Do you have a hard time rising in the morning?
Feel low energy throughout the day or in mid afternoon?
Are you ready for bed at 8pm at night?
Fatigue and/or exhaustion are common symptoms of many patients coming into CareMed Integrative Health Centre. Fortunately, modern testing combined with ancient therapies such can help boost your energy naturally.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) fatigue or tiredness is called Xu Lao (pronounced shoe lao) which literally translates as a tiredness (Lao) from deficiency (Xu). A TCM Classic, the Simple Questions (Su Wen) says, “excessive use of the eyes injures the blood & Heart, excessive lying down injures the Qi & the Lungs, excessive sitting injures the muscles & the Spleen, excessive standing injures the bones & the Kidneys, excessive exercise injures the tendons & the Liver.” Common causes of fatigue, tiredness or exhaustion include having a weak constitution, overwork, excessive physical exertion, poor diet for your constitution, excess sexual activity, childbirth and recreational drug use.
The human body releases hormones in a cycle-the circadian rhythm and abnormal production can alter the ability of cells to produce energy for the activities of daily life. Difficulty rising in the morning or low energy during the day is often due to an abnormal adrenal rhythm and poor blood sugar regulation. Abnormal adrenal function can alter the ability of cells to produce energy for the activities of daily life. This is equivalent to the Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis of Kidney yin, yang qi and/or essence deficiency.
Evaluation & Testing
In addition to taking a verbal survey of your symptoms, we can also offer you modern testing to identify imbalances in daily energy rhythms. The Adrenal Stress Index test can evaluate your energy production, measure stress hormones and insulin levels to help find the cause of fatigue. Additionally, abnormal adrenal health can also affect and be affected by muscle & joint function, bone health, immune health, sleep quality, fertility, memory, skin regeneration. Another great aspect of the ASI test is that it is a non-invasive saliva test that you can do over one day at home or office.
We use a comprehensive approach to addressing fatigue by identifying the likely cause of your fatigue based on your symptoms. Combining this info with test results creates a definitive plan for restoration. Ancient TCM Doctor Zhu Qi Shi, author of Discussion on Exhaustion, says “to treat exhaustion, treat the Lungs, Spleen and Kideneys. Lungs are the heaven of the internal organs, Spleen is the mother of the body and Kidneys are the root of life”. Treatment plans combine acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, lifestyle & diet recommendations to create a plan to boost your energy.
Eating Habits~Eat meals at regular times during the day to support your natural circadian rhythm. Irregular eating directly weakens the Stomach & Spleen and leads to tiredness. Food is what gets transformed into qi & blood, which equals energy. Choose moderate portions as eating too much can also strain the Stomach & Spleen. The digestive organs like it best when you are sitting to eat and focusing on relaxation while eating so let go of eating in a hurry, discussing business, reading, standing, watching TV while eating, eating fast or when you are emotional. Once a day, clear the table, set it with some candles, nice napkins and even flowers and sit and deeply enjoy your meal.
Food Choice~Reduce or eliminate your intake of dairy, refined sugars and flour products. Dairy, wheat and processed foods like breads and muffins have a heavy quality which taxes the Spleen-the digestive organ in Chinese Medicine. Refined sugars & carbs skyrocket your blood sugars and lead to rebound fatigue. Focus your diet on whole grains, organic meats or legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts & seeds for optimum energy.
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep is essential. Shut off electronic devices, TV etc. 1 hour before bed and boost your energy nourishing time during sleep.
If you are experiencing extreme fatigue and/or difficulty waking in the am, your thyroid may not be producing hormones at an optimal level. You can have your MD or ND take a blood sample for lab testing to test important markers for thyroid function. From this information, we can develop an appropriate treatment plan.
We look forward to assisting you with improving your energy.
Jen Cherewaty, BSc., RTCMP, RAc.