Fatigue is a common symptom that manifests in a lot of various disorders, both physical and psychological. Western medicine is still unable to discover what really causes fatigue. With traditional Chinese medicine or TCM, diagnosing and treating this type of generalized problem is one of this modality’s strong points. The primary and most important thing to do is to observe the lifestyle of the person to remove the possible reasons for fatigue like overworking, lack of exercise, poor diet, or lack of sleep. If these problems are not rectified, it may be impossible or at least very hard to bring back the energy level of the person. After the correct modification to one’s lifestyle has been done, the results of herbal therapy and moxibustion can provide maximal benefits.
In TCM, yang, blood or qi deficiency as well as other types of syndromes are the most typical cases of chronic fatigue.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Treating Fatigue Caused by Qi Deficiency
When a diagnosis of qi deficiency is found, it is possible that no physical abnormality may be seen although the person may lack enough energy to handle a number of functions. Besides fatigue, the patient may manifest a poor appetite, shortness of breath, a bright pale face, pale tongue and a weak pulse, depending on the organs involved.
Most herbal remedies for qi help improve energy boosting the function of the kidneys, spleen and lungs. There are good patent remedies to resolve qi deficiency like Ginseng Royal Jelly Vials, Extractum Astragali, Shen Qi Da Bu Wan, Nu Ke Ba Zhen Wan and Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan. They are herbal tonics that are used for just a few months, as most types of chronic deficiency syndromes take longer to treat.
For the restoration of energy to energy-deficient organs, acupuncture therapy is used. Moxibustion is performed on affected body points to revitalize the body with new energy. Acupoints (acupuncture points) are chosen that can help tonify the essential substances, since a lack of one or more of them often is more often than not the root cause of the fatigue.
The points that play an a very important role in tonifying the vital substances are the Ren 4, Du 4, Kidney 3, Spleen 6 and Stomach 36 points. Their stimulation with moxa and acupuncture energize the entire body. When these modalities are combined with herbal therapy, the whole treatment plan may last for some weeks or months, based on the degree of the severity of the condition.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Fatigue Caused by Blood Deficiency
If you suffer from this condition, your organs and tissues are poorly nourished due to your blood deficiency. If you have a mild case of blood deficiency, your blood count may still stay within its normal range. In severe cases like anemia, your blood deficiency may be due to an abnormal destruction of red blood cells, loss of blood from too much menstrual flow, general malnutrition, iron or vitamin deficiency, or impaired bone marrow function.
According to TCM, anemia is linked to a lack of vital substances in the kidneys, spleen, liver and heart. Moxibustion and herbal therapy are often applied to successfully normalize the blood count, regardless of the underlying pattern of disharmony. This type of therapy is closely followed with regular blood tests, since anemia is a potentially serious condition that can have devastating consequences if it is left untreated.
A treatment of daily intake of tonifying herbs and a weekly session of moxa and acupuncture is usually recommended for chronic fatigue. This type of treatment might last a few months. The acupuncture points Leg Three Miles (Stomach 36) and Sea of Blood (Spleen 10) are often used for treating anemia. Stomach 36 enhances the absorption of nutrients from food, helping produce new blood cells while the Spleen 10 is used for its regulatory effect on the blood.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Other Causes of Fatigue
Heart blood and spleen qi deficiency can result in a pale tongue and face, fatigue, poor appetite and dizziness. This pattern usually develops in students who have studied quite excessively. The herbal tonic often used for this pattern is Kwei Be Wan. Apart from this, a fruit known as long yan rou or longan can be either boiled in a decoction or eaten. Longan is available in dried form, although in tropical climates, this fruit is usually found fresh. It helps sustain the heart blood, and is an ideal supplement to herbal remedies. If the root disharmony is yin kidney and liver deficiency, the symptoms manifested may include night sweats, leg weakness, sexual dysfunction, low back pain, blurry vision and fatigue. The aim of the therapy is to tonify kidney and liver yin using Rehmannia Teapills. Gou qi zi (or Lycium berries) is another good tasting fruit that can help with this pattern. The berries nourish the yin of the kidneys and liver, replenish the blood and enhance eyesight. This fruit is soft and brownish in color. It can be eaten raw, boiled in a decoction or cooked into cereal. If you have anemia caused by deficiency of the kidney and spleen yang, you may develop symptoms such as loose stools, cold limbs, low libido, a pale tongue and face and fatigue. You need to avoid cold foods. An ideal herbal remedy for this pattern is Nu Ke Ba Zhen Wan, which can tonify both blood and qi. Besides that, a decoction of 10 grams cinnamon bark and 10 grams dried ginger can help tonify the yang qi.
For all kinds of anemia, an herbal tonic known as Tang Kwei Gin, which a good-tasting liquid supplement, can help build blood. Meals should include huge amounts of legumes and dark greens. Refined and processed foods such as sugar, pastries, and bread should be removed from your diet since these foods can easily fill you up but are very low in nutrition.