Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized as an excessive tiredness and fatigue. It’s considered a complex disorder because it cannot be explained by a specific medical condition. Physical and mental activity can worsen this condition while rest doesn’t seem to make things better either. So how can one tackle this? Here is a little more information about the cause and effects of CFS and how acupuncture can play a key role in addressing symptoms.
While there is very little to explain the cause of CFS, there are many theories that point to a combination of factors like viral infections, digestive malabsorption, the impacts of psychological stress on the immune system, and the exertion and malfunctioning of our adrenal glands.
Over time, stress truly takes a toll on our body. Our adrenal glands are responsible for producing a variety of hormones and steroids like adrenalin, aldosterone, and cortisol that kick in when we need them in order to handle stress. However, continual exertion and stress cause imbalances that affect…
- The production of corticosteroid levels — these are vitally important hormones that control our sleep/waking cycle, regulate our blood pressure, help to aid inflammation in the body, and generate energy from non-carbohydrate food intake.
- The production of mineralocorticoids — these regulate our fluid and mineral excretion that is directly related to our energy levels.
- The medulla — an area of the adrenal glands that secretes adrenalin, norepinephrine, and dopamine neurotransmitters that contribute to our stress response. They can have an effect on digestion, awareness, and blood flow to the brain and muscles.
The effects of CFS can vary person-to-person. It’s mostly known for fatigue and excessive tiredness which can also present symptoms like:
- Memory loss
- Trouble concentrating
- Sore throats
- Unexplained muscle pain
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
- Headaches (different types ranging in severity)
- Unrefreshing sleep (waking up tired)
- Extreme exhaustion that lasts more than 24h
How acupuncture can help
Traditional drug treatments for CFS include antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs and so on. They unfortunately only suppress symptoms but do not actually relieve the body on a deeper level. Acupuncture works to refresh and reset your internal body. Since the adrenal glands sit above the kidneys and have a profound effect on kidney function, acupuncture treatments focus on the deficiency of Qi in the Kidney and Spleen meridians that are concerned with this region of the body. A deficiency of Qi can be found in any of the other meridians in the body, like for instance, the Lung and Liver meridians as well. There is usually not just one deficiency that connects to CFS, which is why patients always have a thorough assessment before treatment begins.
Additionally, releasing stagnation and blockages in all imbalanced meridians helps to improve blood flow to induce relaxation, address the sleep/wake cycle (for better sleep) and provide a deep and strong treatment to remedy pressing CFS symptoms. Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your health background, your acupuncturist may recommend herbs such as energizers like ginseng or Echinacea that can help to increase immune responses.
Moxibustion, a technique in which a herb is burned over specific acupuncture points, may also be recommended in addition to regular acupuncture to increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Other ways to make a treatment effective may include lifestyle changes and dietary changes.
Acupuncture is an excellent way to get a hold of CFS and improve symptoms. Maintenance of your body and mind will bring it into a state of healing and equilibrium so you can enjoy a far better quality of life! Are you suffering from any of these symptoms? Make an appointment with us today.