Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
What do you recommend for chronic fatigue syndrome and putting on a healthy amount of weight?
A: chronic fatigue syndrome is a relatively new disease, and it is present predominantly in the industrialized western world. It is a function of the body’s autonomic nervous systems as they become overwhelmed by various stresses. To gain or regulate weight, it is important that stress levels are low and the digestive system is working optimally. Here are some recommendations for chronic fatigue syndrome:
1. Regulate your diet, eat in smaller amounts and eat more often. Do not skip breakfast and make sure your breakfast includes a moderate amount of protein. Avoid heavy, rich, fried foods and other difficult-to-digest foods. Moderate your intake of dairy and simple sugars. Avoid diet drinks and sodas; instead, drink watered down juices or plain water. Drink at least 60 ounces of pure, room-temperature water every day.
2. Eat more hawthorn berries, papayas, yams, pineapples, brown rice, oats, pearl barley, apples, and oranges. Eat well-cooked foods, served warm or at room temperature. Avoid cold foods and drinks with ice.
3. Cut back on stress, and avoid becoming emotionally upset. When eating, do not watch television.
4. Make sure you get plenty of sleep. You must get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night. Noontime power naps can also help.
5. Take up tai chi or qigong exercises. These exercises are gentle on the body and can help build up energy.
6. Visit your acupuncturist; they can help with herbal preparations and regular treatments to get your body back in balance.