Acupuncture for Neurodivergent Adults Experiencing Fatigue and Burnout
Before I was diagnosed autistic at 47 years old in 2021, I faced particular challenges that I could not explain. There were times when I’d experience extreme drops in energy; feel really sensitive to my environment; experience massive mood swings; and even emotionally shut down and not want to talk to anyone. It wasn’t till my autistic and anxiety diagnoses that I realized that during those times, I was going through what’s called Neurodivergent Fatigue or Burnout.
What is Neurodivergent Fatigue or Burnout?
Even though all people experience fatigue or burnout due to any level of stress, neurodivergent people (autistic people, as well as people with neuropsychological differences such as ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, and depression) experience fatigue and burnout for the same reasons, but with the added burden of having to deal with:
- Sensory overload from prolonged exposure to environments too overstimulating for their neurotype
- Prolonged fatigue from having to camouflage or mask neurodivergent traits, including (but not limited to):
- constant suppressing stimming or self-regulating movement
- constant awareness of body language and tone of voice
- constant copying and imitating others in order to be considered “neurotypical”
- constant pressure on oneself to maintain the persona of being neurotypical
- Having very little rest from the demands of neurotypical social, education, and work environments
- Having very little support for neurological differences
What are the signs of Neurodivergent Fatigue or Burnout?
Neurodivergent Fatigue or Burnout can manifest in different people in different ways, but many people experience:
- Extreme drop in energy
- Problems with executive function and struggling to get started on tasks and make decisions
- Difficulty with self-regulation
- Difficulty with activities of daily living like cooking, cleaning, dressing, or self-care
- Difficulty with speech and communication
- Difficulty with social interactions and potential for social fatigue
- Increased sensory sensitivities
- An increased need for stimming or sensory input
- More difficulty with eye contact
- Having meltdowns or shutdowns more frequently
- Increased emotions
- Needing more time alone to rest and recharge
- Difficulty with cognition and memory
- Needing more sleep and rest, but also possible difficulty sleeping
How can Sonny help neurodivergents experiencing fatigue or burnout?
As a neurodivergent myself (late-diagnosed autistic and anxiety, self-assessed ADHD), I have experienced neurodivergent fatigue and burnout throughout my entire life well before my diagnosis, and found that even though I didn’t know what I was experiencing, acupuncture and it’s accompanying modalities really helped me… even though I was once afraid of needles, too!
So now, as a member of the the neurodivergent community, I’ve dedicated time since my diagnosis in 2021 to researching and utilizing the ways that acupuncture, its accessory modalities, and energy healing can help support actually-autistic and other neurodivergent adults!
What I can provide:
- Ultra-gentle but effective acupuncture for calming the mind and body, and provide proper overall circulation of the body
- Moxibustion warming therapy to provide a boost to the organs and organ systems that are depleted in order to provide newfound vitality
- Gentle energy healing touch (if necessary) in order to provide additional support in the effort to calm and sooth the mind and body
- Gentle stationary fire cupping (if necessary) in order to remove any toxins or old/stuck blood/fluids that cause muscle tension and pain due to stress
- Soothing singing bowl therapy (if necessary) for added relaxation
*Please note: unfortunately, I am not equipped with the knowledge and methods of treating neurodivergent children