What is CFS or ME?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is an emerging illness characterised by debilitating fatigue (experienced as exhaustion, poor stamina), neurological problems, a variety of flu-like symptoms. The illness is also known as chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS). 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. However, 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. One thought is that it 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 some sense, this parallels high blood pressure (hypertension), which is not caused by any one single factor. Similarly, 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 and/or 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.
A recent theory is that CFS/ME is the sum total of the physical symptoms of Hypothalamic Subconscious Processing. Effectively sending a message saying that something about life is not right. The person would then need to address the symptom ‘message’ in order to begin healing. Another theory is that reticular formation or The brain's reticular activating system 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. This will normally involve the person being taught self-hypnosis and how to de-stress themselves. Also, early on in therapy, one undergoes a form of analysis to uncover and release/desensitise causes buried deep in the subconscious. The objective is to discover if these factors are 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.