Why I Fixed My Broken Vacuum Cleaner

One of the principles that I learnt during my brief experience of Mickel Therapy a few years back was that it is important to stay on top of things in order to avoid feeling any more overwhelmed than we already do by being ill. Having an accumulation of small unresolved life stressors can add up to create stress and tension in our nervous systems. That’s why it’s helpful to make a judicious list of “outstanding issues” that we want to address and whittle it down over time.

I say “judicious” because most people with CFS tend to take on too much, and and up feeling overwhelmed with the familiar feeling that there is “not enough time”. We don’t really trust in the process of life and have bought into the idea that the more we do, the more stuff we can have and the happier we will be.

The truth is that time is indeed limited and we need to choose what to focus on in our lives generally. But when I got sick a whole bunch of things that were actually important to me started to fall by the way side.

Now that I’ve whittled my “outstanding issues list” down to virtually nothing, it’s important to stay on top of things to prevent that feeling of overwhelm from coming back.

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Daniel Neuffer’s ANS Rewire CFS/ME Recovery Program

Daniel Neuffer, the author of CFS Unravelled, has released a new CFS recovery program based on his theory that CFS is caused by an Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction. I have spoken to Daniel several times over the last few years and always found our conversations insightful and encouraging. I always remember him saying to me: “Graham, would you still be so anxious if you knew you would be fully recovered in say a years time?”

I think his theory about the cause of CFS is probably accurate and although I can’t vouch for the contents of his recovery program since I haven’t seen it, I thought I would let you all know about it so that you can check it out.

If you want to try the program, check out ANSRewire.com; and please leave a comment below letting me know how you find it. I’m particularly interested how it compares to DNRS and The Gupta Program.

Dealing with Angry People

I get my fair share of hate mail on this blog, which I find unpleasant but not entirely surprisingly. Given that CFS appears to involve the emotional centre of the brain, it tends to generate a lot of anxiety and/or anger. Many people aren’t good at expressing their anger cleanly, and some of them choose to channel it into hate mail directed at me.

Say "No!" to Other People's Anger
Say “No!” to Other People’s Anger

Being on the receiving end of somebody else’s hostility can be stressful, so it’s important to be assertive with these people to stop their stress from entering my emotional boundary.

He’s an example from last week: I got an email from a female ex-friend who I initially met through this blog, which began:

“I don’t read your shit, but…”

… and went on to give me some unsolicited advice that I didn’t find particularly helpful.

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Anyone experimented with Heart Rate Variability measurement?

If the theory about CFS being caused by an infection of the vagus nerve leading to chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system is correct, then it should show up in Heart Rate Variability measurements. HRV is supposed to correlate with parasympathetic nervous system arousal. I saw a psychologist a few years ago who was right into it when I was really stressed out and this technology first hit the market, but the devices at the time were specialized and expensive and I never asked him to test me, so I never actually got my HRV measured.

Now HRV measurement devices are relatively cheap though, and a friend of mine recently put me onto the EliteHRV app, which works on an iPhone with a relatively inexpensive Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor.

The basic idea is that the more time your body spends in parasympathetic arousal, associated with higher HRV readings, the more recovery/healing you get.

I’ve just started this morning with my first Morning Readiness reading; so it’s too early to give any concrete results. I have noticed that my HRV drops while playing Yousician Piano, presumably because I’m still learning and the challenge of getting the notes right is mildly stressful. I hope this changes as I play better, since I play music to relax; not to get more stressed.

Anyone else experimented with HRV measuments?