Historically, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has had a bad rap. In the past, it was nicknamed Yuppie Flu, because it was reported that well-paid, but overworked, young middle-class people seemed to catch it in droves. They were blamed for working too hard and burning themselves out.
But, to the 260,000 people affected by it in the UK, it is no joke. On average, the condition lasts for at least six years and many live with a form of the condition for life.
Symptoms and Severity
CFS is different for every individual who contracts it. The main symptom that is shared amongst all is the extreme tiredness that is not relieved by resting or sleeping. This isn’t just an experience of being weary. The feeling can be overwhelming and sufferers say that they can’t see an end to it.
Other symptoms include insomnia, muscle and joint pain, headaches, flu-type symptoms and sore throat, dizziness and foggy brain.
It goes without saying that having just a few symptoms from the list above can have serious consequences on your life. Coupled with the fact that a diagnosis for CFS is not a fast process, as it has very similar symptoms to other conditions, so you may have a flurry of examinations and blood tests to rule out most of these.
All this, and the every-day pain and exhaustion affect work, relationships and your mental health.
Typical treatment plans
Once diagnosed, the traditional approach is to draw up a plan for you that may include lifestyle changes and a healthy diet. You may be offered cognitive behavioural therapy and sympathetic employers might make adjustments to help manage your activity levels.
There isn’t a targeted drug that treats or cures CFS but you may be advised to take painkillers or anti-depressants if it is affecting your mental health.
The most common message suffers are told is, “there’s nothing that can be done… you have to live with it..”
How acupuncture and herbal medicine can help
Sometimes acupuncture on its own is used, sometime a combined approach is more suitable. It depends on the specific symptoms and your individual circumstances.
Here are a couple of examples of people I’ve helped:
Nick had been suffering with the symptoms of CFS for nine years.
“For years I was told that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was untreatable and that I would have to live with it for life.”
He suffered with low energy, palpitations and insomnia. He was constantly tired and anxious. This situation was perfect to treat with acupuncture.
Nick commented that: “…with regular treatment I am able to continue a normal life just as I was before being diagnosed.”
Karen had a range of symptoms and she too was told that nothing more could be done.
“I spent years feeling tired, lethargic with constant viral symptoms i.e. muscle aches & pains, pins & needles, constant sore throat & always being ill as I had a weak immune system. I was also being treated with drugs by this point for depression.”
For Karen, I recommended a combined approach of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
“Jane treated me holistically as an individual. After a course of acupuncture & herbs all the symptoms disappeared, I felt well in myself and my energy levels returned. I was also able to discontinue the depression medication.
Want to learn more?
We are regulated by the British Acupuncture Council, who have factsheets to explain the effectiveness of acupuncture with illnesses and conditions. To read more about acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you can click this link.
For more information about Chinese Herbal medicine you can click this link https://rchm.specialdev.uk/chinese-medicine/chinese-herbal-medicine
If you have CFS and want to get in touch with me to discuss how I can help, you can call for an exploratory call, or book here