In recent years chronic fatigue has become an increasingly common complaint among people I talk to. They feel tired after waking in the morning and even after a shower they still feel “dragging” with their bodies heavy and bloated, their minds foggy and a desire to lie down in the afternoons.
The causes of fatigue are numerous and can range from sleep deprivation, prolonged stress to infections. When it comes to sleep Americans don’t get enough of it. Chronic lack of sleep and prolonged stress can weaken ones immune system and imbalance the neurochemicals in the brain. This can lead to the feeling of being down, malaise and tiredness.
Viral and bacterial infections can also lead to fatigue. The most common fatigue condition associated with viral infection (especially post-mononucleosis) is a condition called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). CFS has been on the rise—close to a million Americans suffer from this condition and many cases go undiagnosed. If you suffer from severe exhaustion and fatigue for more than three months that does not improve with rest and gets worse with the simplest activities, and is accompanied by muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, and colds that linger for long periods of time, you may be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
The medical community has classified CFS as a syndrome because it is a variable group of symptoms that are present at the same time with no discernable underlying medical condition. CFS affects more people than statistics show since there are no definitive tests for diagnosis. There are no known biomedical causes for CFS, but some think that severe emotional or physical stress or trauma and prolonged viral or bacterial infections precede the appearance of symptoms. There are speculations that CFS is caused by an overstressed immune system that fails to protect the body properly or becomes overstimulated and attacks the body itself.
In Chinese medicine, in order to function properly, the body requires vital substances, including blood, fluids, energy produced by a healthy digestive system, and the vital essence from the kidney-bladder networ,k which maintains healthy immune function. When these energies are exhausted, the body cannot function properly. Breakdown is the consequence.
Many classical medical texts attribute conditions similar to CFS to the exhaustion of these vital substances and as a result of being overworked, prolonged illness, emotional trauma, physical stress, or overindulgence. Most of my patients with CFS have experienced one or more of these. Our success in treating CFS can be attributed to understanding the intricate balance of the body’s vital substances and restoring deficiencies with herbal and nutritional therapies, acupuncture, and lifestyle counseling.
Four Easy Tips for Feeling Less Fatigued:
1. Eat smaller meals at regular intervals and more frequently. Don’t eat late in the evening and don’t eat very heavy meals. Drink at least 60 ounces of room temperature water every day.
2. Go to bed at the same time every night, before 11 p.m., and get at least eight hours of sleep. If you can, take a 30-minute nap in the middle of the day or at least try to get some relaxation time in by lying down in your car for a little while. Never nap for more than 30 minutes at a time, or you may wake up groggy.
3. Take Abundant Energy and High Performance. These are two formulas that contain natural herbs such as ginseng, codonopsis, polygonatum, Japanese Apricot, Siberian ginseng and many other herbs that will help to support healthy digestion, immune function and energy. You can find these formulas at www.taostar.com
4. Eat Garlic often. Make a garlic-egg white omelet with two eggs dairy and include one finely chopped garlic clove, 1/3 cup diced and sautéed yam, and 1/6 cup chopped parsley. Garlic will help to support a healthy immune function while the egg will offer an organic source of protein to build energy.
While these advice sound simple but consistently applying them will help you improve your energy and vitality and overcome your fatigue naturally.
May you Live Long, Live Strong and Live Happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, popularly known as Dr. Mao, is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, a Wellness Medicine group that won the “L.A.’s Best” Award. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica over 25 years ago. In addition, he is the cofounder and Chancellor of Yo San University in Venice/Marina del Rey. To subscribe to a free newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at [email protected]