Chronic fatigue syndrome Santillán by YogaClicks


About

While the exact cause is not yet known, chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers often report being highly stressed for years before finally burning out. Learning to cope with the condition can also be a stressful experience, and putting the pressure on to get better makes matters worse.

Yoga, meditation and mindfulness can help in a number of ways. Restorative Yoga may be the best place to start as the first task is to learn to relax and listen to the body. Introducing gentle yoga postures slowly, over time, can help stretch tense muscles and build strength. Meditation and yogic breathing techniques, or pranayama, can help still the mind, increasing clarity and self-awareness, so that healthier lifestyle habits can be introduced.

Clinical studies suggest that yoga and mindfulness reduce fatigue, and pain in sufferers. Mindfulness has also been linked to a reduction in anxiety and catastrophic thinking, as well as improving physical function and quality of life.


What the clinical studies say

Yoga
  • Reduces fatigue (POMS and Chalder’s FS scores decreased significantly)
  • Reduces pain
Mindfulness
  • Alleviates depression
  • Improves physical function
  • Improves quality of life
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces catastrophic thinking
  • Reduces fatigue

The clinical studies

Isometric yoga improves the fatigue and pain of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome who are resistant to conventional therapy: a randomized, controlled trial
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

Background:

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) often complain of persistent fatigue even after conventional therapies such as pharmacotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or graded exercise therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate in a randomized, controlled trial the feasibility and efficacy of isometric yoga in patients with CFS who are resistant to conventional treatments.

Methods:

This trial enrolled 30 patients with CFS who did not have satisfactory improvement after receiving conventional therapy for at least six months. They were randomly divided into two groups and were treated with either conventional pharmacotherapy (control group, n = 15) or conventional therapy together with isometric yoga practice that consisted of biweekly, 20-minute sessions with a yoga instructor and daily in-home sessions (yoga group, n = 15) for approximately two months. The short-term effect of isometric yoga on fatigue was assessed by administration of the Profile of Mood Status (POMS) questionnaire immediately before and after the final 20-minute session with the instructor. The long-term effect of isometric yoga on fatigue was assessed by administration of the Chalder’s Fatigue Scale (FS) questionnaire to both groups before and after the intervention. Adverse events and changes in subjective symptoms were recorded for subjects in the yoga group.

Results:

All subjects completed the intervention. The mean POMS fatigue score decreased significantly (from 21.9 ± 7.7 to 13.8 ± 6.7, P < 0.001) after a yoga session. The Chalder’s FS score decreased significantly (from 25.9 ± 6.1 to 19.2 ± 7.5, P = 0.002) in the yoga group, but not in the control group. In addition to the improvement of fatigue, two patients with CFS and fibromyalgia syndrome in the yoga group also reported pain relief. Furthermore, many subjects reported that their bodies became warmer and lighter after practicing isometric yoga. Although there were no serious adverse events in the yoga group, two patients complained of tiredness and one of dizziness after the first yoga session with the instructor.

Conclusions:

Isometric yoga as an add-on therapy is both feasible and successful at relieving the fatigue and pain of a subset of therapy-resistant patients with CFS
Citations

0
Authors

Takakazu Oka | Tokusei Tanahashi | Takeharu Chijiwa | Battuvshin Lkhagvasuren | Nobuyuki Sudo | Kae Oka
Published

2014
Journal

BioPsychoSocial Medicine
Volume / Issue

8:27
Author's primary institution

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
The Effect of Mindfulness Training on Mood and Measures of Fatigue, Activity, and Quality of Life in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on a Hospital Waiting List: A Series of Exploratory Studies
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

Three exploratory studies evaluated group mindfulness training (which aims to facilitate non-judgmental attention to present moment experience through the practice of meditation) in patients waiting for cognitive behaviour therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The approaches used were based on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.

The first group showed that such training is acceptable to patients and that it results in significantly improved subjective measures of anxiety, and improvements in subjective levels of fatigue that approached significance, when compared to waiting list controls. A second uncontrolled study replicated the findings of the first study and also demonstrated an improvement in quality of life as measured by the Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS). More wide-ranging effects were demonstrated in the final study in which significant improvements in subjective levels of fatigue, anxiety, depression, quality of life and physical functioning were observed following the training programme. These effects were sustained for 3 months.

Overall, the findings of the three exploratory studies indicate that MBSR/MBCT has potential for the treatment of patients with CFS.
Citations

103
Authors

Christina Surawy | Jill Roberts | Amy Silver
Published

2005
Journal

Behaviorual and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Volume / Issue

33:1
Author's primary institution

John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Still Experiencing Excessive Fatigue after Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: A Pilot Randomized Study
Practice
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
Abstract

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS; sometimes known as myalgic encephalomyelitis). However, only a minority of patients fully recover after CBT; thus, methods for improving treatment outcomes are required. This pilot study concerned a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) intervention adapted for people with CFS who were still experiencing excessive fatigue after CBT.

The study aimed to investigate the acceptability of this new intervention and the feasibility of conducting a larger-scale randomized trial in the future. Preliminary efficacy analyses were also undertaken. Participants were randomly allocated to MBCT or waiting list. Sixteen MBCT participants and 19 waiting-list participants completed the study, with the intervention being delivered in two separate groups.

Acceptability, engagement and participant-rated helpfulness of the intervention were high. Analysis of covariance controlling for pre-treatment scores indicated that, at post-treatment, MBCT participants reported lower levels of fatigue (the primary clinical outcome) than the waiting-list group. Similarly, there were significant group differences in fatigue at 2-month follow-up, and when the MBCT group was followed up to 6 months post-treatment, these improvements were maintained. The MBCT group also had superior outcomes on measures of impairment, depressed mood, catastrophic thinking about fatigue, all-or-nothing behavioural responses, unhelpful beliefs about emotions, mindfulness and self-compassion.

In conclusion, MBCT is a promising and acceptable additional intervention for people still experiencing excessive fatigue after CBT for CFS, which should be investigated in a larger randomized controlled trial. 
Citations

21
Authors

Katharine A. Rimes | Janet Wingrove
Published

2011
Journal

Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy
Volume / Issue

20:2
Author's primary institution

University of Bath, Department of Psychology, Bath, UK

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