Over one million Americans live with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a frustrating, complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity and does not improve with rest.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is far more than just being tired. Those affected can get so run down that it interferes with their ability to function in day to day activities; some become severely disabled and even bedridden. In addition to extreme fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome encompasses a wide range of symptoms including, but not limited to, persistent headaches, throat irritation, flu-like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, poor sleep quality, and chronic muscle and joint pain.
The cause of CFS has not been identified, but factors such as hormones, viruses, elevated stress or a compromised immune system are thought to be contributors. Despite no cure, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can give sufferers the relief they need to improve their quality of life. Treatments help you avoid getting sick as often, reduce recovery time, improve your energy and stamina, soothe emotions, and enliven the mind.
According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, a condition known as Damp-Heat may be the culprit. Symptoms of Damp-Heat include fatigue, a general feeling of heaviness throughout the body, sore throat, dull headache, decline in mental acuity, and thirst.
An unhealthy spleen produces excess dampness that disrupts the proper metabolism of fluids and stops vital nutrients from entering the cells. The condition known as Dampness is highly viscous and as it clumps together heat tends to build up. Treatment typically includes points on the Large Intestine and Spleen meridians that will clear heat and tonify the spleen.
Once the spleen starts functioning properly, it naturally clears dampness from the body, ensuring the proper flow of Qi to the head, which clears up muddled thinking and brings clarity to the mind. Limbs feel more fluid and easier to move without dampness obstructing their movements. As food metabolism improves and the cells become stronger, fatigue lessens and the quality of sleep improves. As heat leaves, symptoms such as sore throat and muscle pain subside.
If you feel fatigued without an obvious reason, or currently have a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, call today to see what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!
STUDY FINDS ACUPUNCTURE BENEFICIAL FOR CFS
A 2017 meta-analysis, titled “A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” revealed encouraging news for patients suffering from symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Published in the Journal of Acupuncture Research”, the study found that acupuncture treatment can significantly alleviate fatigue and pain.
Researchers evaluated the effectiveness and safety of using acupuncture therapy to treat fatigue in CFS patients. In this analysis, researchers scoured through 15 medical databases worldwide, specifically choosing studies that tested acupuncture as a lone treatment. Ultimately, 11 randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) were chosen, which included a total of 869 participants. Of the 11 RCTs, 9 were compared with sham acupuncture; the remaining 2 were compared to a wait-list group and medication group.
Researchers were able to evaluate the efficacy of treatment by observing several medical tools that were employed during the various trials. To evaluate the symptoms of chronic fatigue, the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) was used. This is a self-survey given to patients before and after treatment so there is an accurate measurement of symptoms on record.
Other self-survey tools included the Stress Response Inventory (SRI) and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). The SRI measures a patient’s emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and somatic responses. The ISI rates the level of sleep quality for each patient.
The acupuncture point selection for the real acupuncture treatments varied across the trials–a total of 21 acupoints were used. It was noted that a point on the stomach meridian, the path that energy traverses, was the most highly utilized. The urinary bladder was the most frequently treated meridian.
It was determined that real acupuncture treatments, when compared to sham acupuncture, did significantly alleviate fatigue, reduce levels of pain, improve quality of life, and positively affect mood.
The study concluded with researchers affirming the outstanding results acupuncture plays in reducing extreme tiredness and alleviating pain for patients suffering from CFS. Acupuncture was also noted for its safety, with no serious side effects reported.
The practice of meditation is a proven stress reducer that can help you overcome anxieties, agitation, and habitual thought patterns. To meditate, create a quiet, relaxing environment with comforting items around you.
Sit upright with legs folded, or on a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Breathe easy and freely. Relax your shoulders and gently place your hands on your knees or in your lap.
Tuck your chin in slightly and keep your eyes half open. Your gaze should softly focus downward, about four to six feet in front. Keep mouth slightly open.
Focus on your breathing. Try belly-breathing from the navel. Don’t accentuate or alter the way you are breathing, just let your attention rest on the flow of your breath.
The goal is to allow the chattering in your mind to gradually fade away. If you’re distracted by a thought, gently bring your mind back to your breathing.
Continue to focus on your breathing for 10 or 15 minutes. Stay relaxed, yet awake and attentive.
Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself. Meditating for even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect.
IN THIS ISSUE
Get Relief from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Study Finds Acupuncture Beneficial for CFS
Minimize Stress with Meditation
Self Acupressure for Pain Relief
SELF ACUPRESSURE FOR PAIN RELIEF
These simple and effective methods of acupressure can be safely used to alleviate chronic pain.
As always, when engaging in self-acupressure, find a comfortable position before beginning. Take a minute or two for focused deep breathing to ease into a peaceful state.
for Headache Relief
You can find the Head Corner point on your hairline, roughly in the area just above the end of your eyebrows. If there’s not much hair to judge by, take your best guess. If you imagine your head as a square, the points are at the corners.
Apply gentle pressure in a circular motion with the pads of your three middle fingers. Gradually increase the pressure if needed.
In addition to alleviating headaches, rubbing here can soothe tired eyes and alleviate nausea.
to Open Sinuses
This point is nestled very close to the nose, at its base, just off to the sides. It is well-known for its ability to open up the sinuses.
Try experimenting here with your fingertips by delicately pulling the skin towards your ears, or in a slightly upward direction.
The free flow of air can help reduce chronic headaches induce a calming effect by allowing you to deep breathe through your nose.
Union Valley to Move Qi
This point is located near the thumb and is a highly effective point when addressing any kind of pain.
To locate, put the thumb and first finger in a position where they are straight but touching each other. The fleshy mound between the two should be visible to the eye and easily located.
Apply steady, strong pressure with your opposite thumb, as you make tiny, circular motions.
Commanding Middle Point
for Back Pain
This point is conveniently located at the back of the knee, in the center, right where it bends. Use your thumbs to press with moderate to strong pressure.
Circular motions or directly pressing this area can help bring relief to chronic lower backache and the pain associated with osteoarthritis.