Chronic Fatigue looms in the public consciousness. Most of us know about this illness either through personal experience, through a loved one or through media exposure. Often dismissed as purely psychosomatic or even a fad disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is in fact a serious and debilitating illness caused by the Epstein-Barr and associated viruses affecting all aspects of the human being including the physical body, the will, the emotions and thinking.
All of the aspects mentioned above must be addressed, both as impulses that arise from within and from without that erode health. It is important to say "yes" both to the development of the authentic self, and to what is to be achieved in life. Latent capacities must rise to consciousness.
CFS challenges the individuality, leaving the sufferer unprotected from inner and outer influences.
The awareness that the whole person is affected means conscious effort is needed to develop new strength in areas that have been previously ignored. Self-care is essential along with doctor prescribed remedies. Muscle and organ treatments collectively address the four main aspects: the physical, the will, emotions, and thinking.
The physical body is ravaged with many and varied symptoms that are listed above and can be supported by a whole grain diet, rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts, exercise and healthy sleep habits, like going to bed by 10:00 pm. Muscle therapies, that range from deep pressure to rhythmic massage, may be used to support the physical body because they help reintegrate the body with the soul and spirit. They also increase the inner vitality of the body by opening the peripheral circulation to the up-building forces inherent in rhythmic muscle therapy.
The will, representing the physical expression of spirit, is unable to fully enter the body and accomplish deeds in the world...simply, it is unable to act as intended. The emotions are sometimes clouded, with feelings of resentment, anger, despair, or fear. The vitality and capacity for thinking may be drained, making it difficult to concentrate or carry a thought through. Rudolf Steiner developed six exercises that address these problems of the higher faculties in a step-by-step manner.
Organs treated through massage include the liver, spleen, lymphatics and intestines. Manipulating the liver decongests it, restoring blood flow that was held back by congestion. It flushes out the liver and lifts it out of its stagnating toxic state so it can return to its function of metabolic up-building, immunity and cleansing the blood. Lymphatic drainage therapy supports the liver as well as awakening feeling for a more balanced polarity. Spleen manipulation helps re-establish healthy inner impulses ...rhythms in the body with regards to diet, sleep, exercise, times of inner quiet. Finally, intestinal manipulation releases the tension in the walls and helps restore the proper nutritive uptake.
Muscle and organ therapies provide an actual experience of health immediately after the session. This experience greatly inspires the will to keep that experience by choosing to do what it takes to get well. As stated before, the path to overcome CFS is the same as the path of personal development. To continue past the symptom stage and integrate all that has been learned to overcome CFS will develop the capacities that are necessary to become whole again.
Six Exercises, or Attributes
An abbreviated excerpt from Knowledge of Higher Worlds, R.Steiner, Anthroposophic Press, Hudson, NY
Anyone familiar with Eastern philosophies will know the term "lotus flower," or "chakra."
The following is a development of the twelve petalled lotus flower, located in the region of the heart.
- Control of Thought. The student endeavors to regulate the sequence of thought. Thoughts that dart to and fro like will-o-wisps destroy their form.
- Control of Actions. All inconsistancy, all disharmony of action is baneful.
- Cultivation of Perseverance.Obstacles contain a challenge, never a reason for giving up.
- Forebearance (tolerance) toward persons, creatures, and also circumstances. The student suppresses all superfluous criticism and rather seeks to understand everything that is imperfect. Should some trouble befall, the student doesn't condemn but accepts the inevitable and endeavors to give the matter a turn for the best.
- Impartiality toward everything that life brings. In this connection we speak of faith and trust. Timidity and scepticism are banished.
- Cultivation of equanimity. The student endeavors to retain composure in the face of joy and sorrow, and eradicates the tendency to fluctuate between the seventh heaven of
joy and the depths of despair.