Fatigue is common today, and many people think that getting more rest and sleep is the answer – but it's not all of it, according to Dr. Wu Kuo-Pin, the director of Taiwan's Hsinyitang Chinese Medicine Clinic.
Fatigue itself comes in many forms and can be an intrusive symptom of many conditions. In some cases, it can even be a byproduct of drug therapies, such as cancer treatment. While feeling tired is a normal part of life, it is something that can be remedied by rest and support.
Sleep is not the cure-all for tiredness and fatigue. According to Wu, people also need to understand which type of fatigue they are suffering from to get the right remedy and the best results.
Physiological fatigue, or physical fatigue, is caused by the body being overworked. "The lack of adequate nutrient supply to the tissues and organs will lead to weakness and tiredness of the limbs," Wu said.
This kind of fatigue is often an occupational disease, which may be caused by maintaining a certain posture or doing a certain action for a long time. To treat this kind of fatigue, people should pay attention on whether there are deviations or excesses in posture or movement, and do some stretching exercises to loosen up.
Mental fatigue, on the other hand, is prolonged mental stress. Rest or sleep are not very effective in relieving this type of fatigue because it requires holistic solutions of both the body and mind to release pressure or suppressed emotions. Mental fatigue is also the reason many people seek out therapists.
"In other words, we must take the weight off our mind and thoroughly solve and let go of the disturbance in order to truly eliminate mental fatigue and restore health," said Wu. (Related: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia.)
Brain fatigue comes from long hours of thinking or focusing on something, leading to the feeling of burnout. Wu said excessive use of the brain will cause it to consume a lot of oxygen, thereby resulting in a lack of oxygen supply to the brain. Because of this, carbon dioxide cannot be metabolized smoothly, and brain fatigue can occur, accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea, memory loss and others.
In cases like these, breathing exercises can yield great results. Brain fatigue can be eliminated by inhaling large amounts of oxygen into the lungs. "Then move the cervical spine, and comb the hair so that the blood quickly and smoothly flows toward the brain," Wu explained.
However, these are short-term and immediate remedies. For a longer-lasting reprieve, it is best to readjust to the pace of life by reviewing your workload and rest time and striking a balance between the two.
Subjective fatigue can be described as exhaustion. It is a state of feeling powerless and is usually caused by personal emotions. This could come from being committed to a workload over a period, but the efforts are not rewarded or recognized, leading to decreased motivation. (Related: Yoga found to reduce inflammation and fatigue in breast cancer survivors.)
Wu said this differs from mental fatigue, which has more to do with being overwhelmed. Subjective fatigue, on the other hand, comes from a loss of motivation rather than an anxious state.
"It is necessary to rekindle the enthusiasm. Try to shift part of your attention to other activities, or change your work style and learning methods," Wu said, adding that it is also important to let go of things.
Fatigue from diet also happens. Nutritional imbalance and health problems could also cause fatigue. Most Americans today have nutritional deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals. Wu said the importance of a balanced diet is emphasized in an ancient Chinese medical book.
Following Chinese wisdom, Wu said it is essential to eat a balanced diet according to each person's physique to relieve fatigue and to stay healthy.
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This video is from the Health Medicine channel on Brighteon.com.