Feeling bad and tired
Very often in my practice do I hear the patients complaining that even with 7-8 hours of sleep, they still wake up tired and unrefreshed. Usually they come with some other more prominent complaints like muscle pain, repetitive and unresolved flu, chronic headaches or mood issues. There are a few medical conditions explaining this kind of situation like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic lyme disease or Fibromyalgia but when you really look closely into those explanations, they are just a collection of symptoms rather than a logical explanation. Without a clear cause, it is difficult, if not impossible, to look for a solution. [Read more: Acupuncture Found Effective for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome]
Everytime I encounter patients like this, I always try to give them a whole picture of what is happening inside their bodies. Even though some new and unfamiliar concepts with Chinese medicine are introduced, most of them find it easy to comprehend so they can accept and comply with our approach. With some appropriate treatments and most importantly patience and time, many of them do get improvements in the general level of energy, quality of sleep and better immunity.
Fatigue and different energy types
We all know that fatigue is a sign of low energy but very few of us understand that we have different types of energy and fewer do we know about the mechanism of energy generation. By the means of energy generation, it is not about the biochemistry like the ATP metabolism or the Krebs cycle, but a philological and holistic understanding of the nature of energy and its production.
Our body is a three-dimensional subject, we have our surface section and different deeper sections. Our cells are not equal, as the red blood cells die in about 120 days, the bone marrow producing red blood cells could live much longer and in its lifetime produce many red blood cells. In the understanding of Chinese medicine, there are different levels of energies. In this case of RBC and bone marrow, we said that the bone marrow of is a deeper and essence type of energy while the RBC is more superficial and disposable type of energy. So it is not a big deal if we lose certain amount of blood (superficial energy), but we cannot afford to lose the same amount of bone marrow (deep energy).
Let’s imagine that we have many different types of deep energies. They are the blueprint and basic material for the production of disposable energies and the maintenance of normal systemic functions. If any of these deep level energies are insufficient or damaged, we will suffer from more severe issues.
Reasons for chronic fatigue
Chronic fatigue is a status that our deep energy is deprived or damaged by:
over-using of energy because of work or stress
low storage (genetics)
In the next session, I will talk more in depth about the systems are involved and the solution to the problem. [Read more: Preventing chronic fatigue with TCM (2/2)]