Ask The Expert

Traditional Chinese Medicine & CFS

SLOAN! Magazine asked leading wellbeing & Chinese Medicine practitioner John Tsagaris for advice for our readers suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – a common condition amongst high achievers.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a history of thousands of years. It is formed by systematising   the precious experience of understanding life, its regulative mechanisms, maintaining health, and fighting diseases accumulated in daily life, production and medical practice. It not only has a holistic medical approach, but also has abundant preventative and therapeutic methods for addressing and treating health concerns.

Exploring, identifying and using the most appropriate therapeutic tools, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, bodywork, cupping, nutrition, etc Chinese medicine is aiming to regulate the body and the mind in order to alleviate health problems such as chronic fatigue syndrome.

The cause of the syndrome remains poorly understood, but hypotheses include endocrine and immunological abnormalities, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, non-specific aches and certain infectious illnesses, such as Epstein-Barr virus and viral meningitis. However From a Chinese perspective takes a holistic approach to health and regards illness as a sign that the body is out of balance. The exact pattern and degree of imbalance is unique to each individual.

Acupuncture may help to relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome such as musculoskeletal pain, headache, sleep problems, tiredness and depression by addressing these problems as a pattern that reflects this imbalance. The acupuncture treatment stimulates nerve pathways which lead to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing and perception of pain. It reducing inflammation improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation and helps the individual to have a better quality of sleep due to melatonin support from the treatment.

Stress has detrimental effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels can affect every physiological system in the body. It can influence all the functions of the body and deplete energy levels. In Chinese medicine Adaptogens are a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress. They help strengthen the body’s response to stress and enhance its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue. They’re called adaptogens because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to your body’s specific needs. They can normalise body imbalances. by supporting adrenal function, they counteract the adverse effects of stress. Examples of effective adaptogen herbs that can be taken individually or in combination with other Chinese herbs according to an appropriate diagnosis by a practioner include, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Gou Ji Berries, Ashwagandha, Licorice, Schisandra, Ganoderma and others.

 A healthy diet for CFS

In order to maintain optimum health the body requires a balance of healthy foods. The aim for an appropriate diet is immune regulation through healthy food that will counteract inflammation, monitor immune system dietary intolerances and facilitate sufficient energy release throughout the day. What is included in a balanced diet will really be dependent on personal circumstances but recommendations may include one or more of the following:

Beans, nuts and seeds: These are a great source of protein, healthy fat, fibre and full of antioxidant content.

Fruit and vegetables: These foods will help to strengthen the immune system, but  help to improve energy levels as well.

Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 oils work as anti-inflammatories alleviating pain in the body. In addition, they can also help to balance certain chemicals in the brain, which affect psychological mood variations.

Protein: Protein is an essential component in any diet as it helps to build and maintain body tissue and balance the fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Dietary sources include, lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Vegetarians can get their intake of protein from nuts, seeds, legumes and beans.

Supplements: Vitamin supplementation is always advisable particularly prescribed from a qualified practitioner who will assess dietary and blood test requirements.

Water: Drinking lots of water and staying well hydrated plays an important role on energy distribution. Alkaline or/and oxygenated water are very good options for therapeutic way of drinking water.

Whole grains: Brown rice, barley, quinoa, oatmeal and whole wheat are some of the healthiest whole grain options so try to include these in your diet where possible. These foods containing fibre absorb excess bio-products within the digestive track and detoxify the colon resulting in better digestive health.

Biography

John 44John Tsagaris is a highly acclaimed Chinese medical expert with over two decades of experience specialising in overall health, beauty and wellbeing therapeutic interventions. The East-meets-West Doctor of traditional Chinese medicine John Tsagaris has also launched an exclusive luxurious skincare range, SkinPointEight.

John Tsagaris offers a wealth of knowledge and holds an Honours Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine with Human Bioscience, a postgraduate diploma in skin disorders and cosmetology, as well as a specialisation in dermatology and anti-aging at Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China.  John Tsagaris uniquely evolves the natural elements of Chinese practice and attributes of western science into his treatments and products to deliver optimal results for his clients. John Tsagaris has consulted for some of the most prestigious medical venues overseas and has recently opened his brand new clinic in the heart of Chelsea where he has a large, international celebrity following including supermodels and Hollywood A-List actresses.

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