This post was inspired by the Dalai Lama who says that happiness and health are closely related. Most of the following was written while listening to a beautiful song called Truth by Balmorhea, so it may be a good soundtrack for reading it, too.
I have been criticized for saying that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is caused by emotional stress. It may not be the case with all the people suffering from CFS, but it certainly was the case with me and is the case with many others. So this theory is one possible explanation. But it´s the only one I support because it enabled me to get my life back. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a complicated condition for sure and many people get relief from symptoms by taking pills, but I doubt if drugs can ever help anyone truly recover from CFS. Drugs may alleviate symptoms, but they don´t heal the cause. As of today, there is no generally accepted view about the real cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And since there is no generally accepted cause, there is no official solution either. So we have to find our own solutions.
I found my solution, but it is radical and therefore difficult to believe or accept by the majority of people. It was also really difficult to believe for myself, but because I got well, I just had to start believing in this concept. This post is another attempt to explain why I believe that the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is emotional rather than physical.
It is quite clear that the way we feel emotionally affects the way we feel physically. When we are angry, we feel a surge of energy in our bodies – our muscles become tense, there is stuck or intense energy around the heart area, our face may become red and we may not be able to control what we say and do. When we feel sad, we may have less energy and less motivation to do things. When we feel happy, we also feel good physically and enjoy being in our bodies. So it is definitely more healthy to be calm and happy than being angry, hurt, sad or frustrated. Like the Dalai Lama wrote:
„Even our physical structure seems more suited to feelings of love and compassion. We can see how a calm, affectionate, wholesome state of mind benefits our health and physical well-being. Conversely, feelings of frustration, fear, agitation, and anger can be destructive to our health. This is why we are impelled to seek happiness.“
Mind-body healing is a process in which becoming happy (working on one´s emotional well-being) goes hand in hand with physical healing. However, it is also true that the condition itself creates a lot of frustration and anger. It is a vicious circle – unresolved emotional problems creating physical symptoms and physical symptoms creating more emotional problems. It is necessary and possible to break that cycle. One either has to deal with the emotions that caused the physical symptoms in the first place, or deal with the physical symptoms if possible. Our happiness is very much related to our health. Perhaps the best example of this self-evident truth is the possibility of recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by healing the unhealthy emotions and unresolved traumas. My healing journey was about dealing with the emotional disruptions (which are actually quite physical), unresolved traumas and negative attitudes (e.g. “I can never get well”).
In Reverse Therapy the message that your bodymind wants to deliver to us through the symptoms is referred to as the symptoms message. It is the knowledge or instruction we have to act upon so that the bodymind can stop producing symptoms. In Reverse Therapy, the symptom-message is written on a card and should be read whenever the client gets symptoms. The message reminds the client to act according to their true and bodily felt feelings and “there are around 9 core messages that the Bodymind uses through the emotions – particularly Fear, Anger and Sadness.” (Please see John Eaton “Reverse Therapy for Health” pg. 40-41). However, I have found that written message is not necessarily needed. Most of my healing has been due to feeling the sensations and emotions in my body and then acting on them or healing their roots with energy healing techniques (sometimes even without understanding anything). The most important point to understand is that if you do not listen to your body your symptoms will persist. Without deep listening and openness you are not very likely to make progress in recovery, so it is necessary to sensitize yourself to your emotions, sensations and symptoms.
Based on my experience I should say that there is likely to be an immense amount of learning potential concealed in CFS/M.E. There is likely to be more than one message your bodymind wants to deliver. I have been able to identify a few during the course of recovery: “Stop putting other people’s needs first and focus on your own needs! Stop putting up with abuse from other people and start speaking up for yourself! Learn to enjoy life – do the things you love, be happy, grateful, playful and loving! Work towards uncovering your true potential and find out what you really want in life. Trust life, trust God, and trust the universe. Be positive and cultivate your positive qualities. Practice forgiveness as a way to rid yourself of negative emotions and grudges that make you feel heavy, etc.” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome taught me all of the above and more. These are essential lessons and I’m grateful. Hopefully my book will help you understand what your bodymind wants to tell you.
Recovery from CFS requires one to profoundly examine one´s inner world in order to bring about radical changes where necessary. It requires the courage and willingness to pay attention, to acknowledge everything one is feeling in order to understand why one has those feelings and symptoms. In a way it is like the path to enlightenment – you have to sit with your suffering until you realize the cause of suffering, which then becomes possible to let go of. It is simple, but it doesn´t mean it´s easy. It may take months or even years of hard work, but it´s worth it – if health and happiness are not worth the effort, then what is? Recovering from CFS using mind-body healing also means becoming a more happy, peaceful and relaxed individual. It means letting go of our hurt, anger, fear and excessive worry. Even if you don´t believe emotional healing will help you recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it would be wise to let go of negative feelings and attitudes (if they bother you). When you´re done, you might realize that your physical symptoms have vanished together with the emotional ones. Or if not, you will at least feel better emotionally.
Perhaps the most reassuring thing I can say to those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is that IT IS POSSIBLE TO GET WELL, and that is my main message. For my full story and more information about the mind-body healing techniques, please check out my e-book“A Manual for Dealing with CFS: A mind-body healing approach.”