There is a strong tendency in modern society to overemphasise yang (activity) and disregard the need for yin (rest). It results in tiredness, bordering on exhaustion. Also, for many people, their dissatisfaction with themselves and their lives can create a feeling of tiredness, even if they have sufficient energy.
Acupuncture is an effective remedy for tiredness, but it may relapse unless patients change their lifestyle. If the therapist can give the patient a clear insight into his/her personality and the overall patterns of his/her life, then with sufficient motivation, patients can apply self-help measures to fight tiredness. Here are some reasons for tiredness:
● Constitutional type: A person’s physical and psychological constitutional type depends on the interaction between their genetic make-up and the surrounding environment after conception. Poor parental health during conception or pregnancy can result in weak constitution in the child.
● Climatic factors: Living in cold damp rooms or working in humid conditions can sap the strength. So does working in air-conditioned buildings with artificial lighting.
● Life pressures: Start of school, change of house, loss of job, difficulties in a relationship, car accident, bereavement and so on can both deplete and stagnate the energy in our body.
● Hormonal and life changes: Tiredness often follows the major life stages, such as puberty, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause, not only because of the hormonal changes at these key times, but also because of the difficulties in adapting to the new role.
● Childbirth: Childbirth is often followed by severe tiredness and depression, especially when the mother has not completely recovered from a previous childbirth and has lost much sleep with the previous child. It is important that the mother has a nourishing diet along with requisite sleep and rest.
● Psychological disorders: Everyone has potential or minor imbalances in their psychological make-up. Under sufficient pressure, these imbalances can manifest in minor or major psychological disorders — anxiety, depression, manic depression, schizophrenia and so on — depending on the type of personality.
● Physical illness: Chronic pain, hypothyroidism, diabetes, cancer and many other physical conditions can result in severe tiredness.
● Medicines: Various medical drugs cause tiredness or drowsiness as a side-effect. Unless there are special severe problems, acupuncture combined with gentle supportive counselling is preferable to tranquillisers.
● Drugs: Stimulants such as strong tea, coffee, amphetamines and cocaine will drain the energy and may also interfere with the sleep patterns.
● Nutrition: Malnutrition, from poverty, ignorance or unwise dieting can cause tiredness, since the spleen can not produce enough qi and blood for the body to use or the kidneys to store.
● Exercise: Lack of exercise can produce a feeling of tiredness and depression. Excessive exercise can result in exhaustion due to
deficiency of qi and yang in kidney and heart.
● Work: It is not simply the quantity of work that is exhausting, it is the degree of stress with which it is performed, and the degree of dissatisfaction with the work situation.
● Lack of sleep: One of the most obvious causes of tiredness is lack of sleep. Either the patients do not permit themselves sufficient hours of sleep, or their rhythms are broken by the irregular hours of shift work, or they have insomnia — difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep.
● Sex: It is not only the amount of sex that is depleting, it is the degree of stress with which it is performed. Also, lack of satisfaction and completion in sex can lead to great frustration and depression, and to a feeling of tiredness and despondency. Excessive sex may aggravate tiredness due to deficiency. Sexual problems may give rise to a feeling of tiredness, associated with depression and stagnation.
All the aforementioned causes can be effectively treated with