Health & Medical Traditional Chinese medicine

Treating Fatigue With TCM

Fatigue is one of the most common problems I hear about in my practice.
Getting a good night's sleep is the basis of a healthy life.
However, no matter how much you sleep, if your "batteries don't get recharged" you will still feel tired all the time.
So what are the likely causes of fatigue? - Overwork - emotional factors - stress (yes, this is the number one reason) - a poor diet - a long illness - a lack of sleep (or going to bed too late, since sleep after midnight is less beneficial) - not enough exercise - too much sexual activity - many pregnancies - childbirth Tiredness has an uncanny way of starting out as an occasional situation that we assume will go away.
But if we don't pay attention, we risk damaging our body in the long run.
We also need to be attentive to secondary symptoms like muscle-ache, stiff neck, lower back pain, acid reflux, digestive problems, anxiety etc.
Lets try to identify the patterns that can develop over time.
'Tiredness' is very much a generic term.
It manifests in many different ways.
An important part of my diagnosis is to ask questions such as: - At what time of day is the tiredness worse - is it is felt in the head (muzziness etc.
) or body (weak limbs etc.
) - is it made worse by activity, eating, defecating etc.
, - is there an emotional component, with feelings of depression, anxiety etc.
, - do specific situations increase the feeling of tiredness (going to work, problematic relationships etc.
In TCM we have a number of ways of understanding fatigue.
For example we may see symptoms of: - Spleen Qi deficiency.
The person will say that his tiredness is worse after eating, especially after large meals, or after eating rich food or food which is heavy and difficult to digest.
He is quickly tired from mental activity requiring concentration.
He feels better when lying down, and better with rest.
- Kidney-Yang deficiency.
This pattern is often characterised by extreme and disabilitating fatigue.
Some people will speak of having low motivation, others will describe how they have to plan their activities carefully because their energy resources are so limited.
They will often feel temporarily better after a hot bath.
- Liver Qi Stagnation.
The fatigue experienced is typically one of "I can't be bothered", and is sometimes described as "that Monday morning feeling".
People with this pattern feel tired and stuck and often cannot see the broader view.
As a result they may lack flexibility and can tend to stick to one way of doing things.
It is characteristic of people with Liver-Qi Stagnation who feel tired that they will often say that they are irritated and annoyed by their tiredness.
They are able to find energy for activities which are personally important to them and which they enjoy, and once their energy is moving (with activity) they discover that more energy is available.
This way of thinking allows me, as a TCM practitioner, to develop specific treatments for my patients individually, with the goal of achieving balance and eliminating their fatigue totally over time.
For more TCM fatigue information visit me at http://www.

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