Aching muscles, constant exhaustion and mental fog – sound familiar? If so you could be one of the estimated 250,000 people who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also known as ME, it is a long term fluctuating illness in particular affecting the nervous and immune systems. Rhona discusses holistic approaches to Chronic Fatigue/ME and speaks from personal experience as she had CFS/ME at an early age – from which she completely recovered. Her personal experience informs her knowledge of this complicated illness.
Rhona: “Unlike feeling tired which tends to go away with sufficient sleep and rest, the symptoms of CFS persist and the sufferer can become frustrated at suggestions that they just sleep more or get some rest.
I’ve also noticed links between CFS and workaholism. By this I don’t mean working a 50-hour week or running a Gordon-Gekko-style business, I mean an approach to life. I define workaholism as gaining our identity from what we do, where we measure our sense of self worth on external values; a strong need for perfectionism; an inability to relax or just “be”; and an addiction to adrenaline even by just being constantly “too busy” or gaining a high or sense of satisfaction from rushing to meet deadlines.
People with CFS tend not to know how to relax and often really benefit from the teachings of meditation and yoga, which are excellent at helping the mind and body let go. Mindfulness-based approaches are also great as they give us permission to be in the present, and help us to become more conscious of where we are and where we aren’t looking after ourselves.”
Rhona features as the main expert in this feature and further comments on the possible underlying causes of CFS, her experience of working with CFS sufferers and leads readers in a guided meditation to help let go of tension and promote relaxation and peace.
Photo credit: Rhona Clews. Article by Sophie Smith.