By Jim Stegenga, L.Ac.
Serving Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater, and the South Puget Sound
Since 1989, I have treated many hundreds of patients. Out of all the patients I have treated, I would say that about 50% of them (at least) are struggling with a pattern that is known as adrenal exhaustion (in Asian medicine this would correspond with a type of Kidney deficiency) This basically means that they have lost the ability to rest and rejuvenate. Instead, it’s as if the nervous system is always ‘on’ and the person has lost the ability to stop the incessant mental chatter, anxiety, worry, or stress.
The main symptoms of this pattern include: fatigue, irritability, restless sleep, low back pain, anxiety, depression, nervousness, feeling wiped out upon waking, many female hormonal problems, food cravings and various addictions, weight gain, sluggish metabolism, and so on.
The real question is, what is the cause of this pattern and, more importantly, what is the cure?
Well, in my experience most people have adrenal weakness because they are using excessive amounts of will power to get through life. It is like they are constantly swimming upstream, fighting against life. They work too hard, rest too little, and have a ‘to do’ list a mile long. These are some of the outward causes. The real cause is more of an inner dynamic. In this day and age, many people are disconnected from their true purpose for being alive. Because of this, they don’t know themselves on a deeply intimate level, which causes them to make decisions that lead to distress and distraction.
Generally speaking, adrenal weakness is as much of a spiritual issue as it is a mental one. If the root cause of purposelessness isn’t addressed, then the person can take all the supplements in the world or get acupuncture 3 times a week and it will only have a palliative effect. This is why I have been incorporating life coaching and EFT into my practice for increasing numbers of patients.
Now, this is not to say that certain forms of alternative care won’t help adrenal weakness. I have used acupuncture alone to kickstart someone’s adrenal function in a way that is very powerful for certain patients. But by far, the patients who make the most progress are the ones who are willing to do the work. They are compliant and they are motivated to make the lifestyle changes necessary to live in balance and awareness.
If you are concerned that you may have adrenal exhaustion, then call my office to discuss your situation.
James Stegenga, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and Certified EFT practitioner. He can be reached directly at 360.943.0306.