Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Meditation and Chronic Fatigue

TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran

Hi again everyone I'm back, for those who remember me.

I am trying to start meditating and studying Buddhism again after quite a long time. I used to meditate daily a few years ago, but I gradually fell out of Buddhist practice. Subsequently I came down with a nasty bug of unknown origin in December and still haven't recovered so it now seems I have post-viral/chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as ME) . I have constant brain fog so it makes anything that requires much concentration difficult.

Does anyone have any advice for tackling this? And can anyone suggest any "easy" or basic forms of meditation that I can start out with whilst I refresh my knowledge on meditation?

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Frankly? Just sit. Be comfortable, breathe normally, and let every single part of your body, relax.
    Not to the point of slumping, and sliding off the chair; that's not what I mean! I mean, "observe" your body, and release any tension you hold. We all do, particularly around the shoulders...
    Splay your hands, really hard, then just release.... Then breathe, calmly.... focus, if you want, on an inanimate object, about 3 feet infornt of you, below eye level.... Then, watch your mind's chatter. Still it. Slow your thoughts until they're monosyllabic...one word.... see that word arise, let it be, let it pass, and relax.
    Watch your tongue too. Try to not let it rise and press against your palate, leve it gently, naturally lying in your mouth... that usually mens away from your palate, but touching the back of your upper front teeth.
    Let it be, it's ok....

    ME is a much-maligned, very much derided affliction that many still do not take seriously, but it's debilitating, draining and thoroughly demoralising.

    Have a look at this report, and take it easy. Seriously. Pushing yourself and over-doing it will in most likely, make you feel worse.
    Look to your diet, and cut the carbs. Honestly? It's the best thing I have ever done, bar none. See also our thread on this....

    I hate to say it, but this period is one of necessary selfishness. Look to yourself; put yourself first, and tend to your needs as you see and feel fit.

    Learn to say no, and stand up for yourself. Utterly reject the 'pull yourself together' brigade.

    BunksHozanyagrTigger
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Welcome back. What happened to the chickens?
    I have had chronic fatigue from candida infection. Horrible.

    Probably walking meditation or mantra would be the most feasible? <3
    Can we offer saddhana/prayer/puja for you?

    Bunksyagr
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Welcome back OP. Long time no hear.

    May you be well.

  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran

    Thanks for the advice Fede, fortunately the majority of the people around me are understanding and taking this condition seriously.

    @lobster we've still got one left. The three others have passed on to their next rebirth :), sad as I was to see them go.

    lobster
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @TheEccentric said:
    I have constant brain fog so it makes anything that requires much concentration difficult.

    That is a fantastic beginning, you may even have a leg up on the rest of us. :)  You've gotten excellent advise thus far but I would add this: It might be better to think of meditation as anti-concentration.  Meditation relaxes the mind and when the mind is relaxed, we can concentrate better.  

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    With apologies, I guess I will give another plug for energy healing practices. I had pretty severe fatigue problems some time ago, could hardly walk 1/4 mile without having to lie down on the ground. I don't know that it had any organic cause however, might have been more a consequence of long-running depression.

    This toe tapping exercise seemed to improve my energy levels noticeably after a couple of weeks, and is fairly undemanding to do because it's done lying down. I found it possible to meditate after a fashion while doing it.

    Toe tapping involves lying on your back and tapping the toes together fairly rapidly, using rotation of the hip joints to do it, not the ankles, and using momentum to do some of the work - takes a while to coordinate the movement. I used to do this for 20 minutes a session, once or twice a day. There are other body-tapping exercises also, this one just seemed to be the easiest for me. Reference: Energy Healing - Essentials of Self-Care by Ann Marie Chiasson, MD

    federica
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    No apologies necessary, @Fosdick; if a thing bears repeating, it's worth doing so. ;)

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    Hi, Eccentric! Sorry to hear you're not well. Could you explain your illness a bit more? I'm not familiar with the term, "M.E." I had adrenal fatigue for many years. I found that meditation helped. I suppose that makes sense, as we know that physiologically, meditation calms the stress hormones, and therefore, the stress hormone glands. I don't think I had the type of brain fog you do, though.

    Thanks for any clarification you could offer.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Dakini said:
    Hi, Eccentric! Sorry to hear you're not well. Could you explain your illness a bit more? I'm not familiar with the term, "M.E."....Thanks for any clarification you could offer.

    ME is short for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis which is also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a dreadful, difficult-to-diagnose, affliction without a definite cure.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    Thank you for that, Federica. "Encephalomyelitis" would indicate that the tissues of the brain are involved--inflamed, or something. How would they know this? How did the medical community arrive at the conclusion that brain tissue is involved?

    I know that "chronic fatigue syndrome" has been studied or puzzled over in North America and Europe for quite awhile--since at least the 90's, but I'm wondering how they arrived at choosing this term or diagnosis for it. I ask, because as someone who had long-term chronic fatigue that got diagnosed (I had to go to a doctor who didn't accept insurance in order to get tested and treated) as adrenal fatigue, I always wonder about CFS. I wonder if some of those patients might benefit from getting an Adrenal Stress Index test, a saliva test.

    karasti
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Dakini I'm assuming your questions are rhetorical, because I sure as heck have no answers.... Perhaps it's a bit like all the dieting advice we've been 'fed' (pardon the pun) for the past 20 - 30 years, now largely being dismissed as inaccurate and based on supposition, hypothesis and unreliable and badly-established data...People drew conclusions from a very limited source of information, made 2 + 2 = 17, and published their findings as irrefutable fact, usually funded by particular companies which had a specific interest in self-promotion... (look at margarine, for example!)

    There is still so much we cannot, or do not know, Yet we are members of a society which requires, nay, insists on answers to everything. Why, and how, are the two most insistent demands, and if we cannot know why or how, then we dismiss something as utterly unreliable and unsubstantiated - yet take for granted that any answers we DO receive, MUST be right, because well, it's scientific, isn't it....?

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    Yeah, well I know that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been a big puzzle. I always assumed that it was adrenal fatigue, but this new term for it (ME) would indicate that it's something else, unrelated. I just hate to see people suffering needlessly, when the solution could, in fact, be fairly simple. I'll have to do some internet research to see if I can discover what lead them to this ME categorization of it.

    Thanks. And yes, the medical community certainly does have a long way to go, a lot to learn. A bit more humility, combined with more intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness, vs. simply dismissing ideas out of hand, on the part of researchers, would help.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I have wondered if maybe adrenal fatigue/compromise might be related or the same issue as well. I find the ME diagnosis confusing, I didn't realize CFS had another name, and considering diagnosis is a basis of present symptoms unexplainable by other factors that they can test for it is curious to me the name they chose.

    Reading online a bit, ME seems to be characterized by an injury to the brain (usually as a result of virus or similar). But CFS often accompanies no reason found for the symptoms. I'm really curious now if there is a link anywhere to adrenal issues. Hm.

    In any case, @TheEccentric it is nice to see you return! I'm sorry it's under such circumstances. It sounds like a very difficult thing to deal with. Be gentle with yourself, don't push and attach expectations. Just be. Just sit. Let your body and mind experience that alone. Attempting to focus just stresses a brain that is trying to heal. I guess if I were you I would probably just take the time to go be outside. To sit in the sun, feel the breeze hear water (if possible), hear the birds. Nature can be incredibly healing if we let ourselves experience it fully. I hope that you will see improvement as time continues to go on. Dealing with brain stuff just is such a very long term "game" and improvements can come very slowly or all of a sudden. 2 steps forward 1 step back. Sometimes 3 steps back.

    Have you asked your doctor about a possible benefit to high dose, high quality fish oil supplementation? It is something they are experimenting with for brain injury and seeing interesting results. I know that's not the same as what you are dealing with but perhaps it might help. Best wishes to you.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks for the advice Fede, fortunately the majority of the people around me are understanding and taking this condition seriously.

    Excellent.

    @karasti said:
    Have you asked your doctor about a possible benefit to high dose, high quality fish oil supplementation?

    I knew those fish were good for something ... :proud:

    Chronic fatigue is awful :( It needs patience. It needs everything you can find ...

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Dakini said:
    Yeah, well I know that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been a big puzzle. I always assumed that it was adrenal fatigue, but this new term for it (ME) would indicate that it's something else, unrelated. I just hate to see people suffering needlessly, when the solution could, in fact, be fairly simple. I'll have to do some internet research to see if I can discover what lead them to this ME categorization of it.

    I suffered from Chronic Fatigue when I was 19. I had Glandular Fever (Americans call it mono for whatever reason) and to be honest - it sucked arse big time. I really feel for you @TheEccentric , I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 7 months :anguished:

    Perhaps using a mala and a simple chant would help you with focusing your concentration?

    _ /\ _

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @Fosdick said:
    Toe tapping involves lying on your back and tapping the toes together fairly rapidly, using rotation of the hip joints to do it, not the ankles, and using momentum to do some of the work - takes a while to coordinate the movement. I used to do this for 20 minutes a session, once or twice a day. There are other body-tapping exercises also, this one just seemed to be the easiest for me. Reference: Energy Healing - Essentials of Self-Care by Ann Marie Chiasson, MD

    Interestingly this also seems related to shiatsu, and some of the other exercises in the book related to Osho's active meditations. So it seems the same help is available from numerous sources.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Kerome said:

    @Fosdick said:
    Toe tapping involves lying on your back and tapping the toes together fairly rapidly, using rotation of the hip joints to do it, not the ankles, and using momentum to do some of the work - takes a while to coordinate the movement. I used to do this for 20 minutes a session, once or twice a day. There are other body-tapping exercises also, this one just seemed to be the easiest for me. Reference: Energy Healing - Essentials of Self-Care by Ann Marie Chiasson, MD

    Interestingly this also seems related to shiatsu, and some of the other exercises in the book related to Osho's active meditations. So it seems the same help is available from numerous sources.

    Yes; I practised Shiatsu - part of a whole body therapeutic massage, was squatting at the feet of your client (facing their head), and tapping the feet together as described, so you did the work for them. I can't count the number of times that clients actually fell into deep repose at this point....

    dhammachick
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    edited April 12

    I definitely think most cases of CFS are viral, rather than adrenal, as about 75% of CFS sufferers can trace their onset back to an acute viral illness. ME is the same thing as CFS, although I prefer to say CFS as "myalgic encephalomyelitis" does sound rather cryptic. I don't think there's any proof that CFS is caused by inflammation of the brain, it's just one of many theories. I personally strongly believe in Dr John Chia's research showing that many cases of CFS are linked to persistent infections with a group of viruses called enteroviruses, that the immune system cannot irradiate. Although I know glandular fever/mono can also trigger it.

    Dakinidhammachick
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited April 12

    @dhammachick said:

    I suffered from Chronic Fatigue when I was 19. I had Glandular Fever (Americans call it mono for whatever reason) and to be honest - it sucked arse big time. I really feel for you @TheEccentric , I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 7 months :anguished:

    Perhaps using a mala and a simple chant would help you with focusing your concentration?

    _ /\ _

    Mononucleosis can accompany adrenal fatigue, because when the adrenals crash, they drag the immune system down with them, so "mono" develops in some cases. It's also called "Epstein-Barr", and that's one thing they test for when someone has adrenal fatigue. "They" meaning the few unicorn doctors who have the experience to be able to deal with adrenal fatigue effectively.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited April 12

    @TheEccentric said:
    I definitely think most cases of CFS are viral, rather than adrenal, as about 75% of CFS sufferers can trace their onset back to an acute viral illness. ME is the same thing as CFS, although I prefer to say CFS as "myalgic encephalomyelitis" does sound rather cryptic. I don't think there's any proof that CFS is caused by inflammation of the brain, it's just one of many theories. I personally strongly believe in Dr John Chia's research showing that many cases of CFS are linked to persistent infections with a group of viruses called enteroviruses, that the immune system cannot irradiate. Although I know glandular fever/mono can also trigger it.

    Very interesting. Thanks for posting this.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @TheEccentric said:
    I definitely think most cases of CFS are viral, rather than adrenal, as about 75% of CFS sufferers can trace their onset back to an acute viral illness. ME is the same thing as CFS, although I prefer to say CFS as "myalgic encephalomyelitis" does sound rather cryptic. I don't think there's any proof that CFS is caused by inflammation of the brain, it's just one of many theories. I personally strongly believe in Dr John Chia's research showing that many cases of CFS are linked to persistent infections with a group of viruses called enteroviruses, that the immune system cannot irradiate. Although I know glandular fever/mono can also trigger it.

    Completely agree

Sign In or Register to comment.