“I just can’t get my butt in gear to do anything!”
“I can hardly pry myself out of bed in the morning!”
“I’m just so tired all the time!”
Many people suffer from fatigue, whether they’ve been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or just feel they don’t have the energy they should. It’s finally spring and after a long, hard winter, many of us want to get outside and do stuff, but are having a hard time getting off the couch.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can be extremely helpful in treating fatigue. It’s important first to identify the cause, of which there can be many: chronic stress, overwork, chronic pain, poor sleep, depression, allergies or digestive issues, to name a few.
TCM seeks to treat the root cause of the condition, rather than just the symptoms, and each client is treated as an individual. For this reason, each client is given a thorough diagnosis regarding physical and emotional factors, as well as diet and lifestyle, and a tongue and pulse diagnosis. The treatment is then tailored not only to increase energy, but also to address the root cause of the tiredness.
In Chinese medicine, the body’s most basic energy is rooted in the kidneys. This energy is like our savings account and should be drawn upon only in emergencies. With overwork, stress and excessive busyness (i.e. running on empty), we draw upon our savings account (kidney energy) to keep ourselves going. This depletes us at a deep level and it can take a long time to build these reserves up again.
For this reason, I always ask my clients with fatigue if they’ve ever gone through a period of burn out (or are presently burning themselves out), as this can deplete them at such a basic level, it can affect them even years later.
Many people reach for coffee or sugar to keep them going when they’re tired. While this can make us feel more energetic short term, it actually further depletes our kidneys, forcing them to pump out energy that should be left in reserve.
Through acupuncture, often combined with Chinese herbs, the body can build up its reserves again. The entire body and mind is balanced, the flow of qi (energy) is restored and the whole system is strengthened. As well, TCM is amazing at reducing pain, restoring restful sleep, reducing stress, lifting depression, treating allergies and improving digestion.
My clients are often delighted to find, after a few treatments, that their motivation has come back. They find they have the energy to do the things they want to do and they feel lighter, more relaxed and more positive. And when they feel better, they’re more likely to make good diet and lifestyle choices, which only increases the feeling of well-being.
Jane Marshall, D. TCM, D. Ac, has been practising traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture for 16 years. Her office is located at 112 Front St. in downtown Wolfville. For more information, call 902-404-3374 or check out her website at janemarshallacupuncture.ca.