Fatigue can affect our physical, mental, and emotional realms manifesting with symptoms such as excessive sleepiness, physical exhaustion, poor motivation, feeling overwhelmed, being emotionally drained, and more. Typically when we think of fatigue, we think of a lack of energy to get through the day let alone do the things we love. In Chinese medicine, this is also true, as fatigue can be due to a lack of one of our vital substances, being Qì 气, Blood 血, Yīn 阴, and Yáng 阳. We would call this a deficiency pattern. However, in Chinese medicine fatigue can also result due to an excess pattern when there may not be a deficiency of one of those vital substances but their distribution is impaired by a pathological obstruction. If you are feeling fatigued, does resting or exercise make it better? If you feel worse after rest, then you may fall into the excess pattern which would benefit from some activity. Rest would slow the circulation of Qì and Blood whereas activity would promote their circulation to move through any stagnation. If you feel better from rest, then you may fall into the deficiency pattern. Rest gives the body the opportunity to replenish some vital substances whereas activity would consume them. In real life, an excess and deficiency pattern often occur simultaneously. A Chinese medicine practitioner works towards determining the underlying cause of the excess or deficiency patterns contributing to fatigue and incorporates that into the treatment plan. For example, if digestion is impaired resulting in a deficiency of vital substances, this may be the focus of the acupuncture and herbal medicine treatment for fatigue. Or, if one has a stressful desk job which leaves them feeling pent up and exhausted at the end of the day, the treatment and lifestyle recommendations would focus on promoting the circulation of Qì and Blood throughout the body. If you or a loved one are experiencing fatigue, consider visiting a Chinese medicine practitioner for some acupuncture and/or herbal medicine.
In health and happiness,
Painting: Parrot on Branch of Blossoming Tree, Unidentified Artist, Qing dynasty
Disclaimer: Any information on this website or blog post should not be used for self-diagnosis or substitute for medical advice. Please always seek advice from a qualitied health practitioner for any health concerns.