When someone suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M-E as it’s called, they can feel hopeless, helpless, and de-valued by the medical establishment. Traditional medicine up till now has only treated the symptoms rather than the cause, so the underlying condition remains, and believe me: it’s awful.
Chronic Fatigue (CFS-ME) feels totally debilitating and ruins your life almost completely. The exhaustion doesn’t go away no matter how much you sleep, no matter what stimulants may help temporarily, and with all the exercise in the world- it just gets worse afterwards! The depression that you feel is so physical, that even with wonderful new things happening, you just don’t feel like celebrating.
When I was in the midst of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I had a new baby, a new home, a new husband, and a thriving business. And yet I couldn’t get up in the morning and get to work without the excruciating fatigue crushing my body. That’s what it felt like: I was being crushed.
The disease of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has not been taken seriously by the medical establishment. It is under-funded, and misunderstood. Research in the USA is sparse.
Recently, researchers in Norway have made inroads into understanding CFS beyond a psychological malady with atrophied muscles. They treated a woman with anti-viral and immunosuppressant drugs with a total remission of her CFS, which she’d suffered for over 10 years. Her symptoms of depression, malaise, brain-fog, exhaustion after exercise, and atrophied muscles gradually and completely disappeared over a six week period of treatment. She claims to have gotten her life back.
Unfortunately, there were serious side-effects to this treatment that harm major organs. Additionally the cost of these drugs is prohibitive to most people. But this research has found some keys to the condition that help us understand it a bit more.
Dr. Anthony Fauci recently compared CFS to the condition suffered by COVID-19 “long-haulers”, the people whose recovery from the pandemic virus has left long term effects of depression, malaise, fatigue, exhaustion and muscle atrophy. He has indicated that funded research may find an answer to both conditions in the near future.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
From my experience, and many anecdotal accounts, books, and esteemed authors, chronic fatigue has 6 components that seem to have a causal connection:
- a viral event precedes it. I had a very bad flu, for example.
- unremitting stress for nearly 10 years
- poor digestion, indigestion, or constipation
- headaches, body aches and pain with no known cause
- exposure to chemicals, heavy metals, or other pollutants
- use of antibiotics in the past.
Many attribute Chronic Fatigue to the gut, and the collapse of the digestive system due to food allergy, typically to Wheat and grains. The chronic stress also interrupts digestion, flooding the body with flight/fight hormones, and not allowing the rest/digest hormones to be produced. This produces a chronically malnourished and toxic state in the body that wreaks havoc with the neurological system, the muscles, joints, and movement.
When I stopped eating the 38 foods I was allergic to, miracles happened for me. Of course, I also changed my whole life, giving up business and pursuing my passion in psychology and group work. Within the holistic program of my schooling, I meditated, I did yoga, I did TaiChi, Qigong, and gardening. I slowly undid the trauma of my super-stressed ten years, and practiced gratitude and creativity.
Empatharian Movement for Peace is a gentle movement meditation I developed, growing from my mother’s work in developing a universal language of gestural movement for peace and well-being.
The usual types of exercise exacerbate Chronic Fatigue, but Empatharian’s slow sustained movements can help it, like TaiChi has been shown to help, but with even less effort in the learning. Empatharian is easy, fun, and motivating, giving an emotional and spiritual energy that helps promote the body’s healing, lowers stress, and transforms pain.
For more information, or to enroll, see our online courses.