Healing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome means dealing with a huge amount of emotions

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/M.E.) is a horrible condition, but it is possible to overcome it. The method described in this blog and my e-book may look counter-intuitive, but it works.  Even if it doesn’t seem to work for the first few weeks or months, don’t lose hope. I received an e-mail from a person who wrote me a few months ago, saying he found EFT helpful only initially after starting with it, but then he started to experience more symptoms and gave up on EFT. This week (six months after his first e-mail) he wrote again:

“I´ve been doing EFT and feeling into the body for a few months now since reading your e-book, and have had some great results. Since doing this work I am finding their seems to be a huge amount of stored feelings or energy in the body and it wants to come up. The more work I do on it, the more it wants to come up and I have trouble shutting it off. I´ve generally been able to live a fairly normal life in the past year or so, but the last few weeks have had me in bed 15+ hours a day. Its like I’ve opened a Pandora’s box. It’s just so like a heavy detox. Is this something you came across when first doing this type of work?”

Here’s my reply to him:

“It is often the case when we have results that more stuff wants to surface. It has to be allowed to surface. I know it’s not easy, but there is no other way as far as I’m concerned. I certainly experienced an increase in symptoms when I started to work on my stuff. It went on for a long time, the stuff kept coming up relentlessly – it was painful and frightening and horrible, but I knew I had to go through it if I wanted to get well.

Keep doing the work, but also try to work on your resistance to the stuff that’s coming up. Both EFT and TAT are excellent methods for that. What can possibly go wrong if you feel your stuff? There may be an immense amount of stuff stored beneath CFS and it can be VERY painful to experience, but it will eventually be over. Here is a video that sums up the process in a simple way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-VPgL-MfXU&feature=related

A few days after writing this reply, I also wrote this:

Feeling into your stuff is critical for overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome. You absolutely need to feel what you are feeling. Wanting to “shut it off” is a natural reaction to an unexpected amount of pain and suffering, but your painful feelings are there for a reason. They are trying to get your attention so that you can make different, more healthy choices in your life. “Making healthy choices” simply means living in accord with your real feelings. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is caused by ignoring and shutting off our painful feelings and memories, so the solution must be healing those memories and letting the painful feelings surface to be healed. It´s simple, but not necessarily easy.

It is actually very helpful when your bad feelings surface because then you´ll know what is causing your symptoms. It is then possible to work on the issues that have surfaced, either by using the methods I´ve found most helpful (TAT, EFT) or some other effective means. You need insights into the mechanism and reasons behind CFS to be able to recover.

We all have our demons that we run from. Eventually we have to face them, however. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a demon that keeps chasing us until we dare to turn around, look into its eyes, poke it with our finger and ask: “What are you doing here? Why are you chasing me? Who are you and why are you here?” In the light of your awareness the demon will start to dissolve. It can no longer hide itself behind the veil of ignorance (ignoring your pain). Overcoming CFS means overcoming your fear of facing the demon and exploring it fully. It is not the path for the faint-hearted, but I believe people are given difficulties in accordace to their ability to endure them.




The benefits of emotional healing for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The benefits of emotional healing for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Even if in your case Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not in any way related to childhood traumas, negative emotions and beliefs, you are still likely to benefit from energy psychology methods such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique).

Having used energy healing techniques (initially EFT and then mostly TAT) for three years now, I started to wonder one day what has changed during this time. Something has definitely changed, but it was difficult to articulate it at first, even though the answer is obvious: I no longer feel the burden of “negative” events from the past, am not stuck in emotional suffering and find it easier to be happy.

I used to feel very fearful, would often experience anxiety and wallow in painful events from the past. I also felt inhibited by my perceived limitations, unquestioned beliefs, and repetitive negative thoughts. All of those no longer bother me too much.

EFT and TAT helped to create space for enjoying my life and not repeating my story of suffering over and over in my mind. Now, I find it easier to live in the present moment, free of worries about the future and burdens from the past.  I still feel “negative” emotions – they are a part of life! But there is much less fear, anxiety, stress and limiting beliefs. So my work with those methods has definitely been worth-wile.

These energy healing methods have not only freed me from much unnecessary fear and stress, they have also given my life back – there is not even a trace of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome left! I am completely well. I have written about TAT in my earlier posts, please see https://fatiguesyndrome.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/how-tat-can-help-overcome-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-m-e-or-fibromyalgia/ and https://fatiguesyndrome.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/cfs-is-not-in-your-head-but-your-mind-may-have-something-to-do-with-it-after-all/

If this big change has happened in just three years, I wonder how much has changed during the past ten years. I am planning to find my old journals (I used to keep a daily record of events, thoughts and emotions) to take a look at what my life and inner world were like at that time and compare it to how I am today. The difference is likely to be enormous! I have really become a new person. I might publish a post about this comparison soon.

Things I have learned by overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A week ago I started to feel I´m done with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and am getting tired of writing about CFS/M.E. I have said pretty much everything I had to say about the subject and there is not much more to say. However, I am still finding my experience of CFS/M.E. valuable and helpful in everyday life, and so if I share it, my experience could help others as well. The knowledge I have gained by overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome helps me to cope with my life better. The basic strategy has never failed me. It always works if done properly.

What I have written about CFS/M.E is really very simple: pay attention to how you feel, act according to it, and/or heal the emotional symptoms underneath the physical ones. CFS/M.E. is giving you signals about what you need to change in your mind and life. As far as I´m concerned, this is all there is to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. CFS/M.E. is nothing more than a set of (severe) physical symptoms that are caused by suppressed emotional problems. Once you deal with those hidden problems and let them go, the symptoms of CFS/M.E. will go as well. I have heard it reported by many people. It sounds simple and straightforward in theory, but in practice it may mean years of hard work of releasing and letting go of “stuff” you no longer need.

Although I feel I´m done with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I still experience anxiety and vague feelings of fear sometimes. I didn´t feel like getting up this morning and so I started to pay attention to my feelings. There was some fear and anxiety. When I looked into it to find its location in the body, a murky feeling around the lower back area became discernible. It felt very uncomfortable to look at it and the tendency was to escape it or at least ignore the feeling. But I knew I just had to feel it even though I didn´t understand what it´s about. Trying to ignore, suppress or escape what we are feeling is the major reason why we get conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I got up, took a shower and sat down to meditate for 30 minutes, as I try to do every morning. Many pictures from my past came to my mind during these minutes. It was as if deeply hidden stuff was being released from the subconscious. It all happened effortlessly. I could remember the incidents, dialogues and feelings and at the same time felt that I´m ready to make peace with them. Overcoming CFS was a conscious and continuous clearing process, and this process is still taking place spontaneously.

If you want to overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you have to pay attention to and deal with what is coming up in your body and mind every day. You have to keep vigil and really feel what you are feeling at all times. No more hiding away, no more ignoring anything, no matter how painful it may be. Trying to escape how we really feel is precisely the reason why our problems don´t go away. We are simply not ready to listen what they are trying to tell us. But when we open ourselves up to what we feel, our emotional and physical issues will start to dissolve.

We may ignore what´s going on in ourselves for years or even decades, but at one point we need to start paying attention and listening. Our bodily intelligence will keep signaling to us that there is something we have to change. In extreme cases, we can have the troubling part cut off by a surgeon, but if the potential for the physical issue remains unresolved, it is very likely that the physical problem will return. So it would be wise to pay attention now. NOW is the time to feel. Whether you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or just fear or anxiety, I invite you to investigate openly and courageously the hidden message behind these issues. Just be here now and feel what you feel!

One of the most important things I have learned by overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is how to gain peace of mind.  It´s simple. Just sit still and see what comes up. Let your mind become calm like the surface of a lake. In this calm state you will be able to notice any distractions that disturb your natural silence. When you know what is disturbing your peace, you can do something about it, and when you know what is causing your symptoms or dis-ease, you will know what steps to take. Awareness is the first step of healing.

What recovery from CFS boils down to is calming your mind and achieving inner peace. It has certainly been the case for me. I am mostly calm and happy now, whereas I was very fearful and mostly agitated 5 and 10 years ago when I had severe symptoms of CFS. Therefore my advice to you is this: Choose to heal and let go of all distractions between You and…Peace.

If you find it hard to let go of the distractions that do not let you be at peace, I highly recommend a simple but powerful healing technique called TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique). You can learn more and purchase materials about this wonderful technique at the TATLife store I fell in love with TAT three years ago, have been using it since (with great results), and recommend it to anyone who is experiencing any emotional issues (fear, anxiety, panic, depression etc), has an allergy or physical illness that could be related to emotional problems. I am always excited to hear from people who have benefited from TAT.

Great Guidance from ME/CFS Survivors to ME/CFS Sufferers

I have recently been taking part in stimulating online conversations about overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What other CFS survivors say resonates with me really strongly sometimes. In this post I would like to share some quotes about overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that ring very true to me. The first one comes from Debbie Andrade, an energy coach who works with people who are recovering from CFS:

“This illness is challenging you to heal your wounds and traumas, to find your value, find your strength, find your voice, find your truth, find your purpose and find your true authentic self. It is time to stop dancing around your wounds, unhappiness and poor health and get down to serious work of healing and releasing all your inner pain and everything you are afraid of. It is time to get real, get honest with yourself. Don’t give away your power to this illness, don’t give your power away to doctors that say you can’t be healed. Go within yourself and find your own answers, your own healing. It’s time to take back your power over your health, your happiness and your life!”

-ME/CFS Recovery Coach Debbie Andrade http://www.balancedwellbeing.org/index.html

There is another incredible quote on that page. For me it is the Ultimate Truth about recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

“If Your Illness Could Speak, It Would Say..

You have been living your life in a way that serves neither you, nor your divine purpose. You have put your priorities in all the wrong places. You have put everyone else first before yourself. You dishonor yourself all the time and withhold love from yourself.  You stuff your feelings, worry about the future, hold onto resentments and losses of the past and you will not forgive. Living life this way has caused your soul to become very sick and it has decided that it does not want to live any longer in this manner. This is a signal to change, this is your chance to heal.”

– Author unknown

More great quotes came from Melanie Murray who runs a ME/CFS Recovery Stories page on Facebook. She participated in one of discussions between me and two people who are using the ideas of Reverse Therapy to overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. What she had to say in response to questions about how to go about recovery, what needs to be done and how in order to overcome CFS:

“The ultimate goal has to be to do more, but that is a product of continuing a balanced state of being. It seems to me that the most important thing is to maintain balance, not just physically (through pacing, and nutrition etc) but mentally and emotionally too. Start each day and each activity in the right frame of mind (i.e. calm, positive, peaceful). If you notice at any point that your inner state is no longer balanced, then immediately stop the activity and get into the right frame of mind before continuing. You may need to do some breathing exercises, visualization etc, whatever brings you back to a peaceful, contented state. Then, and only then, move on. Gently and steadily do more, always monitoring your inner state and making adjustments as needed. Moving on in this very gradual way doesn’t jar the body and cause stress, and balance is maintained.

I couldn´t agree more. Maintaining a positive state of mind was also central to my recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Melanie continues:

“We all know that doing what we love and are passionate about (within our present capabilities) gives us energy whether we’re ill or in good health. This can be as simple as taking the time to admire the beautiful colours in the garden, or writing a letter to a friend. Each time we do something we don’t want to do, we take energy away from ourselves. So, choose your activities wisely and do them because you want to, and never because you feel you should or must to get well. “Shoulds” and “musts” just put us under pressure. Pressure means stress, and stress, as we know, maintains illness. Also take out of your mind the concept of “trying” to increase your activities. Trying implies that you’re finding it hard to achieve your goal and that in itself creates stress. Instead, just harness the power of the present moment and allow it to move you forward naturally.”

-Melanie Murray ME/CFS Recovery Stories on Facebook

I am grateful to have met other people who have overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome using very similar approaches. And I am grateful for their sharing. Hopefully we can help others recover from CFS too!

Letting go of old points of view helps to recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Letting go of old points of view helps to get over post-traumatic stress and recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

When I look back at my recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I can say with certainty that recovery from CFS has mainly been about releasing unwholesome points of view and embracing new and healthy ones. The letting go of old points of view has also meant real changes in how I see life and how I live it. I used to be stuck in negative emotions like anger and resentment. I used to hold very negative and fearful ideas about life, other people, and everything else. I used to think and feel that I was worthless, and I used to think that I will not make it to old age. All of these feelings and beliefs combined (and more) made up Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. These feelings and beliefs had started to accumulate from a young age and were only released in the process of overcoming CFS many years later. I had had no possibility of dealing with painful events that happened to me as a little boy, and as the stress from those events (and new ones) kept accumulating, it became too much to bear for my body at the age of fourteen. This was the time that I started to have the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – extreme fatigue, depression, irritability and so on. I had no clue at the time that these symptoms were signals from my Bodymind to do something about the remnants of the traumas I had gone through. When I found out about Reverse Therapy many years later, it all made perfect sense to me. I immediately started to pay attention to what I was really feeling and releasing as many heavy feelings I could. A major breakthrough came quite soon. It came about when I really paid attention to all of my symptoms and expressed them in a way that felt just right (see previous post: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome teaches us being true to ourselves and more).

The healing journey meant letting go of many stuck points of view and embracing new ones. It also meant healing many negative emotions and developing positive ones instead. Overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome is about being aware of emotions and sensations and doing energy healing work to release all of your unhealthy points of view and anything else that is not supportive of good health.

The idea that changing points of view helps to make major shifts in our health condition is also central to my favorite healing technique TAT. The inventor of TAT, Ms. Tapas Fleming explains it:

“The central idea is that when we’re very stressed or traumatized we become identified with thoughts and beliefs that seem like they’re going to help us make it through. After the trauma has passed, we’re still living our lives stuck in those points of view and it doesn’t work – we can’t relax and be happy. For example, a real typical point of view that gets born during a trauma that’s extreme enough to result in PTSD would be “I have to be on high alert all the time.” Another one would be “I’m not safe.” These stuck beliefs result in not being able to sleep, not being able to connect with people, always sitting with your back to a wall so you can keep an eye on everything, and so on.”

From the website of Heal My PTSD

I was unconsciously holding the belief “I have to be on high alert all the time” throughout my illness and the process of recovery. This was not only a belief, but also a strong feeling in the body that seemed to be telling me “to do something or not to do something.”  I was unable to let it go because it was so deep. It was as if I was on a pressure cooker – something inside me was always pushing me harder and I could never relax. But eventually, after many sessions of TAT, it started to dissipate and show up less frequently… until it was completely gone along with the symptoms of CFS.

Even though we can see we’re not in the original situation, somehow, we don’t “get it”. We keep operating on old information that doesn’t apply anymore. The points we touch at the front and back of our head with the TAT Pose allow us to “get it”.

-Tapas Fleming

I have often been blown away by the power of this simple technique and recommend anyone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. or Fibromyalgia to try it. TAT booklet about healing traumas is available for free at www.tatlife.com, but if you would like to learn hot to use TAT for physical illnesses, you can either work with a certified TAT practitioner (the list and contacts are found on the website) or buy training materials at the TATLife store

Have a happy healing journey from CFS to Full Health!

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome teaches us being true to ourselves and more

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be a horrible condition, but it is a great teacher. If I try to sum up the essence of overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I would like to say this: CFS/M.E. is a lesson of honesty and integrity. Be who you are and do what you feel like doing! Heal your wounds and be happy!

Yes, you can overcome chronic fatigue syndrome!
Overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been a HUGE lesson for me. I have really had to go through a thorough transformation.  The transformation has to do with what I think and how I feel, with my attitudes towards myself, others and the world, and pretty much all areas of my life. It has been a long and sometimes challenging journey that has taken me into the depths of my mind and heart. In this process I have had to face my deepest fears, let go of negative attitudes, anger and resentment, and healed my traumas. It has been a very rewarding journey of self-discovery, self-mastery, self-healing, and transformation. Instead of being bitter about losing the best years of my life (I suffered from CFS since I was 14 and until I was about 29), I am now grateful for everything Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has taught me. CFS has actually been my greatest teacher. Without the intense suffering caused by CFS, I would have not found the spiritual path, for which I am most grateful. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has taught me many important lessons, including the importance of being true to myself and being who I really am.  I would like everyone to experience the positive change I have experienced and my mission is to spread the word about the possibility of overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
I received an e-mail from a woman who has suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for many years. Five months ago she found one of my articles and I sent her my book. She has read my book and found it very helpful. I am really happy that there have been some significant improvements in her condition since then. A few days ago she wrote:
“In consulting my journal I see that it has been five months since I first found your ehow article. When I stop to review how things have been going, I feel called to celebrate. Since beginning this work I am:
– successfully walking a mile a day (most days) and am ready to increase my mileage
– able to get by with less sleep and rest
– enjoying more “good days”
– feeling more in control of my emotions because of the tools I have learned
– enjoying a lighter mood and more trusting attitude towards the Universe, even through rough times like the illness and death of my canine friend in December
– enjoying the feeling of having a more loving and less fearful heart
So thanks for getting the word out. It does make a difference!”
It makes me really glad to read such reports! It is not only possible to recover from CFS, but it is also enjoyable and fun. You will be a different, and possibly a much better person.
My experience of overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has given me so much happiness and joy! It has taught me the most important lesson of all: be who you are, love and respect yourself and others, and be happy. It has also given me a “more loving and less fearful heart.” I hope it will be a joyful journey for you as well.

Starting to live a normal life again after years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. or Fibromyalgia

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. and Fibromyalgia are severely debilitating conditions that render normal life impossible. You never know when your symptoms may escalate – you may start feeling ill when you go shopping, eat out with friends, or try to read a book. People who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. or Fibromyalgia often quit their jobs, limit their social interactions, avoid any kind of physical or mental exertion, and eventually start thinking of themselves as disabled people who have no hope of returning to normal life. People with CFS/M.E. or Fibromyalgia basically lose their lives. And as if losing one´s life wasn´t enough, there are people (including doctors) who say “it´s all in your head” and “you are just being lazy.” These are two of the worst things you can say to someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. or Fibromyalgia. These conditions are not in the head, they are very real! This article deals with the importance of starting to live a normal life again.

Having been cut off from work and social life for many years, it becomes increasingly difficult to change things back to normal. Even imagining that one will someday live as a healthy person again becomes impossible. If you´ve had agonizing pain and indescribable fatigue for 15 or 20 years, you will even forget what being healthy feels like, and you start to lose hope that you will ever be well again. Sounds like hell, right? There are millions of people who are suffering from these conditions. I used to be one of them. I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 15 years – 13 years of pain and suffering without even knowing I had CFS, let alone what the cause was, and then a couple of years of more suffering, but trying to recover at the same time. Now, it is not only my duty, but also my joy to share what I have learned during these years, and especially the 4 years it took me to regain my health.

So how did I recover? To say it in a nutshell: recovery meant a complete change in how I relate to myself, others and life itself. Instead of being focused on negative feelings and attitudes I had to learn to forgive, develop compassion, and rethink the basic assumptions about life. Change was not only mental and emotional – changing my mind was the basis on which I could start making changes in my everyday life. You can read more about my recovery story in these articles CFS is not in your head, but it may have something to do with your mind after all, How TAT can help Overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. or Fibromyalgia, and A New Idea for Dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. or Fibromyalgia.

Mind-body healing is about listening to your body´s “messages” (symptoms) and acting accordingly. In the case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. and Fibromyalgia, your body is probably trying to tell you to balance your true wishes with the demands of others, learn to assert yourself in difficult situations, heal your traumas, deal with your stress, and/or start living your life in a way that would bring you true joy and happiness. The messages our bodies are trying to get across are of course individual, but the above-mentioned ones seem to be quite common. The idea can be summed up in simple language: when you start to pay attention to how you are feeling, it will be possible to get the message, and once you get the message, you will know what to do. And when you do what the symptom messages are saying, the body has no more need for sending them to you. It may not be as straightforward in real life, but that´s basically it.

If you think about it with your rational mind, it seems that symptoms like fatigue and pain are telling you to slow down and pace yourself. But our bodies speak a different language, a language that cannot be understood with the logical mind. Even though it could be necessary to slow down (especially if you are stressed out), the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E. and Fibromyalgia may be suggesting something else as well. Their purpose cannot be understood with the rational mind because it is your subconscious mind (bodymind) that is sending them. So instead of “take time off,” their message could be “do more of what you really love doing” or “stop putting up with abuse from other people and start standing up for what you really feel.” Your symptoms may also be related to unresolved emotional issues that are now making themselves felt through physical symptoms. There is a cause for everything, and also for your symptoms. As far as mind-body healing is concerned, getting to know what your symptoms are trying to communicate is the central part of overcoming any health issue. There are several ways to do that: observation, keeping a symptom diary, sensate focusing, meditation, and therapy. The most effective way for understanding my bodymind has been sandplay therapy (please see my article on sandplay therapy). There are probably more ways to do that, but the ones are mentioned should be enough.
When you have done what your body wants you to do, you will have less and less symptoms. Then, at a certain point, it will be possible and necessary to take slow steps towards living a normal life – going to work, hanging out with family and friends and doing other things that make you happy. You can start by trying to live as if you were healthy again. Even if you cannot yet go to work you can start by waking up and putting on your clothes as if you were going to work. Even if you are not confident enough to go jogging, you can put on your sports clothes as if you were going jogging, and try walking around the block if you can. The aim is to get over the emotional/energetic disturbances that are causing the symptoms so that it´s not necessary to be afraid to do “too much” anymore and you can, after some time of “faking it,” really start to lead a normal life again. You may find relief from pacing, but it is nothing more than a coping strategy. People who need to restrict their activities to keep them feeling tolerable may experience severe flare-ups of symptoms whenever they “do too much.” I´m sure your bodymind does not want you to restrict your activities for the rest of your life. It wants you to be well and happy!
Your bodymind understands actions rather than thoughts and your courageous participation in life`s affairs will send a powerful message to your bodymind: I AM WELL! I CAN COPE WITH MY LIFE! It is very important to make that shift at one point. Starting to live a normal life again is a challenge for those who have been suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for any number of years, but it becomes necessary in later stages of recovery. If you have become accustomed to pacing yourself to keep symptoms at bay, doing something extra may bring up symptoms. But this is just what you need if you want to get well with the help of mind-body healing techniques. However, this should not be done too early. Thinking that you have recovered and then suddenly increasing activity can have adverse results. So it´s wise to take it slowly, step by step.
It is absolutely crucial to keep an eye on your symptoms and emotions throughout the recovery process. TAT is a great technique to use when some fear or other strong emotions come in the way of doing what you would like to do. You can deal with those obstacles easily if you know how to use TAT. For example, it is possible to get over fear of symptoms, negative beliefs around your health issues and much more. I would recommend having TAT in your toolbox for any problem or obstacle you may experience during your recovery. Please see my article on TAT for more information.

It is also important to find a healthy balance of activities during a day. Don`t do anything for too long. After sitting at your desk for hours, your bodymind can send you a signal that it is time to do something else. Then, just do what you feel like doing. Your body will reward you with a reduction of symptoms and maybe a pleasurable feeling. Doing things that create endorphins (the pleasure hormones) helps you to heal. Go to gym or the swimming pool if that`s what you`re into. Go to see a movie with a friend or go out for dinner. Slowly start to do things you love doing and you`ll see that gradually, as you gain more confidence, your body will let you do more and more. I encourage you to live your life as if you were healthy. Forget about your illness. Throw the idea of being sick out of your mind and out of your vocabulary. Be healthy and prove it by your actions! Act as if you were healthy. This will give the bodymind a strong signal that you are on top of things again. If you take charge of your life, your bodymind can soon “swich off” the symptoms because you trust yourself.
Think of the things you used to do or would like to start doing. If you haven`t been going swimming or jogging due to your symptoms, slowly start to do these things again. If symptoms arise, pay attention to what is going on. You might find an underlying fear or idea that seems to say: “You lack confidence (or strenght) to do it, so you better don`t.” It is important to let your bodymind know that you can cope with any activity, and especially with the ones you love most. And you can let your bodymind know that you can do it by… ACTING. Actions are more powerful that thoughts and words. Your bodymind wants to know that it is safe to drive a car, go shopping, play pool with friends, start full or part-time employment etc. Once you have made it clear by your actions that you can do these things, bodymind will take notice and let you do more and more of the things you love doing. The bodymind is spontaneous, so it requires you to be spontaneous. Find a range of different activities you love doing or need to do. Keep things simple and don`t do too much. Also, the bodymind has a gigantic memory. It still remembers all these situations where you felt helpless and did not resolve the situation. This information is stored in the cells of your body and is waiting for release. You must resolve any unresolved situations in order to go on with your life. There is nothing you can do about what happened, but you can change how you feel about what happened. And you can change it only in the present moment, right now!

The key is changing your attitudes and behavior and find a healthy balance in life:

Create space for yourself and have others respect your privacy
Do things you love doing
Stand up for yourself in difficult situations
Find balance between “time for yourself” and “time for others”
Ask help in difficult situations
Restore confidence in difficult situations
Become clear about your rights and responsibilities
Learn to say “no”

In general, be more self-confident. Do what you want to do and say what you want to say. Be true to your feelings, be true to yourself and don`t lie. If you really want to have that ice-cream then go and have it! If you really want to go for a walk on the beach, just do it! Do not leave anything undone because you are afraid you cannot cope – take risks! You can slowly start to do the things you love doing despite all the hindrances. Explain to your family members that it is important for your recovery to do things you love to do and do less of the things you don`t want to do. Self-assertive behavior will have a positive effect, but do not become selfish. Create space for yourself, but leave some for others too. Try to find a healthy balance between your own needs and other people`s needs, but at least for the time being, put your needs first.
About a year and a half after I started to heal myself I felt I was not making very rapid progress anymore, so I thought it would be a good idea to go back to a normal lifestyle and start full-time employment again. I decided to try and see if I would gain more self-confidence and thereby switch off the body`s alarms. The symptoms didn`t simply disappear and my body kept sending the symptoms, so I had to maintain the level of presence if I wanted to feel good and be able to do my job well (I learned to become present whenever I got symptoms and that always made me feel better). Although going to work didn’t heal me, the time in the office definitely had a positive effect on my self-confidence. I was living my life as if I was healthy by doing all the things a healthy person does and therefore I soon no longer had to be afraid that I might not cope with life. I proved by action that I could manage. The mild (and sometimes stronger) symptoms were really not a problem anymore because I already had the necessary level of energy and felt good enough to lead a full life. Also, I now had the necessary knowledge and experience to deal with symptoms. All I needed to do to make myself feel better was to go into my body and feel everything that was going on. After some time of concentrating on the unpleasant feelings in my body I invariably felt much better because the symptoms subsided. I had achieved a certain level of wellbeing and started to think of myself as healthy again. I lived with that contentment for quite a while, until I started to write this book and needed to re-experience the process of recovery and deal with whatever discomfort I still felt.
Finally, I decided to deal with the last remaining symptoms – mild brain-fog, pressure in the head and in the eyes and some fatigue. Writing a book on my recovery was one of the enjoyable healing actions I took and it motivated me to heal myself completely. I used EFT and TAT to deal with the symptoms that had not disappeared despite all my previous efforts. I felt that the underlying problems were too deep and too complex to ease out with actions alone. I wanted instant results and I wanted to eliminate the root of the problem. However, I realized that even though I used EFT and TAT to deal with symptoms, I still had to act according to my deepest needs. This is one of the key elements of recovery. You must live your life as if you were healthy – doing things you love doing and fulfilling your true potential in life.

Trust your intuition and see when is the right time to return to living a normal life again. It can be an enormous challenge after years of suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but it is possible. TAT is a great method for reducing fear, anxiety and stress you may experience during this process. There is always support if you need it and are willing to accept it. My main message is that full recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is possible, and moreover, it can be fun! You will learn a lot and become a stronger, happier and better human being. I hope you will find a way to recover.