An Energizing Duo: The 2 Ancient Rituals That Fight Fatigue
Millions of people experience fatigue, and it often arrives with little to no warning.
Fatigue shows up in a range of ways, and while many sufferers are able to push through it, others struggle to find the motivation and strength to go through daily life. Fatigue is different from the normal tiredness that comes after nights with too little sleep because it actually causes physical and mental symptoms like inattentiveness, sullen mood, and slow reaction times.
The manifestations of fatigue can also include a sore throat, headaches, body aches and pains, dermatological symptoms, and weight gain. A body that is overly tired also has a higher risk of contracting illnesses and diseases like digestive disorders, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
If you're getting an appropriate amount of sleep and exercising regularly but still finding it exhausting to perform everyday activities, concentrate on tasks at hand, and become motivated to move, chronic fatigue may be to blame.
How TCM can help ease fatigue
TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine, is rooted in Asian culture and used by millions of people around the world. It is anchored in the belief that every person is connected to nature and the same patterns define the external environment and the human body. Over thousands of years of observation, the Chinese have used this complementary connection to develop an elaborate structure of diagnosis and healing. Based on the concept of "Qi" or Chi, an energy force that brings harmony and well-being, TCM principles say that interruptions in Qi are what cause most disease and illness, including chronic fatigue.
In Chinese Medicine, the body's energy has two main components: the yin and the yang. When fatigue strikes, it's typically caused by imbalances like a hyperactive yang with a non-nurturing yin flow. In order to address this and minimize the effects of fatigue, you need to restore your energy balance.
How to balance your energy using TCM
Medicinal herbs and acupuncture are two TCM treatment options that can help with fatigue. Chinese herbal remedies are some of the world's most sophisticated medicinal systems, but more so, the remedies are natural and provide a holistic treatment of ailments. Herbal support entails the use of plants, teas, and supplements that will increase energy and help reduce fatigue.
Acupuncture, on the other hand, is the most well-known Chinese medicine practice. Thin, hairlike needles are inserted into the skin into specific points in the body known as Qi meridians in order to tap one's energy field. Acupuncture can be used to stimulate energy as well as create calm. Because the process taps directly into the Qi's energy circuit, its results are said to be highly effective and rapid. Studies show that the treatment releases endorphins along with white blood cells and antibodies that increase the body's immunity.
Together, both Chinese medicine herbs and acupuncture create antibodies, which help in fighting disease. When used in tandem, these two methods of healing can reduce the harmful hormones that lead to stress and tension.
When discussing acupuncture as a treatment, William Michael Cargile, B.S., D.C., F.I.A.C.A., chairman of research for the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine said, "In short, it provides maximum benefits without the dangerous side effects associated with many of the approaches of conventional medicine."
It's important to recognize that Chinese medicine is not a guaranteed cure for all fatigue-related symptoms. Its success is dependent on how well a person takes professional advice and whether they supplement these treatments with exercise and a healthy diet.
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Scott Ling, LAc, M.A., Ph.D., received his Ph.D. in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture from Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, his Masters of Medicine from University of New South Wales, and a Bachelor of Medicine in Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine from the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is also a Registered Chinese Herbal Medicine Practitioner of the Chinese Medicine Registration Board (CMRB) and a Registered Acupuncturist of CMRB. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.