A vast number of different modalities are used in the treatment of ME/CFS. Some are quite traditional, while others are somewhat unusual. Many are controversial. It’s impossible to predict which treatment is best for you because what works for one person may or may not work for another. Study the various options and be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment.
A few other treatment modalities you’ve probably heard about include:
- Physical Therapy – Carefully supervised physical therapy may be helpful for ME/CFS, but it is essential that the therapist be very knowledgeable about the illness and care be taken to avoid over-activity and the resulting post-exertional malaise.
- Biofeedback – This mind-body therapy is designed to teach you to use your thoughts and will to control your body. It is based on the idea that people have the innate ability to influence many of the automatic functions of their bodies and has been confirmed by scientific studies. A biofeedback specialist uses special monitoring equipment to measure responses, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, skin temperature and brain activity. Using these measurements, the specialist teaches you to recognize your reactions to thoughts so you can learn to control those reactions.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is one of the more controversial ME/CFS treatment modalities because it is basically a psychological technique and is strongly supported by those who still insist on believing that ME/CFS is primarily a psychological problem. The treatment focuses on maladaptive patterns of thinking and the underlying beliefs. For example, a person who is depressed may have the underlying belief that he or she is worthless. While CBT is certainly not a cure for the physical illness ME/CFS, it can be a helpful tool for treating symptoms like depression and anxiety.