Overcome fatigue with chinese medicine balfour healing at oasis palisades gas house edwards co


Fatigue is a complicated symptom with varied causes and treatments. The goal of Chinese medicine is to treat each person as an individual, addressing their unique imbalances and constitutional type. The first step to overcome fatigue is to find out why you are tired.

The causes of fatigue fall into two general categories: a deficiency of Qi or a deficiency of Yang. Qi is the body’s vital life force energy and is responsible for movement. Yang is responsible for activity (and is compared to Yin which is responsible for nourishment).

The deficiencies in Qi and Yang that cause fatigue show up in different acupuncture meridians. The key to successful treatment of fatigue is first determining what is deficient – Qi or Yang, and then determining where in the body (or in what acupuncture meridians) these deficiencies exist. Acupuncture points and herbal formulas are prescribed to strengthen and boost the Qi and Yang in these specific areas to reestablish healthy energy levels throughout the body.

Spleen Qi Deficiency is the most commonly seen cause of fatigue. The Chinese Spleen is responsible for deriving energy from food. It separates “clear essence” which becomes energy from “turbid waste” which is excreted. Some of the symptoms of deficient Spleen Qi include poor appetite, bloating, gas, and easy bruising. The Spleen is also responsible for movement and transformation of fluids throughout the body. When the Qi is not functioning efficiently, water will accumulate and dampness occurs in the body.People with dampness may experience a feeling of heaviness, loose stools, fatigue and achy joints. Over time, dampness congeals into phlegm. For those with nasal allergies, a runny nose, or a productive cough, Spleen Qi deficiency and dampness need to be addressed in addition to the symptoms of phlegm.

Kidney Qi Deficiency – The Chinese Kidney is said to be the source of prenatal Qi, or the energy inherited from the parents. If Kidney Qi is deficient, fatigue is more extreme than that seen in Spleen Qi deficiency. There may also be lack of strength, dizziness, ringing in the ears, pain or weakness in the low back and/or knees, frequent urination, night urination, and possible edema in the ankles and lower legs.

Lung Qi Deficiency – The Chinese Lung derives energy from the air we breathe. When Lung Qi is deficient there is shortness of breath, spontaneous sweating that is worse on exertion, a weak voice, weakened immunity, and possibly an enduring weak cough.

The Yang of the body provides the energy for activity and warming. One of the hallmark symptoms of deficient yang is a feeling of cold, especially in the hands and feet. Fatigue from yang deficiency comes from the Kidney, Spleen, or Heart meridian.

Kidney Yang Deficiency – Kidney Yang deficiency is the most commonly seen deficiency of yang. Symptoms include low back pain or knee pain, frequent urination at night, cold feet, and diminished libido. There may also be dizziness and vertigo, ear ringing, or daybreak diarrhea.

Spleen Yang deficiency effects the digestive system causing a dull pain in the stomach or abdomen that feels better with pressure, loose stools, and/or diarrhea. There will also be a cold feeling in the body or cold hands and feet, and excessive clear urination.

Once the underlying cause of fatigue has been determined, a treatment plan is established to strengthen and invigorate the Qi and Yang. Specific acupuncture points and Chinese herbs are chosen according to the precise diagnosis that incorporates each area of imbalance.

Antonia Balfour is an acupuncturist and herbalist practicing in Pacific Palisades, California. She is the co-owner and Clinical Director of Oasis Palisades, a Health & Wellness Center located in Pacific Palisades (on the Westside of Los Angeles, between Santa Monica and Malibu). She is a California-licensed, NCAAOM-certified acupuncturist. Antonia served as the 2008/2009 president of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce.