Frequently Asked Questions
There is hope for CFS/ME patients – and with the right treatment most people can recover.
At Bedford Integrative Health Centre we offer specialist treatment for those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome or M.E. (CFS/ME). This includes nutritional advice and support from nutritionist, Anna Pugh, and the Perrin Technique, an osteopathic treatment from osteopath, Sorrel Pindar, as well as counselling for those who feel the need of psychological support in coping with this debilitating illness.
If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The first and most important thing to do is to make sure you do not push through the fatigue. Pacing is the key to getting better: in the early stages of recovery do not do more than 50% of what you feel able to do (ie if you feel you can manage a half-hour walk, then only do 15 minutes). It is important to break any task into small, bite-size chunks, say of 10-15 minutes each and stop for a rest at the end of each chunk.As you start to get better you will find that the rests get shorter and the time spent being active will get longer.
Second is nutrition, it is important to eat healthily (lots of fruit and vegetables, good quality protein, and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, etc). There are a number of supplements available which will help, but we would recommend taking advice from a nutritionist (such as Helen Olphin or Anna Pugh, both of whom work at Bedford Integrative Health Centre), to ensure that you get the right foods and supplements.
It is also important to limit your caffeine intake – some patients may be drinking 5 or more cups of coffee a day, which gives them a temporary spurt of energy, but unfortunately is damaging to the adrenal glands and may cause heart palpitations.
Sleep hygiene is essential for a good night’s sleep: make sure you leave at least an hour between turning off screens including mobile, tablet or computer and turning out your light. Take a hot bath (with lavender oil if you like), drink some chamomile tea, read a book or listen to calming music to help you relax. Having a regular routine helps the brain know that it’s time to sleep.
If you’re still not able to sleep your doctor may decide to prescribe something to help. This can be very helpful to patients who suffer from a lot of pain, as poor sleep and pain tend to make each other worse leading to a vicious circle. A bath with Epsom salts is a good way to get magnesium into your body and this too can help with sleep.
A gentle massage may help you relax – but avoid anything too deep as this may stir up your symptoms.
The Perrin Technique™ is a manual treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome which aims to restore health to the patient’s body by removing toxins which have accumulated in the brain and spinal cord and in the tissues. It was developed over 30 years ago by Dr Raymond Perrin, a Manchester osteopath who had discovered that his treatment was incidentally helping patients who had M.E. as well as back pain.
The lymphatic system, which forms the body’s natural waste disposal system, becomes sluggish in patients with CFS/ME. The lymphatic system becomes clogged and toxic and ceases to perform its function of clearing toxins and waste products from the tissues.
Eventually backflow in the lymphatic system leads to accumulation of toxins in the central nervous system, which Dr Perrin believes is the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. He has discovered definite physical signs common to all CFS/ME sufferers and these can be used to reach a definite diagnosis.
The treatment simply works to improve the functioning of the lymphatic system and to help with drainage of toxins from the brain. For further information, go to our page on the Perrin Technique.
Treatment may take up to a year to be effective, or more if you have been ill for a very long time. However if you take advantage of our multi-practitioner treatment, with nutrition and counselling where necessary, as well as the Perrin Technique, you will start to feel better more quickly. Recovery involves improving the health of your body by removing toxins and ensuring you are getting the right nutrients, and also gradually building your stamina as you start to do more. Some patients find that they are also helped by the NHS treatment, cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy. Others may benefit from inputs from an occupational therapist. There is agreement across the board that the most effective approach in the early stages is pacing. This often means doing less than you are used to, and a good counsellor will be able to help you adjust to this change.