Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Fatigue

Diagnosing and treating fatigue is one of the strong points of traditional Chinese medicine. The first and most important step is to examine the person's lifestyle to eliminate any possible causes of fatigue, such as lack of sleep, poor diet, insufficient exercise, or overworking.

Without correcting these problems, it is difficult or impossible to restore the patient's energy level. Once the proper lifestyle adjustments are made, treatments are much more likely to be effective.

The most common diagnoses in cases of chronic fatigue are deficiency of qi, blood, or yang, and many cases are a combination of these syndromes.  Traditional Chinese Medicine is helpful in dealing with fatigue, particularly adrenal fatigue.

What You Can Do Right Now

Frequently Asked Question about Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine views humans as microcosms of the surrounding universe; interconnected with nature and the forces of it.  The framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine contains several components:

Ying-Yang theory

  • the theory that two opposing yet complimentary forces shape the world and life

Eight Principles

  • used to analyze conditions and symptoms (cold/heat, yin/yang, excess/deficiency, interior/exterior)

Five Elements

  • fire, water, earth, wood, metal


  • a system of pathways which the life force (qi) circulates through in the body

How to Select a Good TCM Practitioner

Traditional Chinese Medicine is typically delivered by a practitioner.  Typically the student must attend at least three years of training to be qualified to sit for a licensing exam to become a certified TCM practitioner.

In order to make an accurate diagnosis, the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner will combine four methods of diagnosis:

1.  Inspection - observing anything unusual about the patient's appearance

2.  Listening and Smelling - listen to the patient's voice and notice how they smell

3.  Questioning - asking the patient about their medical history and symptoms

4.  Palpitation - finding out the pulse rate and it's nature as well as by pressing the skin, hands, feet, chest and abdominal areas to check for pathological changes

A comprehensive view of all the body's symptoms and signs has to be undertaken before any diagnosis can be made.

Before choosing a practitioner, it is important to discuss with them their style of treatment and qualifications, fees for services and your specific health concerns.

History of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine is the third oldest form of medicine, behind Egyptian and Babylonian medicine. 

The oldest received work of Chinese medical theory (Internal Classic of the Yellow Emperor) was compiled around the first century BCE.  It offers explanations of the relationship between humans, their environment and the universe as well as human vitality and pathology, symptoms of illness and how to make a diagnosis and prescribed treatment.

Between 196 and 220 CE drug therapy began to combine with Yinyang and the Five Phases theories and the evolution of texts on grouping symptoms into clinically useful patterns that could serve as targets for therapy.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is the sum of the sum of knowledge gained by all the nationalities of China in fighting disease and maintaining good heath over thousands of years.

Theory behind Fatigue Treatment using Traditional Chinese Medicine

The threat of toxicity is the chief reason for the usual shift from modern to traditional medicine, the most popular of which is the traditional Chinese medicine. Throughout the centuries, traditional healing practices are believed to be effective in treating not only the associated symptoms of the disease such as fatigue, but also the underlying pathogenesis.

Chinese traditional medicine is mainly formulated with natural products and by-products. These formulations contain chemicals which are effective in terms of bringing the weakened immune system back into its healthy state, making it more effective in strengthening the body against threat of infections and autoimmune diseases which can cause fatigue.

And also, since fatigue is believed to be caused by the alteration in the hypothalami-pituitary-adrenal composition, Chinese traditional medicine has the ability to bring the harmonic interrelationship among these three glands back so that the body can be in its right, functioning state.

Research of Fatigue Treatment using Traditional Chinese Medicine

A 2010 study by Chen et al. aims to deliberate significant documents on fatigue and traditional Chinese medicine. It has elaborated all the drugs that can be prescribed under this alternative approach, and the possible mechanism from which fatigue relief can be made possible. It is also stated, however, that this pathogenesis was not yet confirmed and that more biochemical studies should be performed for its ultimate revelation.

While there are many recorded studies correlating fatigue and traditional Chinese medicine, the above mentioned study nonetheless stated that more plausibly-designed (randomization and control) studies should be conducted, and that these future studies should take advantage of the available scientific breakthroughs to completely unravel useful facts for this disease and this traditional approach.

Stories of Fatigue Treatment using Traditional Chinese Medicine

One patient who found great help using TCM remarked, “you should try some Traditional Chinese Medicine!! you have nothing to lose (except the fatigue!) and everything and more to gain.”

Questions and Comments about Traditional Chinese Medicine for Fatigue

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