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About Tiredness

Tiredness is one of the most common symptoms patients report to their doctor. It may simply be due to overexertion, it could be due to a medical condition or both. Any symptoms of excessive tiredness should be investigated. Experts say that 10% of us at any one time are suffering from persistent fatigue.

Excessive, continuous tiredness can have a detrimental affect on your life and those around you.

Western Medical View

Chronic tiredness can have many causes. So many that it can often be difficult to uncover the root cause of the tiredness.

Chinese Medical View

There are commonly three basic reasons for chronic tiredness: Deficiency, Combined condition of Deficiency and Excess (e.g stagnation of Liver-Qi (Qi meaning energy) which produces a deficiency of Spleen-Qi and causes tiredness) and Excess. Excess can cause tiredness by stopping the movement of Qi and blood.

The root cause of tiredness can come from a variety of sources. A weak constitution, overwork, physical overexertion, poor diet, severe illness and childbirth to name a few can all cause tiredness. From the Chinese Medical perspective it is important to find out where these causes are affecting the body and identify the root of the problem.

According to Chinese Medicine theory acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be prescribed to naturally boost energy levels. Deficiency, Combined condition of Deficiency and Excess, and Excess can all be treated with both acupuncture and Chinese herbs. For example, depending on the details of the condition, acupuncture points and specific herbs are selected to tonify and nourish the Kidneys, Liver, Spleen, Heart and/or Stomach. The circulation of blood and Qi (the body’s essential energy) might also need to be reinvigorated and an accumulation of Phlegm resolved. A deficiency in the body’s essential warm energy (Yang) and fluids (Yin) might also be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed with acupuncture and Chinese herbs according to CM theory to treat that tiredness.

Lifestyle Advice

You should avoid excessive mental or physical work and make sure you get adequate rest. Rest is often the only treatment necessary to treat chronic tiredness. If you do not get enough rest, this could lead to a deficiency Kidney-Essence (the essential energy of kidneys).

Avoid doing too much physical activity, either at work or through sport or exercise. Too much physical activity without adequate rest will weaken the muscles and the spleen.

You should eat a balanced diet, as an unbalanced diet could be a major cause of chronic tiredness.
Avoid excessive sexual activity, as this could cause a deficiency of the kidneys and effect tiredness.
If pregnant, you should make sure, that soon after childbirth, you take adequate rest and eat well (if this advice is not taken it could lead to problems in the flow of Liver-Blood and therefore chronic tiredness).

Avoid use of drugs such as cannabis, LSD or heroine, as these could be very detrimental to energy levels and cause chronic tiredness.

For expert advice on how to relieve and prevent tiredness, please see our 7 Steps to Beat Fatigue guide.

For personalised advice on diet and lifestyle, please ask the doctor during your consultation. Please be reminded that we offer free online health advice.