CFS.
There are several factors that can impact the severity of the symptoms of CFS. Let’s take a look at just three symptoms of fatigue and how acupuncture can be effective at dealing with these issues.
It’s not a stretch of the imagination to recognize there are links between stress and fatigue. When we allow stress to build up over an extended period of time, our bodies will react to these situations and changes. Chronic stress can lead to both physical and mental exhaustion. And exhaustion can lead to a host of other issues like poor decision making, anxiety, and depression, just to name a few of the cascading issues that can come from chronic fatigue.
Everyone needs restful sleep to function at their highest level. Exercise and proper nutrition can help to set us up for good quality sleep but if we aren’t getting quality sleep, our bodies can become depleted. There are also behavioral modifications we can make to get better sleep such as getting more exercise and having a more balanced diet.
A common sign of fatigue in women has to do with hormonal issues either from their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause. Hormone related fatigue can be addressed with herbal formulas as well as acupuncture.
How Acupuncture Can Help
The most basic way that acupuncture begins to address the symptoms of fatigue is to look at the body’s balance of qi, or the life force of energy that flows throughout our bodies. If a person is deficient in qi, that is the primary cause of the fatigue.
Here’s what you can expect if you are looking to acupuncture to help with your fatigue. The first thing we will do is perform a thorough consultation and exam to determine the specific symptoms of fatigue that you are dealing with. We can then determine a course of treatment that might include addressing specific acupuncture points along the body, the use of Chinese herbal formulas in customized forms to address imbalances in your system, or even moxibustion.
And we have plenty of research to share about just how effective acupuncture is at dealing with fatigue. A 2018 study of patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome showed “significant improvement in both physical and mental fatigue among participants who received daily acupuncture over the course of 10 days.”
Acupuncture has also been proven to increase serotonin levels which helps to improve sleep as well as mood. It’s an effective drug-free treatment without the side effects often caused by prescription medications. Another study from 2015 found “chronic fatigue patients who were given acupuncture as a supplement to conventional treatment showed greater improvement over patients who did not receive acupuncture.”
Don’t let chronic fatigue keep you from facing your daily life. Give us a call today so we can help you put a treatment plan together to deal with the triggers causing your chronic fatigue.