According to Chinese Medicine, both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) have similar underlying causes. CFS is characterized by severe unremitting fatigue, see CFS, where as FM in addition to dysfunctions of CFS, also has severe wide spread pain. Chinese believe that all disease are caused by the imbalance of Qi (Chi).
What is Qi (Chi)?
According to Chinese Medicine, Chi is a form of bodily energy. It is a force behind the biological functions occurring in any living tissue. Chi represents the vital energy of the body but it also has a material form. It is both substance and function; the substantive or material form of Chi is oxygen, food and fluids the non-substantive form of Chi is the real but evasive concept of ‘vital force’. Chi is generated in internal organs and systems. This energy circulates throughout the body, forming paths called meridians. The meridians form a complex, multilevel network, which connects the various areas of the body, including the surfaces with the internal. All of the various meridian systems work together to assure the flow and distribution of chi throughout the body, thus controlling all bodily functions.
What happens when there is an imbalance?
When there is an imbalance, the flow of Chi in the meridian is affected. Chi could be blocked, decreased, increased or reversed, thus causing a problem in the corresponding meridian, internal organ or the organ system, causing the disease. The essential principle of Chinese medicine is to decide on the exact nature of the imbalance causing the trouble, and to correct those imbalances. As the natural forces of the body return to normal balance, the disease is then cured.
The art of the Chinese medicine is to identify the imbalance accurately so that it can be corrected quite specifically. In case of CFS and FM there are there are several meridians, organs, and organ systems are affected. Those include Liver, Spleen, Kidney, and Heart systems. It does not mean that something is wrong with those organs, from the Chinese Medical perspective, it may or may not be that actual organ is affected, but it is always that there is some energetic imbalance, that needs correcting.
Liver system is responsible for emotions, ligaments and tendons, it stores blood and is responsible for smooth flow of Chi. Liver allows us to be flexible, and not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally. Balanced liver allows us to adapt to stressful situations and environment surrounding us. Disharmonies of liver as those that happen in CFS and FM, include depression, irritability/anger, insomnia, anxiety, problems with joints and connective tissue, and it can affect other systems, in particular Heart and Spleen systems.
In Chinese Medicine, Spleen system is responsible for transformation of food and liquid into the form that our bodies can use. It helps to nourish strengthen our Chi and Blood. Spleen is about engagement, possibilities, and creativity. Spleen Chi is often described as the zest that moves life. In CFS and FM when Spleen is imbalanced can lead to deficiencies in Chi and Blood, it can manifest as weakened or altered immune response, and anemia. Other symptoms of Spleen disharmony are: chronic fatigue, worry, pensiveness, poor motivation, disinterest in the activities that were once pleasurable, decrease in creative energy, other Spleen signs are weight gain, problems with digestion and the metabolism.
In addition for allowing the Blood to circulate though the body, the Heart System is about the appropriate connection in terms of place, person, or project, it allows for manners, ceremony, and propriety. In CFS and FM, if Heart System is imbalanced, a patient can experience palpitations, sweating, forgetfulness, insomnia and anxiety. When Heart System is affected, it usually can affect other systems.
According to CM, Kidneys are the root of our being, and are responsible for our development from our birth to unfolding of our life and through to ultimate end. Kidney control the health of our bone. It is said that any chronic disease depletes Kidney Chi, particularly Kidney Jing. Kidney Jing also called Kidney Essence is similar to Chi, but is a deeper essence. The kidneys store jing, the quality and quantity of which determine your vitality, resistance to disease, and longevity. You are born with congenital jing, the quality and amount determined by the health and constitution of your parents at the time of your conception, incubation and birth. You only inherit a specific amount, and when it’s used up, you’re dead. However, acquired jing can be extracted from food, herbal medicine, therapeutic exercise and meditation. Acquired jing can greatly enhance the activity of your congenital jing. There cannot be an overabundance of jing. Stress, fear, lust and overwork will also deplete jing. Deficiency of jing can retard physical and mental growth, slow maturation, and lead to deficient brain function, weak legs and bones, reproductive problems, inability to cope with stress, chronic, and degenerative problems. Other problems of Kidneys can manifest as high or low blood pressure, fear, agitation, night sweats, hot flashes, frequent urination, and problems with teeth. Depletion of kidneys can often be linked to disruption in other organs, either preliminary, or as a final consequence of them.
Acupuncture is safe, effective, and natural, it has been used very effectively for thousands of years by literally billions of people worldwide for a variety of disorders.