Tiredness &Tension

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Tiredness &Tension

I've been in full-time practice since the beginning of 1989. From then till now, tiredness and tension have been the problems that have bought more people to see me than anything else. I usually see these states together. You cannot be too tired without becoming tense, you cannot be too tense without become very tired in the process.

Each person needs individual assesment but there are a group of herbs that I could not successfully treat tiredness and tension without; the tonics.
Tonics have extraordinary benefits for people. They lift energy, brighten the spritis and help people heal themselves from chronic illness.

Withania root

Panax Ginseng
Hawthorn leaf and berry
Wood Betony
Echincea angustifolia
Licorice root

Common causes of tiredness and tension

As well as using tonics you have a careful and open-minded look for the cause


A deficiency means that your body is lacking something, most often from the diet. The brain is the most sensitive organ in the body and the first symptoms of deficiency are usually just tiredness or irritability. Indicatons of deficiency may be obvious in typical signs in the skin, tongue and the blood. Some supplements may be necessary until the deficiency has been corrected and then a good diet may meet the needs (so long as the soils aren't deficient in nutrients like New Zealand's soils are low in Zinc and Selenium). Most people need a good nutritionally minded person to guide them in this area, too much of anything is just as unhelpful as too little.

People who are too tired and tense usually have a poor diet because refined and processed foods are low-effort and their high sugar and intense flavours trick us into thinking they will make us feel better. It's a vicious circle but it can turn the other way too. I see that as people get healthy and feel better their general self-care, including diet, always improves as well. My thoughts on what matters most when it comes to a good diet are in this article on excellent nutrition


Excess toxicity causes deep and unrelenting tiredness and tension as well as showing up in numerous symptoms such as bad skin, poor digestion or joint pains.

Many people instinctively sense when they are burdened by excess toxins. I look at the tongue for signs of a grey to light yellow furry coating and also look at the blood under intensely high magnification to see how clean the blood plasma is. There are many myths about toxicity and what to do about it. My article here on what is detoxification puts the subject straight.

Allergies and Infection

Many people in modern life have low-grade food food intolerances and get persistent tiredness and tension as a result. Chronic low-grade infections are also much more prevalent than most people realise. For example gut infections with an overgrowth of bad bacteria or fungal organisms; (called dysbiosis) affects many people with excess tiredness and tension.

'Chronic fatigue syndrome', characterised by joint aches, low-grade fevers and deep, unrelenting fatigue is better desribed as ‘post-viral syndrome'. Viruses survive by getting inside cells and using our DNA to make more of themselves. The upshot of having such viruses lodged in our systems is that they can evade detection from the immune system which is then left fighting an enemy it can't see, this invariably causes exhaustion, Tonic herbs, especially Echinacea, Panax Ginseng and Withania root are greatly helpful for people with allergies and chronic infections.



Overwork is a huge cause of fatigue. Every living creature, without exception, goes through cycles of activity and rest but many people do not get as much rest as they need. The first step may be simply giving themselves permission to rest when they are tense and tired. It sounds simple but you might be surprised at how challenging it can be to get that permission!

One of the hardest things to accept when you are chronically tired and tense is that part of the healing process may involve times when you have to give in to the tiredness and let yourself have a lot of rest and relaxation. People with chronic tiredness have commonly been people that have pushed hard and do not take well to being idle.

You can be lying down and feeling miserable or lying down and feeling happy and relaxed. The difference is largely determined by your own perception and how much of a subconscious imperative you have driving you to get somewhere and be making more productive use of your time.

Tiredness is a necessary part of life; everything wears down before it can be renewed.

Trusting that good energy will come back after relaxation and rest should be as instinctive as trusting that the day will dawn again after the night.

Having said the above about needs for rest etc., if you are lacking some essential nutrients, or harbouring a chronic infection or allergy, or yor system needs help to cleanse, then all the rest in the world will still not be enough.

Don 't expect to be able to work these things out by yourself, we never see ourselves as clearly and objectively as we think we do. Speaking from many hundreds, in fact thousands of succesful treatments of people with way too much tiredness and tension I can categorically state that if you know you are too tired and tense then do not hesitate to find a good herbalist to support you on your way back to health.



© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd