Absorbing the right information at the right time will empower you to take control of your own healing journey.
Increasing your knowledge about CFS/ME leads to better questions.
Better questions leads to more targeted treatments.
Better treatments leads to better health.
It’s an elegant ongoing cycle of questioning, learning and healing. A cycle which you control.
I waited 5 years before typing the words ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ into Google and unleashing a flood of information. With every book I read, website I visit or story I hear I become smarter and better able to heal.
The question then is how far do you go? A Medical Degree?!
If you have visited some of the forums online dedicated to CFS/ME you have probably come across phrases like : ‘Its simply of a matter of De-ionising the tryphosomalating-hydroxolated peptide chain’ and felt way out of your depth. You don’t need a Phd to start getting better. But a firm grasp of basic bodily processes such as digestion and topics like nutrition will go a long way.
One extreme is to enroll in medical school or a natural health college and in 4-7 years hopefully possess the knowledge necessary to heal your self. It has been done. While I have personally considered this option I believe a CFS/ME self-education (books, websites, talking to people etc.) to be a far quicker, satisfying and cheaper option.
Like all things in life the trick is to maintain a balance. The whole point of educating yourself is to aid in your healing, so if you can’t sleep at night because your mind is caught up in Molecular Biology 101 you are obviously trying to take in to much at once. Relax, take a break, feed your pet rabbit and return to the study once your back in balance. It is not just what your learning, but the state your learning it in.
So where to start?
Be warned. Everyone has a different way of looking at CFS/ME. The trick is to read as broadly as you can and develop your own perspective.
For a General Overview (Links Below)
The single most useful resource in my ongoing education has been Jacob Teitelbaum’s book from Fatigued to Fantastic . It is comprehensive, well structured and easy to follow. While I haven’t chosen to adopt every aspect of his approach I like Dr Teitelbaums style. He appears to be an honest and innovative physician, but beware, his organisation is skilled in the art of marketing and you may feel inclined to dive in headfirst. I advise keeping a level head and take the time to appreciate the different perspectives on offer before committing to any one protocol.
Dr Sarah Myhill has an excellent website exploring many aspects of the condition of CFS/ME. Her approach is similar to Dr. Teitelbaums and provides alot of useful information in easy to read language. Her free e-book available on her website focuses more specifically on her theory of Mitochondrial dysfunction as the central cause of CFS/ME and is definitely worth reading.
Cort Johnson’s extensive website aboutmecfs.org is probably the single largest collection of information about CFS/ME on the internet. The site and forum drill down into specific areas of the condition and can be very useful for gaining a broader understanding and investigating particular treatments. (However there is a risk of becoming overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information, confused by the many different opinions on offer or even disheartened by stories from people with a negative attitude. Take it all with a grain of salt and don’t try to read everything at once like I did.)
The person who really inspired me to believe recovery is possible was Alex Howard in his book Why M.E? . His story of struggling with CFS/ME for over 6 years helps you to realise that though dedication and persistence regaining your health from CFS/ME is achievable. The website of the clinic he went on to set up is equally good.
The Patient Advocate and Phoenix Rising are both excellent websites for learning about the state of play of the world of CFS/ME research. (Although think carefully if your ready to take on board the complications of international medical politics.)
Now you’ve begun educating yourself. Your only half way there. It’s time to start educating your friends and family in order to build an informed network of support. Find the book or website that made most sense to you and show it to one family member and one close friend. It will make all the difference.
- Dr. Jacob Teitelbaums book From Fatigued to Fantastic.
- Dr. Sarah Myhills excellent website.
- Cort Johnsons extensive website aboutmecfs.org.
- Alex Howards Book Why Me? and his clinics website.
- The Patient Advocate and Phoenix are both excellent blogs.