Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterised by severe disabling fatigue, accompanied by four of more of the following symptoms: unrefreshing sleep, exertional malaise, impaired concentration, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, headaches and musculoskeletal pain.
The cause is not fully understood but there are various hypotheses including immunological, endocrine and viral illness. CBT and graded exercise programmes are the more common treatment approaches.
For clients who may want to avoid the use of medication, taking a proactive approach to making certain lifestyle changes combined with the use of medical acupuncture can be very effective. When treating this type of condition, trust, empathy and compassion are important in determining treatment outcomes.
The evidence for the use of acupuncture seems to be positive albeit based on studies of lower quality. When treating chronic fatigue syndrome, clinically I have achieved best results when combining 8-10 sessions of acupuncture treatment with dietary, exercise, sleep and stress management interventions.
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