Acupuncture for lethargy
Lethargy (chronic fatigue) is when people feel a lack of energy or drive. It can affect mood and make people feel down and flat.
Lethargy can be caused by poor appetite, a lack of sleep or prolonged emotional upset, illness or physical and emotional strain causing physical and mental fatigue (burn-out).
In traditional Chinese medicine, a lack of energy is related to a person's spleen function. When the spleen is working well, people have more energy. Therefore, foods which the spleen struggles to process can reduce energy levels, these include gluten and diary.
Excessive stress or worry can weaken the digestive system reducing the amount of energy made by the body causing lethargy.
Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome
Energy is generated from sleep and food. Exercise doesn't increase more energy, it just regulates it so it appears to increase energy levels.
Certain acupuncture points can improve energy levels and reduce tiredness, improving quality of life. Fine needles are inserted along channels called meridians to regulate energy flow. For chronic fatigue syndrome other complementary therapies such as Chinese herbs would be more effective in treating this condition than acupuncture and moxibustion.
To treat lethargy, it's best to optimise all aspects of life, including:
- Improve the physical and mental self
- Improve sleep
- Improve diet by cutting out bread, pasta, dairy, which weaken the digestive system
- Work through emotional problems to free yourself from them
Taking food supplements such as ginseng can have therapeutic effects by increasing energy levels. Stronger forms of therapy such as acupuncture therapy and Chinese herbal medicine can be used when changing lifestyle and diet doesn't work.
Randomized controlled clinical trials of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment for chronic fatigue have shown the effectiveness of natural healing in treating lethargy by improving energy levels and circulation.