Alternative to Exercise with CFS

Thanks to Fit Buff for including this post as part of their Total Mind & Body Fitness Blog Carnival.

Another thank you to Weight Master for including this post as part of their blog carnival.

A patient’s perspective on exercising with CFS is provided at this link from the CFIDS Association and offers some insightful information for everyone who reads it.

The author talks about how to balance the risk of post-exertional malaise against the risk of deconditioning due to lack of exercise. The author, Sabina Miller, states:

Sticking to an exercise program while in the grips of CFS is like walking the proverbial razors edge. Experts agree on two things: (1) dont do too much and (2) dont do too little. Though its ideal to work with a skilled physical therapist, sometimes low energy or strained finances can make this difficult,
if not impossible. And ultimately, what constitutes just right is left up to the sick person. Finding the balance is a moment-to-moment process.

As a CFS patient herself, Sabina knows how exercise induced fatigue really is miserable for CFS patients but she is also aware of how miserable being deconditioned due to lack of exercise feels. That’s where my body has been at lately. Sabina has sought out other forms of exercise that allows her to keep her body moving somehow despite feeling too exhausted to move. She has started practicing Qigong and Feldenkrais by using audiotaped lessons. She says that these lessons helps her to empower herself when she feels too sick to work with a therapist. While she admits that these forms of exercise don’t give her the same benefits as taking a brisk walk, they provide therapeutic benefits in subtle but profound ways.


Bone breathing is an ancient Chinese healing technique. Its part of the vast series of exercises known as qigong (Chi Gong), loosely translated as energy skills. The practice of qigong has gained recognition from the Western medical community in the past two decades, thanks to a growing body of research dedicated to documenting its therapeutic effects.


This form of mild exercise was developed in the 1940s by Moshe Feldenkrais, a Polish-born Israeli
physicist, engineer and judo master. After suffering a series of knee injuries he applied his knowledge of the physical sciences and martial arts, plus the principles of human development, to the laboratory of his own bodyultimately retraining himself to walk. The culmination of this exploration was a system of gentle exercises that teaches the body to build neuromuscular pathways, in effect expanding its movement vocabulary for greater ease. The lessons last between 25 and 50 minutes, progress slowly, and the practitioner is repeatedly reminded to stay within his or her comfort zone.

To read more of Sabina’s story, click the link below!

Alternative to Exercise: A Patient’s Perspective

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