Our approach to managing ME/CFS and fibromyalgia is based on four key principles:
With many medical issues, it is helpful to think about how you can help yourself as well as how a doctor can help you. Self-management is particularly important with ME/CFS and FM because how a person leads her life with CFS/FM has a big effect on symptoms and even the course of illness.
The key to successful adjustment in ME/CFS and fibromyalgia is pacing, which provides an alternative to the cycle overdoing followed by forced rest ("push and crash".)
By first understanding the limits imposed by illness and then adjusting to live within them, people can reduce symptoms, decrease the frequency and severity of relapses, and experience greater stability. Pacing also provides the foundation for gradual expanion of limits.
3) Stress Management
ME/CFS and FM both increase stress and make people more sensitive to stress than before they were ill. This combination makes managing stress crucial. We recommend using a variety of stress management stratgies, including techniques for reducing stress and ways to avoid stressful situations.
Long-term illness tends to isolate people. A supportive group focused on finding ways to live better can counteract isolation and provide coping strategies, comfort, and inspiration through the example of people who have improved.