A multitude of reoccurring symptoms are never far away for those living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The dilemma of looking healthy on the outside while fighting an inner battle is often frowned upon by those who don’t understand the condition. Worst still, others claim the mentioned symptoms are psychosomatic or make believe. But, suppose the pain felt in your body is the working of your mind, and there was a way of tapping into this. This would raise the question, what is pain?
Well, pain is subjective. Some people can tolerate more pain than others. For the CFS patient, the pain body seems to be easily agitated, due to a delayed response to activity. One thing is certain; the inconsistency of CFS is its biggest challenge, which is why it is so unfathomable. Of course the mental strain, of trying to fathom out things we don’t understand, always adds to our predicament.
Does Your Mind Have The Answer?
Your discriminating mind wants to work it out. It wants to fight for its identity. However, this part of your mind need not be won over, just better understood.
Unlike animals, we humans struggle and do battle with our conscience. We often take life too personally, why me? It is this mindset that perpetuates our suffering. When we begin to see life as a series of happenings that could not have been avoided we find acceptance. Acceptance creates a gap in the discriminating mind which opens the doorway to peace. When the mind is peaceful the stress response begins to decrease.
Think about it, how stressful is it when you react to the turbulence of daily life? Did you ever stop to observe these vacillations of your mind? By better understanding the mind, we can smoke out emotional suffering. We get a taste of what it is to be free.
Does Your Body Have the Answer?
Your body is your messenger. It is your body that tells you when things are out of balance. It may be your stomach saying your diet is not quite right, or a virus may cause your temperature to rise. One thing is for sure; your body is your keeper.
Upon study of the bodily systems, one thing is known, balance is fundamental if health is to be restored or better managed. Whether we are talking about the nervous system, the digestive system, circulatory or cardiac systems, natural rhythm is paramount to our state of peace. It is this state of peace we obtain in the mind.
The Missing Link
For the CFS patient, it is clear the mind and body need as much support as possible. But standing alone, neither mind nor body provides a solution. On many occasions, we want to blame one or the other. We look outside of ourselves to find answers to our confusion. Some rely on prescribed medicine while others seek alternative therapies or try and read their way back to good health. But what if the missing link was in a simple whisper? Well, Yoga suggests it is.
The breath is capable of multi-tasking – it can be utilised voluntary as well as working involuntarily. We can choose to slow down, lengthen and even stop the breath at will. Of course, at some point, our little bellow like lungs will naturally override and continue pumping.
Through the breath, your mind is indeed able to communicate with your body and this harmonises the whole. Conscious Yogic breathing, known as Pranayama, stabilises the glandular system. Here the nervous system begins to harmonise, hence reducing the amount of Cortisol released into the body. This is good news for the adrenal glands which in most CFS cases become severely fatigued. Such breath practice means we can finally extend our boundaries. Here the only limitation is imagining the breath has such capability.
Why Don’t You Sleep On It?
Another life enhancing factor vastly improved through Yoga is sleep. Yoga Nidra or Yoga sleep teaches us to relax. It teaches us to let go of that which binds us, keeps us awake. Although your breath has the power to heal, a good night’s sleep can be your best friend. Imagine life without sleep, even your best friend could easily become your enemy! During sleep the body, mind and breath harmonise, that is for those fortunate enough to sleep well. One of the pivotal points for CFS is sleep quality – this determines whether the sufferer is within or outside recovery mode.
It is a travesty that modern education teaches us about the atom in science and the world in Geography, yet as students of life we are not taught about the vehicle in which we travel. Yoga is the teacher of such wonderment.