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February 7, 2010 at 3:54 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Acupuncture and Alternative Therapies for Chronic Fatigue

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a mystery. There is no way to test for CFS; you can only identify the symptoms. You can't cure chronic fatigue, and there's no official treatment. All you can do is treat your individual complaints. If you aren't interested in taking a bunch of pills, suffering from side effects, or if you would like to supplement your treatment program, there are many alternative therapies available.

Acupuncture and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy used to balance the energies, or Chi, in your body. The Chinese believe that Chi flows through the body in channels, and that people become sick when their chi becomes unbalanced. The acupuncture points in the body are places where the practitioner can access the channels of Chi. Needles are inserted at these points in different combinations in the body to rebalance your Chi. Acupuncture is safe when performed by a certified practitioner and has few side effects.

Western medicine has a different interpretation of acupuncture. It maintains that acupuncture stimulates nerves, tissues, and muscles to increase blood flow and activate your body's natural painkillers. In a clinical trial, CFS patients receiving acupuncture treatments reported considerable improvement in their symptoms, particularly anxiety and fatigue. Acupuncture can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other chronic fatigue syndrome treatment programs. In the last 20 years, acupuncture has become more popular in the United States and around the world. Today, it is fairly easy to find a qualified practitioner.

Exercise and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

When you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you have to be careful to avoid stress and not work yourself too hard. But, at the same time, too much rest can make your symptoms worse. This is why a controlled exercise program is an important part of treating chronic fatigue syndrome. In one study of patients with CFS, 70 percent felt better after participating in a moderate exercise program.

Yoga can work well for someone with chronic fatigue syndrome because it involves meditation and stretching. Yoga postures are done while you are sitting, standing, or lying down, so you can pick the postures that work best for you. Yoga is also known to reduce stress, which can benefit all of us.

Antioxidants and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

When you have chronic fatigue syndrome, your immune system is impaired. A diet rich in antioxidants (which can be found in fruits and vegetables) can help this problem. Dietary supplements can also be helpful in increasing the amount of antioxidants you consume. These foods and supplements may be helpful:

  • Ginko biloba
  • Bilberry
  • Blueberry
  • Cranberry
  • Grape

Vitamins and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

People with chronic fatigue syndrome are often found to be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. Doctors think that these deficiencies are caused by the illness and not inadequacies in diet. Try increasing your consumption of these vitamins and minerals and see if you feel better:

  • Folic acid
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B10 and other B vitamins
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin C
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Magnesium

References:

http://mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/DS00395/DSECTION=8

http://mayoclinic.com/health/acupuncture/SA00086

http://www.webmd.com/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-other-treatment

http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/ABSTRACTS/Chronic_Fatigue_Syndrome.shtml

http://www.thorne.com/media/chronicfatiguesyndrome.pdf

Photo Credit: Boehringerlngelheim

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