The 7 Steps to Recovery


1. Acceptance

2. Education

3. Planning

4. Budgeting

5. Choosing a Doctor/Healer

6. Implementing

7. Reviewing & Adjusting

My current and constantly evolving approach to healing CFS/ME.

CFS appears to be a condition  manifesting in different variances and degrees in each person. Seeing as no-one is really 100% sure what causes it, at this stage it’s not so much a diagnosis as a set of symptoms. My personal view is its a condition the body goes into in the name of self preservation when extremely challenged by a particular event (viral infection, bacterial infection, traumatic event, toxic overload etc.)

I presently believe (22/08/10 2:14pm and 43 seconds) the most strategic response to healing CFS/ME is to first establish a thorough, comprehensive and detailed medical history. Going right back to childhood but especially focused on the months preceding the first symptoms of fatigue. Then in partnership with an open-minded medical professional use biochemical markers (blood, urine, stool tests etc.) to attempt to determine and treat the underlying cause. Using the metaphor of CFS/ME as a fire, once you have addressed the oxygen source (or underlying cause), over time the flames (or secondary symptoms) will go out much more easily.

Also crucially important is your psychological response to healing. Simply receiving CFS/ME as a diagnoses can be an incredibly overwhelming event and this can be multiplied by living with great uncertainty around the condition for many years. There appears to be a distinct set of negative mental patterns occurring alongside CFS which must be addressed and overcome in order to reduce the levels of stress and anxiety and allow the body to heal. What ever stage your at in your recovery it makes sense to get as much help as possible in re-establishing a positive and healing state of mind.

I believe the Art of Healing to be an ongoing cycle of:

Acceptance – Accepting where you are at.

Education – Learning all that you can.

Strategy – Making a Plan.

Implementation – Sticking to it and healing.As such I recommend moving through the next 6 postings in order then returning to read specific Tools, Treatments & Techniques as they become relevant.

1. Acceptance. Accepting where you are at. Balancing Acceptance & Hope.

2. Education. Educating yourself about CFS/ME.

3. Plan. Planning your Recovery.

4. Budget. Budgeting for your Recovery.

5. Choosing a Doctor/Healer. Finding the right person to work with.

6. Implement. Implement your plan and keep a daily log of what works.

7. Review and Adjust.Have Goals and Dates to work towards to stay on track.

There is alot of information on this blog and it is best explored over time in a state of calmness and relaxation. Slowly expanding your knowledge, confidence and ability to create the conditions for your own recovery.

Where to Next?Step 1 ~ Acceptance & Hope

11 Responses to The 7 Steps to Recovery
  1. Yoga ~ Technique | CFS/ME Recovery Path
    September 3, 2010 | 5:21 am

    […] to Next? – Have you read the 7 Steps to Recovery? Learn more Techniques to apply in your recovery. 0 Comments – Leave a comment! « Previous […]

  2. […] to next? Read the 7 Steps to Recovery and Learn about leading Treatments for CFS/ME. 0 Comments – Leave a comment! « Previous […]

  3. […] to Next? Have you read the 7 steps to Recovery? Or the introduction to XMRV? 0 Comments – Leave a comment! « Previous […]

  4. […] to Next? – Have you read the 7 Steps to Recovery? Why not throw a little Yoga into the mix? 0 Comments – Leave a comment! « Previous […]

  5. Sarah Kurhajetz
    May 11, 2011 | 5:48 am

    I am doing some research for a friend. Can you tell me if you’ve found a good doctor to work with?

  6. Samantha
    April 9, 2012 | 8:42 am

    Hi Joe,
    Firstly, thank you so much for creating this website. I kept being told by my GP my symptoms were due to depression and it was not until December 2010 after entering depression and tiredness into google that I realised I had ME. Despite going to the doctor immediately, the first consultant’s appointment will be in 2 weeks. In that time I have been pro-active and have been doing the seven steps pretty much. I took myself off the anti-depressants, I’ve been taking vitamin supplements, have managed to hold down a part-time job. What I realised about your site is that although I have been doing the seven steps, I really haven’t conquered the first as it still makes me sad. I’m going to keep fighting though and currently employ various methods such as yoga, EFT and have had some promsing results recently with co-enzyme Q10 which I hope continues. The problem is if you’re on a low income, it is way more difficult to get the help. So Alex Howard’s clinic is way beyond my means but from what I understand, it uses a multi-functional approach of nutrition, exercise and psychiatry. I highly recommend EFT and there’s loads of free instruction available on the internet. Here’s hoping that we all make the full recovery we deserve and I’m going to add to my regime by beginning to smile when ME/CFS is mentioned in the future. Thanks again for the hope.

    • Joe
      April 14, 2012 | 4:37 pm

      Hi Samantha.

      Weight off old the shoulders getting a diagnosis hey? Now it’s time to get your healthy lifestyle fine tuned and fantastic. Sounds like you are well on the way. Remember to keep resting frequently and establish a routine that adds more energy than it takes.

      The low income aspect can be a challenge I know. The Optimum Health Clinic has just released Secrets to Recovery version 3 which they say is the low cost way to use their approach. And I’m sure they could offer a discount if you explain your situation.

      I recommend to keep going on with the EFT and Yoga. Both free once you learn a little and practically endless in their ability to create positive shifts in your life.

      Balancing acceptance and hope is probably the deepest lesson we can learn as individuals. It forces us to go deep inside of ourselves and let go of what ever it is our little ‘inner hand’ is clutching to for dear life before being swept away along the river of life and experience.

      For me it goes in cycles, there seems to be deeper and deeper levels of acceptance. Acceptance of who you are, how you feel and what’s happening around you. So be gentle with yourself and don’t fight your sadness. Welcome it as a friend, invite it in for tea and dance the tango with it, because anger and sadness seem to be inside all of us and CFS/ME just gives you the opportunity to put a face to your particular brand. Experiencing sadness by no means limits us from living a full and joyful existence.

      It’s natural you have resistance to this. In the initial stages of illness we all seem to be go through a period of mourning our old lives. And to let in the new lives that are calling us there needs to be a period of grieving. So go with it. It will come in time. Remember there are a whole bunch of people out there that have fought the same battle as you and won! You can do it. Keep fighting. Never give up.

      Love the idea of Smiling at the mention of CFS/ME. It’s a winner! I was recently shown by a teacher that if you throw your hands up in the air in the victory position like you’ve just won the world cup a whole bunch of positive endorphins are sent through your brain. Haha it works and is always good for a giggle in stressful situations.

      Keep on a Rocking Samantha! Look forward to hearing about your recovery :)


  7. salon
    November 6, 2012 | 3:09 am

    I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing problems with your website.
    It appears as if some of the written text on your posts are running
    off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is
    happening to them as well? This may be a issue with my internet browser because
    I’ve had this happen before. Many thanks

    • Joe
      December 1, 2012 | 1:37 am

      Hey Sarah thanks for the feedback. Hopefully the problem has abated for you. I’ve had a few problems with the site over the last 48 hours but other than that it seems to work well across all the browsers. Which browser are you using? Still having troubles?

  8. Sab Mayeux
    May 13, 2017 | 8:46 am

    Great blog, I love your balanced and fun reviews of your healing experiences esp. at Dr K.’s practice. Such valuable info for those of us who suffer from various chronic ailments. Do you still update your blog? I hope so. Thanks and best wishes – Sabs

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Welcome! I'm Joe and my vision is to empower people with the knowledge they need to take control of their health. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) in 2003 and recently added Lyme disease to that diagnosis in 2012. I'm on a path to recovery and I invite you to join me..... P.S. It's best to never take anything I say too seriously. In fact I reckon it's best to never take anything too seriously!