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Chronic Fatigue International Awareness Day

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Sick and tired of being sick and tired?

May 12th is the International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND)

The CIND illnesses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

May 12th is also Florence Nightingale birthday. She was believed to have suffered from ME/CFS.

Feel like you need to constantly lift your energy up just to get through the day?

Do you or someone you know have a chronic exhaustive condition like ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)? Read on to find out more about what naturopathy and Next Wave Therapy can do to help .

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms that occur in these conditions are too numerous to list in full, but commonly include;

  • Severe, deep-seated fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest (and can’t be explained by any other underlying medical condition)

  • Delayed fatigue, made worse by exertion.

  • Muscle and joint aches and pain

  • Problems with thinking, concentrating, memory loss, vision, clumsiness, muscle twitching or tingling (sometimes called ‘neurocognitive problems’.

  • Disrupted sleep.

  • Low blood pressure, feeling dizzy or pale.

  • Palpitations, increased heart rate or shortness of breath with exertion or on standing.

  • Allergies or sensitivities to light, smells, touch, sound, foods, chemicals and medications.

  • Gastrointestinal changes such as nausea, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea.

  • Sore throat, tender lymph nodes and a flu-like feeling.

Whatever symptoms you experience the common factor for all chronic fatigue or neuro-immunological conditions is that it disrupts life. It stops people from doing the things they want and need to do to live a life that is meaningful.

How is it tested for/treated?

Unfortunately, there is no standard medical test for these conditions. On average it takes two years for a diagnosis. And the relief at finally having an answer is short-lived as people are told there is no treatment.  People are sent home and told they need to ‘learn to live with it’.

The good news is people do get better from these conditions!

Recovery is absolutely possible with the right help and advice.

How does Naturopathic treatment work?

Nutritional Medicine

The starting point is optimising a person’s nutritional foundation by addressing common deficiencies.  The most commonly seen in ME/CFS are;

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin B12

  • Folate

  • Zinc

  • Iodine

  • Iron

  • Magnesium

Many of these will show up on standard blood tests if you know where to look and if you use the right reference ranges.  Remember, doctors are looking for markers of disease; Naturopaths are looking for optimal health and there is a big discrepancy between the two. 

Other key elements to consider:

·         thorough thyroid assessment (standard blood tests are not always enough!)

·         genetic profiling for methylation and other gene mutations

·         addressing system toxicity

·         gut health and diet

·         adrenal and nervous system support

·         liver and mitochondrial function

·         immune support for potential underlying viruses and pathogens

All of the above factors can be addressed using specific herbal medicine, diet, nutritional supplementation and lifestyle changes.

Psychological Factors

Whist there are a host of physical issues and problems in these conditions that need to be addressed, there are often concurrent emotional issues at play too.  It is very common for there for be a history of Adverse Childhood Events, past-trauma or unresolved grief.  There is a particular personality type that is more at risk of these conditions – highly sensitive and Type A – always pushing themselves to do more, do better, be there for everyone else. Lazy people do not get ME/CFS!!

How can occupational therapy help?

Occupational therapists focus on helping people to build skills or ability to do the things they want and need to do. Some of the ways they do this is through

  • energy conservation

  • aids and equipment

  • sensory modulation

  • mood management eg relaxation training or anxiety management)

  • values guided goal setting

  • pacing and activity scheduling

  • building self awareness, confidence and self esteem

One of the most important things that occupational therapists do is to focus on what is important to you.

Next Wave Therapy can help

So we started by asking are you sick and tried of being sick and tired? ⠀

Do you feel like you’re in an never ending cycle of pain, stress, illness and fatigue?

Have you tried everything you can think of, what professionals have advised you to do or what your friends have done…but nothing seems to work. Or at least nothing seems to last.

Next Wave provides compelling therapy⠀

We offer person centred therapy to meet your individual needs. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to ME or CFS. At our initial consultation we time getting to the heart of what matters. ⠀

You leave this initial session with 3 important things:⠀

1. a clear understanding of what is going on for you; ⠀
2. confidence of knowing exactly what relief you can expect over what time period; ⠀
3. a crystal clear plan of what your therapist can do for you and what strategies you can start to implement yourself.⠀

Sasha Wray, Naturopath and Occupational Therapist focuses on helping people with chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Her integrative approach can help unravel the physical, mental and emotional barriers that play an important role in these conditions.

So, please don’t feel you have to learn to live with it!

Copyright Next Wave Therapy (2019)

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