Alternative and Complementary Treatment Options for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
What is myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)?
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a medical condition defined by persistent, severe fatigue that lasts for months or years. It can affect the ability to work, go to school, participate in social activities, and complete daily tasks, such as taking a shower or making a meal.
What alternative and complementary treatments are available?
There is no cure for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.
However, in addition to conventional medical treatments for ME/CFS, alternative and complementary treatments are also available to help manage symptoms. These treatments include acupuncture and movement therapies.
Acupuncture involves the placement of thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. It may help reduce pain as well as decrease mental and physical fatigue.
Massage may also reduce pain and fatigue. A specific type of massage known as Tui Na may be particularly beneficial. Tui Na is similar to acupuncture, but practitioners use pressure instead of needles to stimulate specific points on the body.
Gentle physical activity
Practices such as yoga and Tai Chi can help relieve muscle aches, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall well-being. Chair-based physical activity is another gentle option to help relieve stress and improve overall well-being.
Qigong is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that combines simple poses and breathing patterns to promote a healthy flow of Qi, or energy, throughout the body. It may reduce fatigue and improve mental functioning, especially when combined with meditation.