Chronic fatigue syndrome can have devastating effects on your quality of life, yet many people — including some medical professionals — don’t give the syndrome the attention and ”respect” they should, simply because the condition is so widely misunderstood. As a result, people who have chronic fatigue syndrome can have a hard time getting the treatment they need to relieve their symptoms. And sometimes, they can even find it difficult to find a sympathetic ear to talk to.
The problem with getting care
One of the biggest problems with chronic fatigue syndrome (or CFS) may be its name. Since it includes the word “fatigue,” it’s easy to confuse it with the everyday feelings of tiredness that follow a long day of work or strenuous physical activity. Even daily stressors can leave lots of us feeling tired or fatigued at the end of the day.
But CFS is about much more than just being tired. The fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome is a ceaseless, unremitting feeling of utter exhaustion, a deep fatigue that makes even simple activities seem like huge obstacles to overcome. And unlike normal feelings of tiredness that improve with a good night’s rest or a nice, long nap, the tiredness of CFS persists, no matter how much sleep we get. The end result is a chronic condition that affects both physical and emotional energy, each and every day.
Another major barrier to getting treatment: Medical professionals and researchers aren’t sure what causes CFS. Obviously, not knowing exactly what causes chronic fatigue syndrome makes it difficult to understand just what to do to relieve symptoms and help you get back to good health.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
Although the treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome may not be clear-cut, the criteria for being diagnosed with CFS are pretty simple: To be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, you must have had severe fatigue that’s lasted for at least six months, which cannot be explained by another underlying health problem. Other symptoms include:
- Diffuse muscle aches and pains
- Pain in the joints
- Problems with short-term memory
- Difficulty focusing and concentrating
- Sleep problems
- Tenderness in or around the lymph nodes
- Sore throat
People who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome may have a sudden onset of symptoms, or their symptoms may develop gradually. Most people experience periodic “flare-ups” when their symptoms are more severe.
Because there’s no single test for chronic fatigue syndrome, it’s considered a “differential diagnosis,” which means it’s diagnosed once other possible causes of symptoms, like anemia or similar problems, have been eliminated.
Chinese medicine: The key to effective treatment
At Integrated Oriental Medicine, we apply the principles of Chinese medicine to effectively restore energy and relieve the symptoms of CFS. Treatment with Dr. Men begins with a thorough evaluation of your condition and a review of your symptoms.
Chinese medicine divides CFS into four types, based on your qi (or natural energy flow) and yin-yang principles (the opposing forces that keep our energy balanced). Those four types include:
- Qi deficiency
- Qi, blood, yin and yang deficiencies
- Lung and kidney qi and yang deficiency
- Heart and kidney qi deficiency
Once CFS is diagnosed, Dr. Men typically begins with acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture works by helping to clear the body’s qi and rebalance those opposing forces. The acupuncture needles are inserted in specific spots on your energy pathways to restore normal energy flow. The goal of acupuncture is to help restore circulation to the heart and other organs so they can receive the nutrients they need to function properly. When your organs are malfunctioning, it can cause a severe drain on your energy, increasing symptoms of fatigue as well as pain. Acupuncture helps restore energy and circulation, as well mental clarity and normal digestive processes. In addition, Dr. Men may recommend a special herbal formula, along with moxibustion to target acupressure points, or cold laser therapy or massage to stimulate natural healing and relieve muscle tension. Because Dr. Men is experienced in multiple modalities, your treatment can be completely customized for optimal results.
Stop suffering from CFS
CFS can overwhelm your life, robbing you of energy and leaving you feeling tired, depressed and even hopeless. At Integrated Oriental Medicine, we can help you explore a different type of treatment so you can find the relief you need. To learn more about Chinese medicine and CFS, book an appointment online today.