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Chronic Fatigue – Other Options

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
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If you are one of the 800,000+ adults in the USA with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), you know how miserable you feel and how many will tell you to learn to live with it or worse, you are just lazy. CFS is one of those chronic illnesses Andrew Weil, MD speaks about when he says medicine is useless in healing and holistic health offers many possibilities.

Causes

One cause that gets little attention because it is not an external cause, and in my experience is the most frequent cause, is chronic stress and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Over years of your body constantly dealing with stress that it experiences as a survival response, it gets worn down. I don’t care how strong you are, at some point continual exposure to stress will exhaust your body.

We are not designed to always have our resources oriented towards survival. Something will give. For some it is depression, for others it is fibromyalgia, and for many it is CFS. It is no surprise that medical research has linked the three. I have seen patients where unfortunately they had all three.

There can be biological co-causes such as toxicity and nutritional deficiencies. Twenty years ago I had a client who after several years of medical and holistic treatment was referred to me. She was tense, exhausted, and so frustrated she flushed all her psychotropic drugs down the toilet. We discovered that part of her problem was her father dumped his old dry cleaning fluid in the backyard she played in. With the Rolfing and a detox program, within a month she was feeling better. In six months she felt better than she ever felt.

Solutions

First – release the chronic stress. Good bodywork such as Rolfing, skilled massage, or possibly acupuncture will allow the old, deep tension to release. Slow yoga where you are learning to relax can help as well as a Mindfulness Stress Reduction Program.

So often with my CFS patients they tell me they are exhausted, but they can’t sleep. They can’t sleep because their nervous system is wired. Sleeping pills or antidepressants don’t release that tension. Releasing the physical tension in the body will relax the nervous system.

Owen Marcus, MA Certified Advance Rolfer, www.align.org, 265.8440.

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