Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or CFS) is characterized by the feeling of excessive fatigue that weighs a person down in their day-to-day life – regardless of how much sleep or rest they may get. It presents fatigue in various forms from physical pain to psychiatric conditions like depression, and this can affect a person’s overall quality of life.
CFS also presents immunologic disturbances as well, pointing to symptoms of allergies and rashes in many patients. Recent controlled studies also present documented abnormalities in endocrine function as being a consistent factor, such as the reduced production of the corticotrophin-releasing hormone in the hypothalamus.
Who does CFS affect most?
Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with CFS than men are.
The age group that suffers from CFS are generally between 25-45 years old – although childhood and middle age cases do exist.
How do symptoms present themselves?
Symptoms are sudden and often feel like an intensified version of the flu – but in fact, it’s your body’s reaction to acute stress. Unbearable exhaustion presents itself thereafter, leading into other symptoms like body aches, muscle tension, and tender lymph nodes. This later manifests into disturbed sleep, difficulty concentrating and depression.
How can acupuncture help?
In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) there are various acupressure points that can relieve CFS symptoms. Even if you do not have a formal diagnosis, when you have a session with an acupuncturist, they will determine if you have one or more of the following deficiencies that are associated with CFS based on the symptoms you present them with and what they can observe. They deficiencies include:
- Spleen Qi and Yang Deficiency – associated with a slow or weak heart rate, poor appetite, high acid production, bloating, and loose stools and diarrhea.
- Liver Qi stagnation or disharmony in the Stomach – associated with physical and mental fatigue, chest tightness, frequent urination, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and bitter taste in the mouth.
- Heart Qi or Blood/Yin Deficiency – associated with heart palpitations, irritability due to fatigue, disorientation, night sweats, hot flashes and insomnia.
- Kidney Qi and Yang Deficiency – Lower back pain, weak knees, shortness of breath, impotence in men, irregular menses in women and feelings of cold.
All four of these deficiencies have overlapping symptoms that match the symptoms of CFS. Acupuncture seeks to relieve the areas of the body that are in need of rehabilitation to address the greater issue at hand. With a reduction in some of the more pressing symptoms, this makes room for you to progress into having the ability to manage all of your symptoms effectively.