Before we even have a look at Traditional Chinese Medicine and how it can be used to combat fatigue, it’s quite important for you to understand what we really mean by fatigue. You might recall your middle school teacher clearly telling you that tiredness can simply be called fatigue. In as much as the two words are synonymous, we’re not referring to the type of tiredness you feel after a heavy day at work carrying out some manual labor or feeling mentally exhausted as a result of all the day’s office work. There is a certain type of fatigue that persists for periods of over 3 months and a good number of the population have found themselves prone to this weary monster.
Once the condition persists, one develops certain symptoms which can be categorized into somatic symptoms and psychological symptoms according to Zhubing Yuanhou Lun, a renowned tract about symptoms of diseases and etiology written during the Sui Dynasty. The somatic symptoms include knee pains, frequent headaches, a sense of heaviness, puffiness, muscle and joint pains. Psychological signs, on the other hand, are among restlessness, depression, anxiety, significant impairment in memory and concentration among others.
Once the condition develops with undisputed signs and symptoms, the patient can be said to be suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Western medicine has tried to come up with the means and treatment methods to address the signs. Nonetheless, most of these means end up worsening the condition for some as they have grievous side effects. TCM for treating fatigue contrarily has been effective not only in China but also around the world as more and more medical centers pick up the Traditional Chinese Medicine practices. It should be noted, nevertheless, that there is no documented record of Traditional Chinese Medicine recognized to cure fatigue.
What Does TCM Typically Do?
To understand how exactly TCM is used to effectively address fatigue, one needs a better and broader understanding of how Traditional Chinese Medicine works. TCM strongly believes that we as humans have a special connection to nature and uses the same principle to define and treat the human body. If there should be an imbalance in nature, we experience catastrophic problems such as floods, tsunamis and even earthquakes. Synonymously, if there is an imbalance in the human body, we are more prone to illnesses and attacks which we have little resistance over since our bodies aren’t in the right position to defend. The Chinese have then applied principles of Qi – the natural energy flowing through our bodies to better illustrate how their medicine works.
Qi is the energy force that brings everything into perfect harmony. When Qi is balanced in the body, we are in good physical condition. The vice versa holds, and the practice has proven unerring over the past 3000 years. The same knowledge and concepts of TCM have been used to address chronic fatigue.
Fighting Fatigue with Traditional Chinese Medicine
Now that you’ve understood the basic principles of Qi and how it applies to the human body and in TCM, we can now have a look at the different methods of TCM approaches that can be used to combat chronic fatigue. It’s however important to note that the results may not be instantaneous but may be manifested over a period of time. One should rest easy however since TCM for fatigue seeks to root out the source of the problem rather than simply cover up the symptoms.
Qi flows through certain channels referred to as meridians. Whenever the channel system experiences a blockage or an imbalance, we experience pain, discomfort or even prolonged illnesses like chronic fatigue. An acupuncture therapy directs needles to the energy points and streams thus opening up the energy flow. Acupuncture restores the natural flow of blood and energy by calming the yang energy (fast and hot energy derived from physical or energetic force), as well as stimulating the yin energy (the slow and cold force that comes from deep breathing, meditation and rest)
Use of Herbs
The goodness with Traditional Chinese Herbs for treating fatigue is that they haven’t been known to cause any side effects unlike most forms of Western chemical medication. They don’t alter the normal body functioning but only work to encourage the body’s natural healing process. Research on TCM for treating fatigue has been done on herbs such as Ginseng which has been found to have promising anti-fatigue properties. Crude drugs such as Angelica roots and Aatalpol have also proven beneficial in nourishing yin hence addressing fatigue. That said, it’s important to consult a qualified practitioner before trying to be your self-appointed doctor in Chinese herbs.
You obviously have encountered Tai Chi in a number of the Hollywood films we’ve become so accustomed to. Tai Chi in its most basic form seeks to restore a rested mental state as well as align the body with the energy flow. Tai Chi is just one among many Qigong practices that can be used as TCM for treating fatigue. The movements align the body fluids with directed breathing and mindful meditation; the result – have you had a look at those ancient monks who age like fine wine and supposedly never visit a doctor? Well, that’s a state I’d personally want to achieve on a daily basis. Your practitioner could show you some of these moves which you can try out at home or even direct you to Qigong classes.
Diet & Rest
There is a reason why Traditional Chinese Medicine is often termed as an alternative treatment form or otherwise a holistic curing system. It does not seek to add anything to your body, neither does it aim to take away anything. In other words, it believes you have the power to self-heal yourself and you just need a little activation. That’s why a proper diet and sufficient rest is recommended as a TCM method for addressing fatigue. Negative inputs such as alcohol and cigarettes are greatly discouraged here if one is to achieve a perfect body state.
There You Have It!
See! Traditional Chinese Medicine in treating fatigue isn’t that sophisticated now, is it? Try to wrap your head around the mentioned methods and should you need further consultation, we will be most elated to offer you our valued support. Cheers to Traditional Chinese Medicine for treating fatigue and general wellness.