Pacing Yourself in CFS and Fibromyalgia

Published: July 22, 2012

This is another study done by my favorite epidemiologist in the world, Dr. Leonard Jason. This study shows that if people with CFS/fibromyalgia pace themselves instead of overdoing it, they have better overall function and quality of life, and less depression, anxiety, fatigue, pain, and disability. For those of you who are "Mega Type A overachievers," the study shows that pushing to exhaustion is counterproductive. You will often get more done by pacing yourself and doing less. The key is to listen to your body. It will tell you what level of activity feels right.

The Energy Envelope Theory and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

L Jason
AAOHN J, May 1, 2008; 56(5): 189-95.
DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA.

Individuals with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) have little stamina and endurance, and pose a challenge for nursing professionals. The Energy Envelope Theory, which posits that maintaining expended energy levels consistent with available energy levels may reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms, is particularly useful when working with clients with ME/CFS. Anecdotal support from the client community for this theory supports its use as a management tool for ME/CFS, but little formal research has been done in this area. In this study, a daily energy quotient was established by dividing the expended energy level by the perceived energy level and multiplying by 100. It was predicted that those participants who expended energy beyond their level of perceived energy would have more severe fatigue and symptoms and lower levels of physical and mental functioning. Findings are congruent with the Energy Envelope Theory as they indicated that the daily energy quotient was related to several indices of functioning including depression, anxiety, fatigue, pain, quality of life, and disability. The overall results provide support for a strategy health care professionals can use when working with clients with ME/CFS.


Journal article. PMID: 18578185

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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