Fatigue is the subjective feeling of requiring rest. When your body goes through a period of energy expenditure there must be a corresponding period of time where the body replenishes that energy. The most basic example of this is your sleep wake cycle. After a day of being awake you must rest and replenish your energy reserve and sleep. The signal your body sends you to indicate you need to replenish your energy levels is fatigue. This basic cycle should be enough to completely replenish your energy needs however we regularly find our patients telling us they experience fatigue daily.
An understanding of basic physiology can show us the easiest way to fall into a deficiency; when the body is forced into its survival state the rate of energy expenditure sky-rockets taxing reserves in all systems to aid in survival of the system. If you have read any of our sections on “stress” (hyperlink) you know in today’s connected and urban environment it is very common for people to lock in and rarely shut off this survival state. When you are surviving it is impossible to heal, replenish energy reserves or rest. We believe Stress is the root cause of acute and chronic fatigue and the best way to treat stress is to influence the brain and shift into the rest and recovery start we call the parasympathetic dominant state.
At VITA we start by looking at this state through the stress response with our PWP scan evaluating Heart Rate Variability. This will show your current dominant state, sympathetic vs. parasympathetic and give us an overall understanding of your capacity/ability to respond to stressors (new or old). A primary system of survival is your muscular system especially the muscles surrounding your spine. When you exhaust the body your ability to maintain spinal posture decr eases. The amount of muscular tension we measure through our surface Electromyography test will also indicate your current state. As we just described posture is directly relevant for fatigue therefore we also use the Biovision system to track postural changes.
Care will likely involve adjusting the levels of the spine that relate to the parasympathetic system triggering the rest and relax state of the nervous system. We will also focus on neutralizing stress, teaching proper breathing exercises, and supplementation to repair the damage due to stress. Fatigue is not a normal state and will disappear when the body has reached it’s natural balance of healing and surviving