In winter, we can blame the cold and dark for feeling tired. It’s more difficult in spring, when the warmer, longer days seem designed to pump us up with energy. But sometimes spring doesn’t work, like when we’ve been working too many days in a row, and even extra hours of sleep don’t make us feel fresh. Coffee works for an hour, and then we slump again.
Initial treatment of fatigue – that burned-out feeling – is something that doctors who practice either Western or traditional Chinese medicine agree on. First, visit your general practitioner, who will ask you about how much exercise you get, what you are eating, and how many hours you sleep each night. If the GP rules out a physical illness, that’s great! But you may still feel worn out, depleted and just plain tired.
Make your next visit to my office, and we will also talk about diet, exercise and the stresses of work and family. Then we will explore the areas that Chinese medicine has spent thousands of years refining: Qi and balance.
Your life force
You have probably heard of yin and yang and the need for balance between the slow, cold yin and the hot, fast yang. Acupuncture treatment balances the yin and yang, and allows an individual’s life energy, or Qi, to freely flow.
Traditional Chinese medicine teaches us that an imbalance of yin and yang can exhaust us. With acupuncture — the insertion of thin needles into the skin at known points – your practitioner works to stimulate soothing yin energy and tamp down the hyperactive yang energy.
Learn to relax
You may think you have no time to take a few moments just to concentrate on yourself. But you might be surprised at how you are able to train your mind and body to relax with short spurts of mindfulness. A deep breath and an awareness of what you are doing in the present decreases your heart rate and blood pressure. When you recognize what it feels like, it’s easier to bring back that feeling when you need it.
I also employ herbal healing to help your system return to balance and strengthen your life energy. The herbs might be in the form of tea or other applications, but they have been used for generations to build up patients’ immune, digestive and other systems.
The beauty of balance
I can rebalance your life force with acupuncture, but a difficult couple of weeks caused by work or family issues can overwhelm anyone and require a tune-up for your Qi. Ultimately, you are responsible for your day-to-day health. The process usually goes better when you pay attention to yourself, recognize how you feel, and address any stresses.
That’s the meaning of balance, and Western medical doctors – perhaps with a nudge from practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine — will prescribe balance, too.