Over one million Americans live with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a frustrating, complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity and does not improve with rest.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is far more than just being tired. Those affected can get so run down that it interferes with their ability to function in day to day activities; some become severely disabled and even bedridden. In addition to extreme fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome encompasses a wide range of symptoms including, but not limited to, persistent headaches, throat irritation, flu-like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, poor sleep quality, and chronic muscle and joint pain.
The cause of CFS has not been identified, but factors such as hormones, viruses, elevated stress or a compromised immune system are thought to be contributors. Despite no cure, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can give sufferers the relief they need to improve their quality of life. Treatments help you avoid getting sick as often, reduce recovery time, improve your energy and stamina, soothe emotions, and enliven the mind.
According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, a condition known as Damp-Heat may be the culprit. Symptoms of Damp-Heat include fatigue, a general feeling of heaviness throughout the body, sore throat, dull headache, decline in mental acuity, and thirst.
An unhealthy spleen produces excess dampness that disrupts the proper metabolism of fluids and stops vital nutrients from entering the cells. The condition known as Dampness is highly viscous and as it clumps together heat tends to build up. Treatment typically includes points on the Large Intestine and Spleen meridians that will clear heat and tonify the spleen.
Once the spleen starts functioning properly, it naturally clears dampness from the body, ensuring the proper flow of Qi to the head, which clears up muddled thinking and brings clarity to the mind. Limbs feel more fluid and easier to move without dampness obstructing their movements. As food metabolism improves and the cells become stronger, fatigue lessens and the quality of sleep improves. As heat leaves, symptoms such as sore throat and muscle pain subside.
Study Finds Acupuncture Beneficial for CFS
A 2017 meta-analysis, titled “A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” revealed encouraging news for patients suffering from symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Published in the Journal of Acupuncture Research”, the study found that acupuncture treatment can significantly alleviate fatigue and pain.
Researchers evaluated the effectiveness and safety of using acupuncture therapy to treat fatigue in CFS patients. In this analysis, researchers scoured through 15 medical databases worldwide, specifically choosing studies that tested acupuncture as a lone treatment. Ultimately, 11 randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) were chosen, which included a total of 869 participants. Of the 11 RCTs, 9 were compared with sham acupuncture; the remaining 2 were compared to a wait-list group and medication group.
Researchers were able to evaluate the efficacy of treatment by observing several medical tools that were employed during the various trials. To evaluate the symptoms of chronic fatigue, the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) was used. This is a self-survey given to patients before and after treatment so there is an accurate measurement of symptoms on record.
Other self-survey tools included the Stress Response Inventory (SRI) and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). The SRI measures a patient’s emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and somatic responses. The ISI rates the level of sleep quality for each patient.
The acupuncture point selection for the real acupuncture treatments varied across the trials–a total of 21 acupoints were used. It was noted that a point on the stomach meridian, the path that energy traverses, was the most highly utilized. The urinary bladder was the most frequently treated meridian.
It was determined that real acupuncture treatments, when compared to sham acupuncture, did significantly alleviate fatigue, reduce levels of pain, improve quality of life, and positively affect mood.
The study concluded with researchers affirming the outstanding results acupuncture plays in reducing extreme tiredness and alleviating pain for patients suffering from CFS. Acupuncture was also noted for its safety, with no serious side effects reported.
Source: Kim HG, Ryoo DW, Jeong SM, et al. (2017). A Systematic Review of Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Journal of Acupuncture Research. Retrieved online at https://www.e-jar.org/journal/view.php?number=2367
Dr. Mindy Boxer is a holistic practitioner who has grown into her specialties in an organic way. Understanding a range of disciplines allows her to integrate the wisdom of Ancient healing in combination with the most recent innovations in Scientific research. This dynamic blend has enabled Dr. Boxer to help patients in the prevention and treatment of disease for over 25 years.
Dr. Boxer has a particularly keen understanding of Women’s Health issues including Gynecological irregularity, PMS, Fertility, IUI & UVF support, Healthy Pregnancy & Delivery, and Menopausal issues. Her interest in the human body as a dynamic system has given her the understanding to deal with such problems as improper Digestion and elimination, Cancer Support, Allergies, back pain, tight neck and shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory distress, chronic fatigue, Insomnia, Stress, Anxiety and Depression.
She has also studied the art and science of Homeopathy, earning her Diplomate in Homeopathy from the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy in 1995. This allows her to treat the whole person — physically, mentally, emotionally.
Proper Nutrition, Herbs, Acupuncture, and Homeopathic remedies are the tools Dr. Boxer utilizes to allow the body to heal itself and find its way back to balance. She is dedicated to helping her patients find “Radiant Health and Well-Being.”
3301 Ocean Park Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405