Tiredness is one of the most common ailments in Western patients. Very often it is the only symptoms, which the patient complains about. In Chinese Medicine the term used is “exhaustion” meaning there is an underlying deficiency of the body’s Qi (better known as energy or life force). However, in some cases it may even be an Excess condition. Some forms of tiredness come when someone has the flu or cold and other times it may be a function of their immune system or even a lack of sleep.
In the depletion of skin (lung) the hair falls out. In the depletion of blood vessels (heart) the blood cannot nourish the internal organs. In the depletion of muscles (spleen) these become weak. In the depletion of the tendons (liver), they cannot support the body. In the depletion of bones (kidney) these begin to wither. Exhaustion or tiredness can be an overexertion of the body thus leading to the depletion of Qi, Blood, Tendons, Bones, Muscles and Essence.
Many practitioners believe that if there is a weakness in the Stomach and Spleen area that this is the first place to treat. These organs are responsible of digesting and transforming all foods into the body, so if this system is not working correctly than someone will not be receiving nourishment in the proper way. They will also not be able to move foods through their body properly. In this case I would strengthen the Spleen and Stomach through acupuncture and also herbal supplements. It has been amazing for me to realize how many individuals suffer in their digestive systems alone and that clearing this one thing up can help patients transform tremendously.
Deficiency takes place in the following organ systems: Lung, Spleen, Heart, Stomach, Liver and Kidney. The Lung deficiency manifests with breathlessness as well as childhood whooping cough and the usual symptoms look like catching a cold and cough often. The Spleen deficiency manifests as lack of appetite, muscle weakness and loose stools. It can also look like someone is always hungry even after they have finished eating. The Heart deficiency presents itself as tiredness, depression as well as slight palpitations. The Stomach deficiency presents itself as gas or bloating as well as indigestion. Kidney symptoms are mental depression lower back pain and lack of will-power. The Liver deficiency manifests as easily startled, cramps, blurred vision and dry skin.
Excess patterns of tiredness usually occur with the Liver. In many cases I have not only done acupuncture and herbs for this excess but will also put my patients on a Liver detox a couple times a year to keep them cleaned out and more vital. When the Liver becomes excess it looks like frustration, anger, stagnation and also tightness around the diaphragm area and ribs. It can also look like a lot of phlegm and dampness, which lodges in the body in the forms of sinus and even headaches. As I have mentioned in other articles, the Liver is the one organ, which needs to have a smooth flow of Qi in order for it to operate well. Phlegm and Dampness also cause tiredness by themselves because they obstruct the smooth flow of Qi. The Liver really controls and regulates all of the body parts and organs and regulates the entering and exiting of the Qi in the body. So one can see how the symptom of tiredness can not only be derived from a deficiency but also from the impairment in the movement and circulation of Qi caused by Liver-Qi stagnation. This is why even if someone has no ailments it is always good to get a treatment to just move your Liver-Qi energy and keep it flowing smoothly.
There are several reasons for tiredness, which vary from all the above organ systems. The main one is from a Weak Constitution. This has to do with the parents hereditary as well as the age that the parent conceived. It is also believed that most everyone comes in with some sort of deficiency although in Chinese Medicine it is the job of the practitioner to find out what this weakness is and to build it up and tonify it. I think this is the greatest difference between Western and Eastern Medicine. It is believed that the deficiency can be transformed and made stronger. Here are some examples of weak constitution and organ systems: Heart looks like sleeplessness and nervousness, Lungs look like chest diseases, Spleen looks like poor appetite and digestion, Liver looks like headaches and amenorrhea in women and Kidneys look like infertility, sterility and poor bone health.
Chinese Medicine can work with all of the presentations and can also cure patients of life long problems so that the patient can transform and prosper into a healthy life. I have seem many miraculous examples of all of the above symptoms being totally cured. The idea is to nourish, strengthen, and bolster the system to health and attain full energy and vitality whereby the true radiant being is restored to its true self.