It's my pleasure to welcome to this platform
Linda Lofaro Lac. Acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese Herbal Medicine, who graciously offers the following information to help clear up confusion and controversy regarding what has come to be known as adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency.
While experts from all fields argue.....
Traditional Chinese Medicine offers effective treatment for conditions of exhaustion, nervous anxiety and stress!
Today we hear a lot about adrenal fatigue syndrome. What is it and why is it so prevalent? According to the Mayo Clinic, adrenal fatigue is the name giving to a group of symptoms caused by an insufficiency of the hormones produced by the adrenal gland. These symptoms include body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. There isn’t, however, an accepted medical diagnosis for this malady nor are there sufficiently good remedies in the biomedicine world. Why? Because they don’t understand the root cause of the problem.
In Chinese medicine adrenal fatigue is depletion of kidney energy and in some cases kidney essence. The cause of depletion is typically prolonged or chronic stress often combined with a constitutional weakness of the kidneys or adrenal system that may be congenital or developed earlier by mental or physical trauma. Stress or trauma causes cortisol to be released into your body which reduces inflammation and assists with bodily functions needed for flight or flight. Chronic stress or prolonged trauma continuously dumps cortisol into the body and overtime leads to many diseases, the most common of which is adrenal fatigue. This has become common in adults, young adults and even children, because of too much day-to-day stress or the result of physical or emotional trauma and in many cases both.
The solution then is not to pump up patients with hormones, or thyroid medications but to tonify the kidney energy, essence and function. Herbal supplements, like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Root, Holy Basil are good at helping the body regulate cortisol to decrease the effects of ongoing stress, but they don’t tonify the kidney. They rely on decreasing further depletion (a good idea for those with chronically stressful lives) but they don’t build. That is why these supplements either don’t often help people to feel better or take long to produce noticeable results.
This is where acupuncture and Chinese herbals come in. You must treat the root of the problem -- kidney energy, essence and function -- in order to feel noticeably better. And treat any other issues that often hamper restoring kidney function, such as deep sleep and nutrient absorption. Most important, you need to neutralize the stress response that has become patterned in the body. In other words, people need to manage stress differently to end the chronic stress cycle.
Kidney energy is derived in two ways. First, we derive kidney energy congenitally, called constitutional or prenatal qi, which is often reflective of the mother’s energy during pregnancy. It’s finite and naturally wanes with age. Secondly, we derive kidney energy through food (primarily) and also lifestyle (i.e. exercise, yoga, tai chi, etc.). This is called postnatal qi. If we are not absorbing energy from food because of digestive issues or poor diet, we cannot supplement our use of day-to-day kidney energy and then start to go into the constitutional energy reserves. Once in a while, this is not a problem. But everyday dependency on reserves depletes constitutional energy can’t be replenished. Same is true for sleep. If sleep is poor, the body is not able to consolidate and revitalize kidney energy or repair and generate cells and tissues. We wake up unrestored and rely on constitutional energy to keep going. If we don’t exercise to generate and move energy, we don’t recharge our kidney battery and again have to rely on constitutional energy. Eventually we burn out our adrenals.
Acupuncture and herbs treat all aspects of adrenal fatigue to RESTORE the body’s natural adrenal function. And in doing so, all related symptoms (digestion, sleep, stress-response) are remedied so you not only feel better, but your body is working as it should. Most important, acupuncture neutralizes the stress response by altering brain chemistry and helping people manage stress better and reduces the amount of cortisol in the body.
Certified Wellness Consultant speaks up!