I want to share my approach to recovery, I like to think I have had more of a holistic approach to help with my recovery with ME/CFS. With so much mystery surrounding ME/CFS it’s hard to know what the best way to recovery is. Everybody that has suffered from this illness is different and recovery times vary. Often what works for some does not always work for others.
I decided to try a holistic approach because it can benefit anybody, you don’t have to be suffering from a chronic illness to want to improve your health. If you’re not happy with your health, take action, only you can do something about it!
I am a completely open minded person and for some reason I knew that my next step to recovery was to see a naturopath. If you’re not up to speed on what a naturopath does they use alternative treatments to medicine, such as herbs, mineral and vitamin supplements. They also offer lifestyle and diet advice.
I started seeing one a month after my health went downhill. She was amazing, I honestly felt like she had suffered from my illness herself. She completely understood and could relate to everything I was going through. During my visits I would get herbs, vitamins and mineral supplements that I still take to this day. The herbs help with energy, anxiety, sleeping, nausea and other symptoms. From time to time my herb mixture has changed to suit what my body needs at the time. My naturopath also gives me nutritional advice and helps with my diet. She is a qualified yoga instructor and has often given me new stretches to try and has encouraged me to attended classes when I can.
Food and diet have also had a gradual change, but all for the better. I do not stick to any particular diet, my body is always changing and it is always needing different foods. I have done a food intolerance test and have learnt that there are even good foods that can cause harm. With the help from my naturopath I have learnt a lot about food and healing, it’s amazing what food can do if you learn to use it as medicine.
Chiropractor and massage have also played a role. Being a migraine sufferer I have visited a chiropractor for years. My neck and migraine pain seem to have a link. I have kept my visits up whilst suffering from this illness. Not moving your body much can result in pain and muscle tightness. This is where my chiropractor would come in. A chiropractor would basically click in all parts of the body that have moved out of place. It takes the tension away and gives instant pain relief. I would also get a massage for my muscles, this however would just be a relaxing massage from a local beautician. I found my body was able to handle that type of massage better than other massage.
My last holistic approach is stretching and yoga. I’m no yogi master but from the beginning of my illness I was introduced to a light exercise plan with stretches. I have always been hot and cold with my exercises but the stretching has been a daily ritual since day one. The stretching helps stretch out my tight and knotted muscles, which have ceased up from needing to rest so much. Gradually my stretching routine has increased to include yoga poses. All I can say is that every-time I have my daily stretching session I always feel refreshed. Some days I am unable to stretch for as long as others, but I think that any little bit of movement that gets the blood flow moving helps.
These tools have played a huge part in my recovery. Have you tried any holistic health treatments or any alternative health practices? I would love to hear about your thoughts!