Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Have you been suffering from long-standing fatigue that doesn’t go away after sleep? Do you have other puzzling symptoms that do not go away either? Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating condition that causes extreme fatigue along with multiple symptoms ranging from muscle pain to sleep problems. CFS is closely related to fibromyalgia. In conventional medicine, CFS is difficult to diagnose and the biomedical cause is unknown. For this reason, conventional medicine has little to offer people who suffer from symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. At Tao of Wellness, we use traditional therapies like acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional therapy, and mind body exercise as safe and effective ways to treat symptoms of CFS. We are happy to customize a treatment plan that eases the debilitating symptoms of CFS so you can regain your energy and your life again.
How We Successfully Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
At Tao of Wellness, we understand the complexity and debilitating effects of Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Each patient’s presentation of CFS can be unique and different. The fatigue a patient experience is not the kind of tired feeling that goes away after resting. Instead, it lasts for a long time and limits one’s ability to carry out ordinary daily activities. CFS is currently defined as severe fatigue lasting more than 6 months while experiencing at least four of the following symptoms:
- Feeling unwell for more than 24 hours after physical activity
- Non-refreshing sleep
- Muscle pain
- Poor memory and concentration
- Pain in multiple joints
- Recurring sore throat
- Tender lymph nodes
- Abdominal bloating and gas
- Environmental sensitivity
- Recurring yeast infections
Because CFS is so difficult to diagnose, it affects more people than statistics show, yet in recent years CFS has been on the rise. More than half a million Americans may suffer from this condition without being aware of it. People 40 to 50 years old and especially women are more commonly affected. It is suspected that CFS has multiple triggers, such as severe emotional or physical stress and trauma, prolonged viral or bacterial infections, immune dysfunctions, thyroid problems, toxic exposure, as well as nutritional deficiencies. Conventional medicine has little to offer people suffering from CFS. Medications used to treat the symptoms include antidepressants, sleeping pills, anti-inflammatory medications, and painkillers. These medications may temporarily help with symptoms but may not be able to resolve the chronic fatigue.
Regardless of how long you’ve suffered or what medications and supplements you’re already taking, making an appointment at Tao of Wellness is in your best interest to treat chronic fatigue syndrome. We’re an integrative clinic that works alongside the other doctors on your medical team. You’ll start by setting up an initial consultation where one of our doctors will review your current condition in addition to your medical history. We want to know what symptoms you have along with the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of your life. After your consultation, you’ll be recommended an individualized treatment plan that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional therapy. Tuina bodywork, mind body exercise, and infinichi energy therapymay also be recommended. Your Tao of Wellness doctor will then answer any questions you have before beginning your therapy.
Our Customized Therapies for Overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Customized Treatment Program
Chinese Medicine is a holistic healing modality that focuses not only on treating your symptoms but also on supporting optimal function of all your bodily systems. There is no one program for everyone who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). At Tao of Wellness, your doctor will work with you in developing a plan that is personalized just for you. Your therapies will be performed at our clinic but you will also learn self-healing tools for your daily life. What you do every day at home will have a lasting impact on how you recover from CFS and work toward keeping it away.
There are therapeutic points all over the body that aid in reducing symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome while also addressing the underlying disharmony. Being that each person’s experience of CFS can be different, each acupuncture treatment is just as varied. You may receive acupuncture on your head, ears, arms, legs, back, or chest. Almost anywhere acupuncture is applied it fosters a very relaxing experience. The same calming, mood-elevating, and energizing neurotransmitters that are released from your brain during exercise, are secreted during an acupuncture session. Learn more about acupuncture.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is an effective therapy for the treatment of CFS. Herbs like ginseng, licorice, astragalus, cordyceps, and schizandra are used to increase energy and strengthen immune function. Like any other Chinese medical therapy, there is no singular CFS formula. Based on your unique CFS experience, a customized herbal combination will be made for you. Learn more about Chinese herbal medicine.
A balance of the right foods can help the body heal itself. Improper nutrition and lifestyle, on the other hand, can complicate disease and prolong its course. Each of our patients receives nutritional information but a nutritional consultation allows our doctors to assess your current nutrition and eating habits. A specific nutritional program is designed for you to follow, complete with custom meals and snacks. In general, patients suffering from CFS should avoid alcohol, smoking, recreational drugs, caffeine, as well as other pro-inflammatory foods such as refined sugar, cow products, processed and artificially flavored foods, and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, and eggplant). Carbohydrates are the main energy source for the body. However, many CFS patients feel better with diets that specifically utilize vegetables and fruits as their source of carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals which are important to recovery. Eating smaller, more frequent meals at a similar time each day, avoiding late night eating, and drinking at least 60 ounces of room temperature water eases CFS symptoms. Each time you eat is an opportunity to heal yourself.
Vitamins, minerals, and enzymes work together in the body to maintain all chemical reactions, including energy production. When nutritional deficiencies are implicated as a cause of CFS, supplements are often recommended. Important vitamins for CFS include vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, Vitamin E, Vitamin B complex, zinc, chromium, magnesium, and others. Essential fatty acids and coenzyme Q-10, as well as amino acid supplementation are also beneficial. Your doctor will provide you with a specific combination of supplements that fits your body’s unique needs. Learn more about Nutritional Therapy.
Mind Body Exercise
Tai chi and qi gong are excellent healing exercises for people with chronic fatigue. These exercises are gentle, relaxing, and supportive for building energy. Recent studies confirm the benefits of these exercises for CFS sufferers. Excessive exercise can actually make CFS worse and lead to setbacks from overexertion. Start by exercising 10 minutes a day, and increase by 5 minutes each week until you reach 45 minutes. Be patient and gradually increase your activity level. At Tao of Wellness you’ll find a choice of certified instructors of several forms of tai chi and qi gong. Your doctor will work with you in determining the right practice as a supplement to your other exercise and nutrition regimens. Learn more about tai chi and qi gong.
InfiniChi Energy Therapy
InfiniChi is Chinese medical energy therapy in the Tao of Wellness tradition. This is a series of non-touch techniques that aim to support your energy as well as alleviate various symptoms of CFS. You’ll have the opportunity before and after your treatment to communicate the changes you feel. And your doctor will likely prescribe simple homework of breathing or visualization exercises to keep this therapy working for you when you’re not in our clinic. Learn more about InfiniChi.
Tuina is a Chinese medical massage that has more than 3000 years of history in Chinese Medicine. Tuina involves unique bodywork techniques using the hands and other tools to stimulate the healthy flow of vital energy, blood, oxygen, nutrients and body fluids to weakened systems of the body, thus activating the patient’s self-healing mechanism. Tuina bodywork will help resolve joint pain, muscle pain, and cleanse the body of inflammatory waste products which may have served to prolong healing. Learn more about tuina.
Chronic Fatigue Success Stories
Back to Living a Full, Normal Life
Donna is 35 years old and had constant fatigue, muscle and joint pain throughout her body, and difficulty performing even simple tasks such as reading. She was unable to think clearly or concentrate for any length of time. She dragged herself through life even though she appeared normal from the outside. This caused her further frustration because the people around her could not understand why she was unable to function normally. Prior to coming to Tao of Wellness, Donna had seen many specialists without being able to get any help for her symptoms. After her initial consultation and assessment at our clinic, it was clear Donna’s problem stemmed from a lingering viral infection that was weakening the digestive and adrenal systems. Donna was given an anti-inflammatory eating plan, a qi gong routine to practice daily, weekly acupuncture, and a custom Chinese herbal formula designed to carry out the viral toxins while reducing inflammation and improving digestive and adrenal function. After 6 months, Donna reported her fatigue and symptoms had reduced 95% and that she was back to living a full and normal life.
Natural Healthcare for Chronic Fatigue
Tao of Wellness was established in 1976 as a resource to address chronic fatigue. We strive to support you in mind and body, and invite you to make an appointment for your health and wellbeing. It would be our pleasure to serve you.
Fibromyalgia affects three to six million Americans, or about 2% of the population. It’s most common in women 34 to 56 years old, 10-20% of which are severely debilitated. Fibromyalgia is a pain condition and is often spread throughout the muscles and soft tissue, including the head, neck, shoulders, back, and thighs. Its cause is unknown but does often occur in patients who’ve had emotional or physical trauma. It can also be preceded by a viral infection or show up in patients with autoimmune conditions like arthritis. Conventional treatment includes drugs to relieve symptoms or improve sleep but they also come with side effects. Chinese medicine employs natural therapies that are well tolerated like acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional therapy, and mind body exercise to balance the many systems of the body so that fibromyalgia is improved or reversed.
How We Successfully Treat Fibromyalgia
Widespread stiffness, aches, and pains are the usual symptoms. When coupled with the finding of 11 to 18 specific tender points on the body, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is made. Many sufferers also have sleep issues, anxiety, headaches, digestive issues and reduced stress management abilities. X-rays, blood tests, and muscle biopsies often appear normal, and thus the symptoms are unexplained.
Common treatments are geared toward addressing sleep problems and pain. Deep sleep is so crucial to body tissue repair, antibody production, immune function and the regulation of neurotransmitters and hormones. Low doses of antidepressants at bedtime may promote deeper sleep which can be helpful in some patients’ recovery from this condition. Medicines that boost the body’s level of serotonin and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters that modulate sleep, pain, and immune function) are commonly prescribed as well. While some patients respond well to these drugs, relief varies. Plus, these medications may have side effects such as drowsiness, constipation, dry mouth, rash, headache, nervousness, tremors, dizziness, and increased appetite. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen may also be beneficial, though they should not be taken for long periods of time due to potential kidney toxicity.
At Tao of Wellness we believe fibromyalgia is a condition where our body is “out of sync.” It most likely started with the combination of a weakened constitution and a stress trigger. A weakened constitution can be caused by chronic stress, environmental factors, poor sleep, or poor nutrition. The disease trigger can be an infection like a cold or virus, or a traumatic event. We look at each patient to assess what imbalances are present. There are a number of different Chinese medical patterns that we see frequently with fibromyalgia, and treatments are tailored to each patient’s condition and constitution. We look at a patient’s living, working, and relationship situations since they can play a major role in sustaining recovery. Relief can be found through acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, stretching exercises, mind body exercise, sleep management, tuina bodywork, and far-infrared heat therapy.
Our Customized Therapies for Overcoming Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture is very helpful for fibromyalgia as it regulates neurotransmitters and brings them into balance, improving both mood and pain. Learn more about acupuncture.
Herbal medicine is prescribed to help the many systems that make up the body. The chronic pain is addressed, as well as the concurrent symptoms of fatigue, depression, and insomnia. Chinese herbal medicine is designed to reduce symptoms but also to deal with the immune and hormonal imbalances that are part of the underlying problem. Learn more about Chinese herbal medicine
Mind Body Exercise
Regular exercises that are stretching-oriented such as yoga, tai chi & qi gong can be very helpful. Meditation on a regular daily basis, even if just ten minutes, especially before bedtime, can help the body recover. Learn more about tai chi and qi gong.
Regular, gentle acupressure is one of the most popular forms of tuina and can be helpful in relieving the muscular tension and pain of fibromyalgia. There are several other tuina techniques used by our doctors that allow for a wide range of healing possibilities. Learn more about tuina.
Far-Infrared Heat Therapy
Our far-infrared sauna warms up the body from the inside out and provides an ideal environment to reduce inflammation, relax the muscles, and facilitate tissue repair. Additionally, toxins and inflammatory waste products are carried out of the body from the skin, bowels, and bladder. Learn more about far-infrared heat therapy.
When you meet with one of our doctors certified in traditional Chinese nutrition you’ll receive recommendations such as eating lighter meals, especially at dinner. Preferred foods to heal fibromyalgia include vegetables, grains, and moderate amounts of proteins. Avoiding caffeine, sweets, and alcohol is also helpful. Reduce tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers as they may cause an acidic reaction in the body. Every patient receives nutritional guidance but during a nutritional consultation we evaluate your current eating habits and a custom plan, complete with meals and snacks, will be devised for your specific fibromyalgia experience.
Tao of Wellness utilizes a host of supplements to combat fibromyalgia as well as many other autoimmune and pain disorders. Fish oil, carnitine, bromelain, papain, and turmeric all have their place to reduce pain and rebuild muscle. Learn more about nutritional therapy.
Natural Healthcare for Fibromyalgia
Tao of Wellness was established in 1976 as a resource to address fibromyalgia. We strive to support you in mind and body, and invite you to make an appointment for your health and wellbeing. It would be our pleasure to serve you.