The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system that produces different hormones. The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys and are vital to our life. The hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands are most important during times of stress. Adrenaline and natural steroids such as aldosterone and cortisol are made by the adrenal glands, these hormones help the body by controlling blood sugar, burn fat, react to stressors and help regulate the blood pressure.
In Tradition Chinese Medicine (TCM) we view things differently than our western counter-parts, but the adrenal glands are still an important part of the body. TCM treats the adrenal glands as part of the kidney’s and kidney meridian. This simply means that that the glands are part of the water element. The kidney area is seen as a key role player in determining the quality of our life in TCM. This is due to the kidneys control of Qi (pronounced “Chee”), which in TCM is the body’s life force.
The body is very efficient in self-regulating itself. When the body is depleted of quality sleep or food it will not be able to function and carry out all its functions. This is why people experience eating binges or are fatigue followed by excessive sleep when they are severely stressed. Stress can drain the body of energy, nutritional reserves and Qi over time. If this continues, adrenal fatigue may develop. Adrenal fatigue is a condition where the glands become weak and then don’t produce enough hormones needed for daily life. The symptoms of adrenal fatigue include: low libido, food cravings, general malaise, emotional problems, weight gain, low immunity, difficulty in concentrating and thyroid issues.
TCM offers you a couple of ways to help with weakened adrenal glands. Acupuncture and Moxibustion are able to help with the adrenals.
Regular acupuncture treatments can help strengthen the kidneys. In due time, the adrenals/kidneys will regain some of their Qi, thus allowing the body to fuel and heal itself. Acupuncture is able to help because it helps reduce stress and activates the relaxation part of the nervous system, allowing the heart rate to go down, digestion will improve and you will be able to get a deeper and more fulfilling rest.
Moxibustion is the burning of a dried herb called Mugwart. Mugwart is placed over or waved over specific acupuncture points that are known to tonify or improve the Qi associated with the kidneys/adrenal glands. Between acupuncture and moxibustion it will help bring your body back into balance.
If you or someone you know has adrenal fatigue, call Master Lu’s Health Center in Salt Lake City or come in so we can help you get your life back and defend your health.