ME/CFS Australia (SA) Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.
ME/CFS Australia (SA) Inc aims to keep members informed of various research projects, diets, medications, therapies, news items, etc. All communication, both verbal and written, is merely to disseminate information and not to make recommendations or directives.
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Stress is something we all experience. It can be caused by our environment, our bodies or illness, our mind or emotions and by our behaviours. In ME/CFS we can often be in a prolonged state of stress due to the effects the disease has on our body’s Autonomic Nervous System, … and on our lives.
The stress response is controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System which is made up of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The SNS is often referred to as the body’s ‘Fight or Flight’ response and the PNS as the body’s ‘Rest and Digest’ state.
Ideally we should spend most of our time in ’Rest and Digest’ with only short periods of time in ‘Fight or Flight’ because ‘Fight or Flight’ is designed to save our lives in times of danger but by doing so it stops our bodies from performing critical tasks like digesting our food properly, running our immune system effectively, getting good quality sleep and concentrating on important day to day and long term life activities.
We should be trying to get the body to a stage where both systems are in balance. To do this we can learn how to trigger the PNS or ‘Rest and Digest’ mode. A physio can help with this in several ways…
i. By performing nerve, joint, muscle and facia release: physically releasing these sends positive feedback to the brain telling it you are safe.
ii. Mindfulness: is bringing awareness to the present moment, on purpose, non-judgmentally. This can be done many ways. Everyone is different. The benefits include less anxiety, less pain, more stable moods, better digestion, better sleep and better immunity. It does this by creating new pathways in the brain.
iii. Micro exercises: these are small bursts (e.g. 1 min) of targeted exercises, prescribed by your physio, that can be incorporated into everyday activities (e.g. sitting in the car at the lights, waiting for the jug to boil) to maintain the improvements your physio has made without over burdening your ME/CFS.
iv. Pacing: by having realistic expectations and trusting that you know your body and your ME/CFS better than anyone else. You and your physio can tailor your treatment to ensure it does the maximum good for you, while doing no harm.
Anne generously talked us through her treatment journey this year with Diana as a case study.
During her talk Diana also took us all through a couple of practical exercises. We measured how fast we breathe, then did a few minutes of mindfulness and checked our breathing to see if it had an effect. She also showed us how to check where or if we need nerve release.
After the talk members had the opportunity to share their favourite / most useful piece of equipment / aid / tool for life with ME/CFS with the group. We had a Travelscoot, a transit wheelchair, a fold up combined chair/walking stick, a kettle tipper, a heart rate monitor and a portable and adjustable keyboard / laptop stand with wireless keyboard and mouse for people to have a look at and try if they wanted to. If you would like information of any of these items please call us on ph 1300 128 339 or email email@example.com.
Copies of the video of this seminar are available now:
Members: free to pick up or $5 to post
Non-Member: $10 (disc + post)