Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia are sadly still very much misunderstood conditions, which can make them all the more difficult to manage. However, over time it is possible to recover from them if you’re prepared to make some drastic changes, so here’s my quick seven step guide to help you get started.
- Do a quick life audit. Usually there are one or more psycho-emotional triggers which kick off CFS/fibromyalgia symptoms. Very often patients have pushed themselves extremely hard over a long period of time, so that energy output has exceeded input. It’s rather like going overdrawn on your energy account, and there are 2 things you need to do to redress the balance. Firstly, you need to stop overspending your energy, and secondly, you’ll need to put some measures in place to start replenishing your energy account. Ultimately, this could even mean making quite drastic changes like finding a new job with better work-life balance, or letting go of an unhappy relationship.
- See food as medicine. Your body needs premium fuel in order to perform at its optimum level, so aim to eat 3 small meals and 2 healthy snacks daily, combining some protein with healthy carbohydrate each time. Try to batch cook or have some healthy convenience foods on standby for days when cooking from scratch is too difficult.
- Drink. Keep caffeine and sugary drinks to a maximum of 2 a day, and drink 1 litre of water for every 5 stone of body weight. Herbal teas and very diluted fruit juice will also count.
- Breathe. Every cell of your body needs oxygen in order to thrive, and we know that poor oxygenation is often a problem in CFS/fibromyalgia. Make sure that you’re breathing well into the lower parts of your lungs, and regularly practice breathing techniques like the 4,7,8 method.
- Rest. Come up with a good bedtime routine where you aim to be asleep by 10pm, as this is when your growth hormone, which regulates your repair systems becomes most active. Try to sleep in complete darkness, and stay away from all blue light devices from 2 hours before bed until you wake up. A Medical Herbalist will be able to put together a herbal sleep mix for you, or your Doctor may be able to prescribe some sleeping tablets. A warm Epsom Salts bath before bed may also help.
- Move. Stick to gentle, rejuvenating exercise like yoga, tai chi or qi gong which will also teach you some breathing techniques. It’s important to learn from a teacher at least to begin with, as moving or breathing incorrectly could potentially make you feel worse.
- Get outside. Numerous studies have proven that getting out into the fresh air and sunlight brings a number of health benefits. Try to spend a little time outside each day, especially during spring and summer as low vitamin D levels have been linked to a number of CFS/Fibromyalgia symptoms.
Do you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia? Take back control now by booking a £10 consultation with me.