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Most people wish they had more of it, but some are really struggling to just get through the day.  Some people self-medicate with coffee and tea, others drink so-called "energy drinks."  Still others resort to prescription stimulants to cope with chronic fatigue or the unwanted effect of shift work.

Don't Cut Your Sleep

It may seem like this is stating the obvious, but when you repeatedly go to bed too late and also get up too early, you are stealing from yourself and the effect is cumulative. Most people need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, and if you don't get that night after night, it only stands to reason that your energy level will drop.  

It is usually parents of young children that are cutting their sleep like this or people who do shift work or are working too many hours.  If circumstances force you to cut your sleep, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help you get through these periods of less sleep, and minimize the long-term damage of sleep deprivation.

Don't Steal Energy from Yourself

The danger of self-medicating with too much coffee and "energy drinks" is not so obvious, but as with all things you should know that "there is no free lunch." 


One problem with drinking too much caffeine is that it can overstimulate your heart and lead to anxiety, or stress, as it is sometimes called.  The bigger problem is that it tricks you into thinking that you have more energy than you really do, which leads you to do more, which puts you further into energy deficit. 


When people do this year after year, the level of fatigue can become so severe that by the time they realize that they are damaging themselves, they can't figure out how to solve the problem.  They are now exhausted and no amount of rest or vacation can fix it.  Treatment with TCM can solve this problem.

Avoid Reaching the 'Point of No Return'

Once people reach a certain level of fatigue, it is common that they start having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.  This feels like 'the point of no return,' because if you can't sleep, then there seems to be no way to recover from the fatigue.  This is when people become desperate and seek out sleeping pills, which can have side effects like grogginess and amnesia leaving them feeling not that much better.


Fortunately, there actually isn't a "point of no return,' because regular treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can boost your energy back to normal and get you to the point where you can fall asleep and stay asleep.  Once your sleep quality improves, your energy level will return to normal on its own and further treatment is no longer required, unlike sleeping pills which are typically taken long-term because they don't treat the root of insomnia.

Treating Fatigue with TCM

The good news is: no matter how exhausted you are right now, it is possible to substantially improve your energy level and not just temporarily.  Along with restoring the regulation of body temperature, another fundamental capability of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is to increase energy.  This is done using specific acupuncture points and specific Chinese herbal ingredients, and the effect is typically long-lasting.  Dr. Baert may also recommend that you make some lifestyle changes, too.

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