A study by the Center for Disease Control found that one in four Americans suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). CFS is a debilitating disorder that is characterized by chronic fatigue that can’t be alleviated with sleep, and that is often exacerbated by physical or mental exertion. While people with CFS can be seriously impaired, only half of the adults suffering from this condition have sought medical help. Furthermore, the earlier this condition is caught and addressed, the higher the chances are of recovery. In addition to the fatigue, patients report symptoms of weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory, and insomnia. CFS can last for years if untreated.
The cause of CFS is unknown, but recent research conducted by Emory University School of Medicine found a link between CFS and people who experienced trauma (specifically emotional or sexual abuse) as children. CFS patients were found to have low levels of cortisol, a “stress hormone” which is often associated with trauma. A lack of cortisol is known to prolong stress responses. Not all CFS patients have suffered from a childhood trauma, but there appears to be a clear tie between trauma and anxiety and the energy disorder.
While Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can certainly impede a person’s activities, it can also provide an important wake up call. Once a patient is diagnosed with CFS, it is important to seek treatment and be aware of one’s limits. Often, the path to recovery from CFS includes making oneself a priority. Earlier research has indicated that 77% of CFS sufferers have turned to complementary medicine instead of, or in conjunction with, Western medicine.
Massage therapy and acupuncture, in particular, can address many of the problems associated with CFS, such as body aches, insomnia, and stress levels. Clinics like the one at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, San Diego will provide patients with a specialized diagnosis and highly individualized treatment plan. Auricular acupuncture (acupuncture of the ear) has been known to be especially effective in anxiety and stress treatment, and Asian body therapy can relax muscles, reduce stress, and improve sleep patterns.
For more information on Traditional Oriental Medicine for the treatment of CFS, or to make an appointment, please contact Pacific College at (800) 729-0941 or visit www.pacificcollege.edu