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Chronic Fatigue and Acupuncture

Chronic Fatigue and Acupuncture

Chronic Fatigue and Acupuncture 

Tired All the Time 


Chronic Fatigue is a problem affecting huge numbers of people. Many people experience the feeling of being tired all the time. Feeling as tired in the morning as you are at night, feeling that no amount of sleep is improving things. About 47% of visits to the GP include people saying that they feel tired all the time. Many people will admit to using stimulants of one sort or another to give our energy a boost or to kickstart our day, rather than taking a good look at our lifestyles, stress levels and nutrition.


Post Viral Fatigue and Long COVID

When you push your system to breaking point you often find that there is a viral illness. This often occurs because your immune system is so diminished that it cannot fight off infection. Thereafter your system does not have the reserves to recover, therefore the Post Viral Fatigue occurs. This can happen with COVID, taking a long time to recover going into Long COVID.

Your Mind and Body


Sometimes those with Chronic Fatigue have abundant mental energy and a great desire to get on with life, but not the physical energy. The symptoms can include photophobia, hyperacusis (over sensitive eyes and ears), dizziness, aching muscles after any sort of exertion, and extreme tiredness, allowing very limited activity. 

The other risk is that we become depressed mentally and fatigued in a different way, as we become flat emotionally and drained of mental energy. Clearly here the key is to tackle our patterns of behaviour, thinking and self-stressing to develop a much gentler and more compassionate way of being.

Managing Chronic Fatigue

The idea here is that you only use 60% of available energy at any time, never allowing yourself to completely drain your energy battery. This is because once completely drained it takes far longer to restore, with often days of payback. Usually making greater effort results in worsening of symptoms and the challenge is to accept the limitations and adopt the crucial ‘60% rule’. 

When treating with Traditional Five Element Acupuncture we carfully, gentley and slowly help you recover, not overtreating as this can break the 60% rule too. Each person is different in thier recovery, which is the beauty of Acupuncture as we treat everyones individual needs. Acupuncture may help you recover from Chronic Fatigue and help you navigate your future to reduce reocurance.


Burn Out


Fatigue can be caused by our minds is when we are permanently stuck in sympathetic nervous system overdrive. In this state we are placing continual demand on the adrenal glands to keep us pumped up mentally and physically. When this becomes habitual, we can go into a state of adrenal fatigue and become unable to respond to challenge, finding ourselves burnt out. 

There is the fatigue that comes from deep within us when your spirit is broken. When life has been so hard and the going so tough that we feel broken, lost, or dispirited. This can occur for many reasons; it may come from the above also from abuse or historic abuse.


Life Energy – Qi

When treating with Traditional Five Element Acupuncture the concept of our Life Energy our Vital Force – our Qi, is treated. When this Qi is depleted, your systemin becomes weakened. In today’s Society we are often so driven that we keep going even when we need to rest. This drives people into a constant adrenalized state often living off your nerves. This can go on for a long time until the Body, Mind and Spirit become so depleted you cannot function. Time to take care of yourself – have Traditional Five Element Acupuncture.

Caring for Your Qi

When you start treatment with Traditional Five Element Acupuncture an assessment is made of the strength and flow of your Qi and the degree to which its component elements are in or out of balance. Your Acupuncturist will ask you about all aspects of your life and work and medical history, assessing you as a whole. Looking at your activity, work, sleep, rest, diet, relationships and more, assessing the effect on your Qi. Taking your pulses, assessing physical and emotional wellbeing, to treat you holistically. 

Research – Acupuncture and Chronic Fatigue 

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurotransmitters. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for insomnia (Wu 1999).

Acupuncture may help to relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome such as musculoskeletal pain, headache, sleep problems, tiredness and depression by: 

  • stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987, Zhao 2008).
  • stimulating opiodergic neurons to increase the concentrations of beta-endorphin, so relieving pain (Cheng 2009).
  • reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003).
  • improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which can reduce swelling and pain.
  • reducing insomnia through increasing nocturnal endogenous melatonin secretion (Spence 2004).

For more information about Research into Chronic Fatigue and Acupuncture see page on The British Acupuncture website – https://acupuncture.org.uk/about-acupuncture/_fact-sheets/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/

Treatment with Hannah 

For information and Traditional Five Element Acupuncture contact Hannah on ;- https://www.southwellacupuncture.co.uk/contact/

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