How Acupuncture Addresses Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
We’re hearing a lot about adrenal fatigue syndrome lately. What is it and why is it at the forefront of the news? According to the Mayo Clinic, adrenal fatigue is the name given to a group of symptoms caused by an insufficiency of the hormones produced by the adrenal gland. Symptoms include body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. Despite these symptoms, there isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis for this malady, nor are there sufficiently good remedies in the biomedicine world.
Why? Because they don’t deal with the root of the problem.
Signs of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
In Chinese Medicine, adrenal fatigue is depletion of kidney energy and in some cases, kidney essence. The cause of depletion is typically prolonged or chronic stress. This is often combined with a constitutional weakness of the kidneys that may be congenital or developed earlier on by mental or physical trauma. Stress or trauma cause too much cortisol to be dumped into your body. Over time, this leads to many diseases – the most common is adrenal fatigue.
The reason we see so much of it is because most people, including young adults, have way too much day-to-day stress or they have experienced physical or emotional trauma at some point in their lives. Or both.
The solution is NOT to pump up patients with hormones or thyroid medications. Rather, the objective is to tonify the kidney energy, essence and function. Herbal supplements, like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Root and Holy Basil, are good at helping the body regulate cortisol to decrease the effects of ongoing stress. They rely on decreasing further depletion (a good idea for those with chronically stressful lives), however they don’t build or tonify the kidney. That’s why these supplements often either don’t help people to feel better, or it takes a long time to actually to see any results.
Acupuncture to Pinpoint the Root Issue
This is where acupuncture and Chinese herbals come in. The key is to treat the root of the problem – kidney energy, essence and function – in order to feel better. All while treating other issues that often hamper restoring kidney function, such as deep sleep and nutrient absorption.
Kidney energy is derived in two ways. First, we derive kidney energy congenitally, called constitutional or prenatal qi. This is often reflective on the mother’s energy during pregnancy, is mostly finite and naturally wanes with age. Secondly, we derive kidney energy through food and lifestyle (i.e. exercise, yoga, tai chi, etc.). This is called postnatal qi. If you are not absorbing energy from food because of digestive issues, you cannot supplement your use of day-to-day kidney energy and then start to go into the constitutional energy reserves.
Once in a while, scouring the reserves is not a problem. But everyday dependency depletes constitutional energy that can only be replenished minimally. The same is true for sleep. If sleep is poor, the body is not able to consolidate and revitalize kidney energy. You may wake up unrestored and rely on constitutional energy to keep going. Likewise, If you don’t exercise to generate and move energy, you don’t recharge your kidney battery and again have to rely on constitutional energy. Eventually, you burn out your adrenals – adrenal fatigue syndrome.
Acupuncture and herbs treat all aspects of adrenal fatigue to RESTORE the body natural adrenal function. And in doing so, all related symptoms (digestion, sleep, stress-response) are also remedied so you not only feel better, but your body is working as it should.
If you feel achy and fatigued a lot, and are under regular stress, adrenal fatigue syndrome is worth looking in to. And what better way to restore your energy and balance than through natural and medication-free acupuncture? Contact me for a complimentary consultation to learn more and get on your way to remedy.