Chronic Fatigue syndrome is an illness that consists of a constellation of symptoms lasting for many months. These symptoms are fatigue, joint problems, muscle tissue pain, trouble focusing, and trouble concentrating. It is sometimes related to a preexisting viral illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. There is no effective treatment in Western, allopathic medicine. But at The Raj Maharishi Ayurveda Health Spa, we’ve seen guests who have generally done well with an Ayurvedic approach and have had good results from Panchakarma treatments.
From an Ayurveda perspective, chronic fatigue is often related to a disturbance of the digestion and an accumulation of ama, or toxins, in the physiology. This causes clogging of the shrotas—or channels—through which energy flows throughout the body. This blockage, or clogging, results in a lack of energy and enthusiasm. Those suffering from this condition should first have a work-up by their physician to make sure that there are not other causes, such as thyroid imbalance or adrenal imbalances. But in the absence of those factors, Ayurveda looks toward the accumulation of ama and poor digestion.
Specific diet recommendations according to one’s doshic balance, together with measures to strengthen digestion, or agni, are the first steps in helping eliminate some of the backlog of ama. Specific herbs can also be used to increase the power of digestion.
Perhaps the most effective means of mobilizing and eliminating toxins is Ayurveda’s traditional purification and detoxification therapy, Panchakarma. These powerful treatments open up the possibility for many chronic fatigue sufferers to find relief. The herbalized heat treatments such as swedena, pizzichilli, and pinda-swedena, open the channels and allow ama to become dislodged from the tissues. The elimination therapy, or basti, then removes the ama from the lower digestive tracts.
Often there is a mental stress that resulted from dealing with on-going chronic fatigue. In this case, we recommend an approach from the level of consciousness, the Transcendental Meditation technique. In conjunction with Panchakarma and appropriate diet, this can help create an effective and complete program to revitalize the entire mind/body system.