Acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In need of “acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome near me”? Our acupuncturists provide the best acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome in Irvine.

Chronic fatigue is a condition that can cause problems in your daily life and should be treated right away.

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irvine acupuncture for chronic fatigue and exhaustion
irvine acupuncture for chronic fatigue and exhaustion

“It has been amazing that he has helped me with so many lifelong problems. His staff is friendly, they work with my schedule, and Dr. Fu is very professional and precise. I highly recommend this office.” – K.K. (Laguna Niguel, CA)

Table of Contents

Chronic Fatigue Syndome Information

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), is a complex chronic condition characterized by extreme fatigue or tiredness. Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) was found in 2015, to affect an estimated 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans, but most of them have not been diagnosed [2].

What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

With chronic fatigue syndrome, one may experience different symptoms. These are symptoms you may experience:

  • Feeling unrefreshed after a night’s sleep
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Reduced concentration
  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • Multi-joint pain without redness or swelling
  • Frequent sore throat
  • Tender and swollen lymph nodes in your neck and armpits
  • Dizziness that worsens with moving from lying down or sitting to standing
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme exhaustion after physical or mental exercise

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture is the process of using acupuncture needles to treat various conditions. It is a practice under traditional Chinse medicine (TCM), also known as Oriental medicine. In this field, it focuses on the entire well-being and believes that the body’s condition is determined by the harmony or balance of energy called qi or chi. TCM treatments like acupuncture maintain or restore this harmony of qi. Acupuncture can do this by inserting needles into specific points called acupoints to stimulate the flow of qi and as result restore balance. This process then results in the natural healing of the body and alleviation of symptoms.

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Research On Acupuncture For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Because ME/CFS is still unknown, many people have looked to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) specifically acupuncture to help treat their condition. As a result, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [1] wanted to verify the efficacy of acupuncture treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. In their test, they created three groups, one with body acupuncture, one with Sa-am acupuncture, and one control group. The groups with acupuncture would receive 10 sessions in 4 weeks. 

Through that research, NCBI concluded that acupuncture for 4 weeks in addition to usual care may help improve fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

Additional Info

Acupuncture can treat many symptoms and is even able to treat symptoms of chronic fatigue and other related symptoms. Here is what acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome can treat:

  • Pain / Muscle Pain
  • Sleeping Disorders
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive issues, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a very complex condition and medical professionals have yet to find a cure. It was only found to have about a 5 percent recovery rate. Fortunately, certain symptoms can be treated and help with managing ME/CFS. Medication is one of the first recommendations but it may require various drugs to help. Chronic fatigue syndrome is experienced differently for each person and requires an assortment of medication that can have side effects. There is one treatment that has been found effective in treating chronic fatigue syndrome and all its symptoms. It’s acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome.

The cause of CFS is still unknown and it could be that some people are born with a high chance of getting ME/CFS. In most cases, the health community believes it’s triggered by these factors or a combination of these factors:

  • Viral infections: There were cases where the condition developed after an illness caused by a virus (Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus 6, Ross River virus (RRV), rubella virus)
  • Immune system problems: It was found that those with chronic fatigue syndrome had problems with their immune system
  • Hormonal imbalances: People with chronic fatigue syndrome were also found to have abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in places like the hypothalamus, pituitary glands, or adrenal glands.
  • Physical or emotional trauma: Some people started to experience ME/CFS after going through some sort of trauma.
    Genetics: Those who have relatives with ME/CFS have a higher risk of developing it.

ME/CFS is a hard condition to diagnose because it can be very similar to other conditions and there isn’t a proper medical test to screen for it. Also, it was found that out of the people with ME/CFS, only 84 to 91 percent have yet to receive a diagnosis. As a result, health professionals can only narrow down the symptoms and try to find the core symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome because there are some conditions similar to CFS. Here are some conditions that resemble CFS:

  • Mononucleosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Severe obesity
  • Sleep disorders (Insomnia)

Chronic fatigue syndrome can come with many complications and affect your quality of life. Here are some things you may experience:

  • Chronic Pain: muscle pain, headaches, joint pain
  • Lifestyle restrictions: Activities pre-condition is not difficult or hard to do. For example, exercising might be more difficult
    Difficulties in keeping a job, going to school, or taking part in family and social life: This may lead to the conditions below.
  • Social isolation: Conditions make it harder to interact with people.
  • Depression: The condition might make you feel a sense of hopelessness or being demoralized.
  • Anxiety: Symptoms may hinder normal activities causing more stress.
  • Sleep Problems: CFS can lead to difficulties in sleeping.

Acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome can provide treatment that can help alleviate symptoms, but there are some other remedies you can do that can help. Here are some tips you can do at home:

  • Pace yourself
  • Exercise
  • Improving Sleep Habits
  • Breathing exercise and mindfulness
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet

[1] Kim, Jung-Eun et al. “Acupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome and idiopathic chronic fatigue: a multicenter, nonblinded, randomized controlled trial.” Trials vol. 16 314. 26 Jul. 2015, doi:10.1186/s13063-015-0857-0

[2] Institute of Medicine; Committee on the Diagnostic Criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Feb 10, 2015), Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, doi:10.17226/19012

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Dr. Chun-Ming Fu Ph.D.

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