What is CFS or ME?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is an emerging illness characterised by debilitating fatigue (experienced as exhaustion and extremely poor stamina), neurological problems, and a variety of flu-like symptoms. The illness is also known as chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), and outside of the USA is usually known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). In the past, the syndrome has been known as chronic Epstein-Barr virus (CEBV).
The core symptoms include excessive fatigue, general pain, mental fogginess, and often gastro-intestinal problems. Many other symptoms will also be present; however, they will typically be different among different patients. These include fatigue following stressful activities; headaches; sore throat; sleep disorder; abnormal temperature; and others.
The degree of severity can differ widely among patients, and will also vary over time for the same patient. Severity can vary between getting unusually fatigued following stressful events, to being totally bedridden and completely disabled. The symptoms will tend to wax and wane over time. This variation, in addition to the fact that the cause of the disease is not yet known, makes this illness difficult to diagnose.
What causes CFS?
The cause of the illness is not yet known. Current theories are looking at the possibilities of neuroendocrine dysfunction, viruses, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, or a combination of these. For a time it was thought that Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), the cause of mononucleosis, might cause CFS but recent research has discounted this idea. The illness seems to prompt a chronic immune reaction in the body, however, it is not clear that this is in response to any actual infection -- this may only be a dysfunction of the immune system itself.
A recent concept, promulgated by Prof. Mark Demitrack, is that CFS is a generalized condition which may have any of several causes (in the same way that the condition called high blood pressure is not caused by any one single factor). It is known that stressors, physical or emotional, seem to make CFS worse.
Some current research continues to investigate possible viral causes including HHV-6, other herpes viruses, enteroviruses, and retroviruses. Additionally, co-factors (such as genetic predisposition, stress, environment, gender, age, and prior illness) appear to play an important role in the development and course of the illness. As does the cognitive functions, created by the absence of a formal diagnosis.
Many medical observers have noted that ME/CFS seems, often, to be triggered by some stressful event, but in all likelihood, the condition was latent beforehand. Some people will appear to get CFS following a viral infection, or a head injury, or surgery, excessive use of antibiotics, or some other traumatic event. Yet, it's unlikely that these events on their own could be a primary cause.
The latest theory in the world of Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy (closely allied) is that CFS/ME could be the Sum Total of the physical symptoms produced by the Hypothalamus and or the Subconscious mind as a way of sending a message to say that everything about a person’s life is not right. The person then would need to address the symptom ‘message’ in order to begin healing. It is also a belief that Reticular Formation or The Reticular Activating System of the brain also has a role to play in the continuation/worsening of this condition.
Hypnotherapists will use a variety of techniques to bring the person to the point where healing can begin and this will normally commence with the person being taught self-hypnosis and how to de-stress themselves. Also, very early on in therapy, the individual will need to undergo a short form of analysis to uncover and release/desensitise the causes buried deep ion the subconscious that might be contributing to the condition.
What will Hypnotherapy do to help you?
· Therapy will commence with a four-session foundation plan covering:
· Introduction to hypnosis
· De-stress/relaxation/confidence and building a positive framework
· Searching for the causes
· Overcoming the causes
· Changing belief systems (about the condition)
· Ongoing therapy as required
You will often be supported with mp3 recording to listen to between sessions and keep you positive and progressing with your healing.
Please note that your medical doctor should always be consulted about your symptoms and the above does not constitute medical advice or take the place of medical diagnosis and is given for information only.