What treatments work for ME/CFS?

Many things can have a positive effect on the symptoms. First you need to understand the cause of ME/CFS. After you have figured out what happened prior to your symptoms, you can get an idea to what might help for you. Then you will need to turn around the vicious cycle you are in. I will list many possible treatments on this page with some pros and cons.

One treatment form on its own is often not enough to recover, combining them however is the key to recover fast. I was suprised in my own recovery how fast symptoms can appear or dissapear. When you are on the right path, results will become very obvious.

Most treatments should focus on stopping the stress response of the nervous system as I recommend in the healing approach page: neuroplasticity, calming down the nervous system and dealing with the trigger (Emotional healing and awareness, personality and coping mechanisms.)  Other treatments like diet, supplements, frequency therapy and detoxing are about treating the secondary symptoms.

You will also need to realise that by doing nothing and rest while you are waiting for your symptoms to dissapear, is only making things worse. Stick with one or two things and stop the ‘fight or flight’ urges to involve yourself in tons of different treatments and keep searching for new ones.

Alignment recovery program

Alignment recovery program

Practical step by step

My personal program. I decided to make this to make it easier to start implementing health tips in a practical step by step program. You can access the program via a donation

Coaching with me

Coaching with me

Practical talks

I can help you with implementing new healthy habits and practical day to day questions. My coaching is based on the Aligment recovery program as extra option.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Calm down your nervous system

Being more present and in touch with your body will calm down your nervous system.
Thinking less will improve your symptoms. Be present as much as you can.

Joy and community

Joy and community

Take action towards your bodymind’s desired state

Emotional healing alone is not enough, take steps towards a desired state of your bodymind. This could be connection, love, joy, laughing, belonging, peace, etc.

Cultivate peace

Cultivate peace

to harvest energy

Can you allow yourself to fully rest and stay in that peace? How long does it take for a feeling to come up to do things? Maybe achieving something? For who? Where is that feeling and what happens when you ignore the action and feel the sensation? From the state of peace you will get to have more energy. Can you allow it? If you are peaceful, you are less likely to involve yourself in stressful situations.

Take responsibilty

Take responsibilty

Change yourself and learn

There is no magic pill, I am sorry. You are forced to change your way of being. Are you willing to make changes? If not, please don’t expect any result.

Affirmations

Affirmations

Get into a different mindset

When we are releasing lots of negative energy it is easy to remain stuck in the fight or flight mode. Like neuroplasticity this works great in raising your vibration. I have been astonished by the power of affimations in my life. Look into Louise Hay and Abraham Hicks online.

Raising your vibrations

Raising your vibrations

Feel as if your health is already there

To change our reality we have to change our thinking and way of being. Joe Dispenza has written books on healing via powerful meditations and visualisations that work with raising your vibrations and letting go of your past. You can download his series here and in the self-study section.

Align the heart and the brain by focussing on the heart, slow your breathing down and feel gratitude and love. In the gamma state, you can imagine as if your health is already here. If the leap is too big, make a step in between.

Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity

Rewiring the brain

You can change the brain and the programs it uses. You can litterally reprogram it. This is a crucial part in any recovery program. It works with beliefs, habits, NLP and hypnosis. This is a new and promising science. Read more about it here.

Some programs based on Neuroplasticity are: Dynamic Neural Retraining System and the Ligtning process

Stop searching for happiness

Stop searching for happiness

Because the absence of desire is what you are looking for

We have been conditioned to become happy to be loved. Every parent wanted a happy child and we were keen to give them their desire. But whatever we tried, we never really became happy ourselves. True happiness is so ordinary that it is easily overlooked. Our true role models in life shouldn‘t be models, filmstars and millionaires, but the ordinary people that didn’t need all those things. Watch the YouTube movie for a beautiful summery about happiness.

Journalling

Journalling

Invest some time in expressing your true self

Within the TMS and DPS (bodymind) movement there are a lot of exercises to give a voice to your unconscious, like dancing, writing etc. Often when we feel bad, we have the inability to release a certain (negative) emotion and protect a boundary. By expressing yourself, you can learn to release the emotion and get in touch with your feelings and boundaries. Often the symptoms improve very fast.

Self study

Self study

Read about these topics to get the picture.

To reverse your symptoms you will need to invest time in reading about new tools to apply in your life. I have selected books about pacing, neuroplasticity, stress, emotions, TMS, DPS, mindfullness, meditation etc.

Health Coach

Health Coach

Gaining confidence with a trained professional

Getting a health coach is always a good idea, a good coach listens to you and you might just feel accepted and understood the very first time. Apart fom that, a good coach understands you and can think with you. I recommend contacting my good friend Kelly for a 6 months coaching commitment. She is much more gentle with you than I can be ;)

Boundaries

Boundaries

Do you know when to say no?

If you engage in coping mechanisms you will be chronically involved in things you don’t want to do. Can you say no? Do you know what you really want to do? How can you discover that your bodymind has a will on its own? Click the link for an article on how to discover your boundaries. Maybe the tons of therapies and actions you involve yourself with are also too much.

Stop improving anything

Stop improving anything

Because you can’t and it drains you

Whether it is yourself, others or the world. The task to improve anything is impossible. It stresses you, it drains you, but you can’t help it. I have made a video about this last year, but nobody can say it better than Alan Watts. If you get it, you will get it and you will stop!

The energy you waste on improving yourself is self-hatred and drains you.

Inform yourself with the bodymind!

Inform yourself with the bodymind!

Read about TMS and DPS

Inform yourself with Dr. Sarno‘s work about how the bodymind works. Read daily how the unconscious mind creates symptoms to distract you from powerful ’negative’ emotions. In these works you read about the initial triggers (one of the three components)

Intuition

Intuition

Relearn to connect with your gut feeling

Just like animals you have the ability to develop a strong connection with your intuition. Without reasoning, strategies and protocols you know deep down what is good for you in the moment. Can you start to rebuild a connection with this gift? Sometimes your intuition will lead you to pain. Pain can’t be seen as something bad. Often the reason might reveal itself later.

Sooth the inner child

Sooth the inner child

Give it space, attention, time and rewards.

whenever you feel tired, calm your nervous system down and talk to your inner-child. It’s okay to be angry and afraid. I am here for you. You are safe now!

Breathing

Breathing

Slow deep breaths to the lower belly

By focussing on your breath and breathing deeply and slowly, you can calm down your nervous system. Make sure you are exhaling slower than you are inhaling. After a while you might notice a click when your nervous system changed to the ‘rest and digest’ state.

Tuning in

Tuning in

talk to your body

What is your fatigue hiding for you, stop focussing on your symptoms and focus on what it is that you are not supposed to find out. What negative emotion is there? Where is it located, how can you describe it? What does it feel like? How old is this? What does it need? Can you give that to this part of yourself (via imagination)?

Do things (everything) for yourself

Do things (everything) for yourself

Make yourself the center of your universe

Whatever you choose to do with your time and energy, see who you are doing it for. You will have to learn to do the things for yourself rather than others. What was behind the need to please others? You have a unique set of skills to use for your own benefits.

Go offline

Go offline

Rest properly

So many people with ME/CFS are on their phone while they are supposed to rest. When the body gives you symptoms, the nervous system is over-stimulated. When you are in a fight of flight mode, you’ll feel restless and in need for more stimulants. Being online makes you feel agitated. Since 2012 the amount of burn-outs has doubled, I got my first smartphone in 2012. Not so smart after all.

Improve sleep

Improve sleep

getting a rythm again

You will notice that getting your rythm right, will give you more energy for low intensity exercise, like walking. This will make you sleep better in return. Sleep will help the immune system and stress recovery. Look up the article in the link about "sleep hygiene" online for more tips. If this doesn’t work, asking your doctor for sleep medication might be a good kickstarter.

Pacing to physical goals

Pacing to physical goals

gradually build yourself up

Your inner child sees activity as dangerous. Know that physical activity is not dangerous and what is going on with you. Set small goals and become active again. But always ask yourself, for who am I doing the things that I do? Is it to gain anything via others? If so, please stop. Find joy and take baby steps.

Nature

Nature

Grounding and being outside

Choose to be in nature as often as possible. Nature calms us down and connects us. The ocean with salt water is healing and gives us joy. Being barefoot in nature has scientifically been proven to reduce inflammation.

walking

walking

Low intensity exercise

When you have gained back some strength and ability, you should consider going for walks. Walking is a great way to build strength and relax at the same time.

Athletes do a light cool down the day after a match day to help remove lactic acid. Since we suffer from lactic acid as well.......

Recovery stories

Recovery stories

Listen to others who have fully recovered

Raelan Agle took the task upon her to interview many people who recovered from ME/CFS. Listen to these stories every once in a while and try to pick up the subtle story between the lines..

Self-love

Self-love

The art of listening to and respecting who you are

Self-love is an ongoing process, it involves tuning in to the body and listening to your ‘bodymind’. Also stop pressuring and pushing yourself to be better or somewhere else. It is accepting who you are, and your ability to live in the present moment. It is finding your boundaries and act upon it.

travelling

travelling

Get out of your daily rythm

Change your environment, relax somewhere else. You can be tired everywhere. Travel slowly and stay with friends if they have a calm place. This will help you to rewire your brain and you might feel better very fast.

Healy frequencies

Healy frequencies

Support your body with frequencies

I have experienced great results with this device. Look in your neighbourhood for someone who has this device and use it initially for infections. It will help your body switch to the right vibration. Be careful to start slowly as you might be too weak for a full blown detox. Originally this device is meant to treat chronic pain, but I have experienced great results for many health issues.

Purpose

Purpose

Something nice to do

Find something nice to do, preferably outside. Something that you can do in your own pace and brings you (honest) joy.

Within difficult times, we need a purpose to keep going.

Stress release massages

Stress release massages

accupressure and other techniques

Stress accumulates in the body. Some people are able to manually release it via pressure points and massages. Every time I went for a session, I experienced massive headaches afterwards. Everyone has a different reaction on this. Don’t let it scare you.

Cold shower

Cold shower

Improving the lymphatic system

Although uncomfortable at first, a cold shower does have health benefits. Just like Wim Hof, the iceman kept saying, a cold shower improves the lympatic system and gets you out of the analytical mind. Start slowly with ending your hot shower with the cold.

Nutrients

Nutrients

avoiding deficiencies

Although this isn’t the final solution. It is always helpful to avoid deficiencies because of a malfunctioning digestion system. Think of: probiotics, raw organic salads, (non-artificial) vitamins, (trace) minerals, vitamine D, omega 3,6,9,(walnuts, fish oil,flax seeds, sea weed, hemp seed, chia) And a balanced diet with occasionally some high quality animal products.

(Other) recovery programs

CFS Health

CFS Health

other online recovery program

Everyone with CFS knows Toby Morrison. He has made an online recovery method, similar to ANS rewire. He is extremely down to earth and had practical advise and lots of experience in helping people. From all CFS gurus he is my favourite.

ANS Rewire

ANS Rewire

other online recovery program

Founded by CFS guru Dan Neuffer, an holistic and online approach based on mindfullnes, neuroplasticity and knowledge about the nervous system. Rewiring the brain is an essential part. It also gives you a good understanding of your (secondary) symptoms that are caused by the nervous system and how (not) to treat them.

The reset program

The reset program

other online recovery program

This program contains 12 weekly modules and focusses on recovery through a background of psychology. I enjoy Alex’ talks on ME/CFS and fybromyalgia. He is been doing this work for a long time. Check out their website.

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy

Talking with the unconscious

There is a part of you that knows exactly why you are in this place. You can access it via hypnosis. Maybe you were always meant to struggle with fatigue so you can learn valueable lessons. In other forms of hypnosis you can reprogram yourself in the theta state and work with neuroplasticity.

EMDR Therapy

EMDR Therapy

Trauma release

A trauma is an unresolved emotion, the body didn‘t process it correctly and hasn’t made it a memory yet. This therapy can open up the suppresion. Without the suppression of certain emotions, the ego won’t need to hide the feelings behind its mask. Leaving the painful feeling behind the mask, in the body, destroying your health.

Haptonomy

Haptonomy

Therapy-form to get in touch with your true self

The human person is considered in his whole being. Haptonomy proves that men in our over rationalised world of effectively lost more and more the disposition over fundamental faculties of affective-confirmative inter-human contacts. They stayed undeveloped, became atrophied or callous, or even totally lost.
Haptonomy shows how to develop them and bring them to their full potential.

Psycho Therapy

Psycho Therapy

Long term psychological help

This benefits everybody, especially a person with psychosomatic symptoms who is ill for a longer period of time. This is often covered by health insurances. I encourage people to start this. If you don‘t have enough energy to commit to a long term therapy, check out the book called ’Reinventing your life’. What you will read in here is breath taking and all too familiar. A must read for someone with ME/CFS. Coping mechanisms are stressful for the body and stress enhances ME/CFS.

Use your therapist for their knowlegde, it is only a part of the story as it rarely is the full solution.

Some things you have to stop doing:

  • Waiting for symptoms dissapear

    Recovery is hard work. this will be the greatest challenge of your life. Doing nothing is not going to help you.

  • Symptom checking

    By checking your symptoms, you are making bigger pathways to feel what you don’t want to feel. Beter to build new pathways of joy and peace (rest and digest mode)

  • Prioritise your own road

    Stop trying to justify yourself for being tired. You don’t have to please anybody.

  • Take an honest look at your coping strategies

    Your behaviour has made you ill. You will have to change everything, you habits, your self-talks, your thoughts, your urges etc.

  • Don’t be afraid of your symptoms

    Fear causes stress, stress causes more symptoms. By understanding how diversion pain syndrome works, you can communicate with your unconsicous instead. What is it distracting you from?

  • Orthorexia

    Individuals with orthorexia tend to have an obsessive focus on healthy eating, to an extent that disrupts their daily lives. According to the TMS theory, the fatigue works as a distraction to strong and powerful emotions. A strict and cleansing diet might just be another form of distraction and therefore improve your symtoms. This starts a placebo healing that never brings you all the way to being 100% healthy. You will always have to cleanse yourself a little more.

  • Figuring out the physical cause of a setback

    The symptoms are not caused by physical activity, yet they are triggered by it. Sooth yourself: “movement is okay.” “You are safe!”

  • Stop rushing

    Whenever you do thing quick, rushed in a hurry and fast, you are not cultivating the peace you need to cultivate energy. Maybe after a while, you can permit yourself this behaviour every once in while. But don’t make it a habit (again)

  • Obsessive searching

    Many of us are setting themselves up for failure as they give treatments not a fair chance. They already plan the next treatment while they are doing another thing. This already means that they don’t believe it is going to work and makes them spend money on so many different things while they remain in the fight or flight mode and are unaware of it.