Friday, March 10, 2017

Developing A New Relationship With CFS

When my clients with CFS first meet with me, one of the first things we do is to shift perspective about the illness. When we have CFS, we have very, very debilitating symptoms. We are very sick. A common theme around those with severe illnesses is to fight...fight the symptoms, fight the disease.
I encourage my clients to stop fighting. I encourage them to develop a new relationship with their symptoms, and to start to understand that their symptoms are messages from their body.

This does two things. When we stop fighting, and fall into a state of non-resistance, of allowing, then we immediately turn off the stress response. Resistance and fighting only further work to increase symptoms, because they increase the outpouring of stress hormones.  When we shift our perspective from symptoms being an indicator of illness, to symptoms being helpful messages from our body, then we can start to gain some power and control over our symptoms. This immediately helps us to start to regain some control over our health.

This also requires a paradigm shift about how we view this illness. We have to put the medical model to the side, and shift into the stress disease paradigm. This is a challenge for those with CFS, because they think that if we are saying this, then we are saying the illness is "all in their heads". It most certainly isn't, those with this illness are very very sick.  I can say with certainty that all illnesses are in both the mind and the body. Any practicing medical doctor will agree to this. So if we can't treat an illness medically, then we have to look for different approaches to treatment.

I've made it my mission to bring this theory and treatment to the forefront of the CFS community, and I've been shouted down so many times. I suppose that is because recovery stories are rare, a relative anomaly, and people have a hard time believing that anyone has recovered. I've explained that it doesn't have to be that way, that there is a model for recovery that is readily available, and I've been shouted down and accused of trying to "sell something".

Be that as it may, I'm always reminded that people who have discovered or revealed the truth are usually dismissed at first. My hope is that one day the science will prove the theory that an overactive HPA-Axis is the cause of CFS/ME/FIBRO. Interestingly enough, some of the recent studies seem to prove this.

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