Tiredness is one of the most common conditions presenting in patients. Quite often tiredness is seen in Chinese medicine as a deficiency condition, although it may also be caused by an excess as well.
The causes of tiredness can vary, a weak constitution, overwork, physical overexertion, poor diet, severe illness and childbirth to name a few can all too often be the cause of tiredness.
From the acupuncture perspective it is important to find out where these causes are affecting the body. If it’s the lungs there would be tiredness accompanied with a feeling of breathless, have a propensity to catch colds and have spontaneous sweating; or it may manifest in the spleen where there is also a poor appetite, muscular weakness, bloating and loose stools.
You can also have a situation of rather than having too little energy or ‘qi’ it is actually that the qi is stagnant and causes blockages. In this way energy cannot flow freely around the body and get to where it needs to. For example, think of someone who has blocked or narrowing of the arteries, the blood and oxygen cannot get to the muscle and cells due the blockage/stagnation. People suffering from this may also present with tiredness that is worse in the afternoon with a “wound up” feeling, distension or soreness of the ribs, PMT or headaches.