As many of you are aware, every Friday I see patients with chronic fatigue and pain on the Fibromyalgia (FM) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) focus shift at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC). Over the past eight months, I have learned an incredible amount of information about these conditions and I am humbled by how much we in the medical industry are still learning in order to better manage these cases. These conditions can be highly complex and individual in their underlying causes, level of progression, presentation, and response to therapy. Also, patients struggling with these conditions can feel increasingly isolated, as it can be challenging for those in their circle who have never experienced such debilitating pain and fatigue to empathize.
If you struggle with FM/CFS, you are not alone. According to the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), there are upwards of 215,000 people who have one or both of these conditions in the Greater Toronto Area alone. There are very few physicians practicing that specialize in these conditions – leaving many people feeling unsupported and isolated.
In order to better support patients with FM/CFS, the following two programs are being offered through the RSNC:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Education and Support Group
In 2012, the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC) acknowledged this growing need by initiating the FM/CFS Focus Shift, which has quickly become one of the busiest shifts in the clinic.
To further support this patient population, the RSNC is offering an educational support group for those whose lives have been impacted by FM/CFS.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Group
To further support this patient population, the RSNC is offering Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Groups for those whose lives have been impacted by FM/CFS. The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Sessions are aimed at providing problem focused tools to enable those affected by fatigue and pain with techniques to reduce the stress associated with chronic illness. These sessions will be tailored to address the needs of individuals living with FM/CFS.
Here are some resources for additional support:
Fibromyalgia Health, Diet Guide, and Cookbook
450,000 people in Canada who have FM. In the United States, there are an estimated 5 million adults.
This book, written by leading experts in FM, gives common sense tools that will help fibromyalgia patients help themselves on to a road to improvement and perhaps recovery. There are few books on FM that provide a program for recovery and a cache of antifibromyalgia foods and recipes as successfully as this book. It uses The SEEDS of health approach (Support, Environment, Exercise/Pacing, Diet/Drugs, Sleep) and has shown significant success rates in patients.
The goal of this book is to help patients improve their ability to function and their quality of life. The treatment approach is centered around rebuilding: helping to decrease pain, control inflammation, improve sleep, improve cognitive function (reduce brain fog) and improve energy levels. The book is also a source of support for family and friends.
Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
Hope and Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia is designed to educate patients suffering from CFS/FM about their illnesses and to teach them coping skills that will improve their quality of life. And while the good news is that people who suffer from CFS/FM aren’t dying, the bad news is that it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to get better since there is no one specific treatment that works for everyone. Some of the issues covered are: *Understanding the symptoms and how diagnoses are made *Causes of CFS/FM and common psychological consequences, including anxiety and depression *The role of stress and how to manage it *The connection between the mind and the body in coping with CFS/FM *The potential of medications, nutrition, and lifestyle changes *The role of complementary medications and dietary supplements in pain management *The value and limitations of alternative and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, homeopathy, and aromatherapy *Legal issues about how to deal with medical and legal problems that may arise if insurance benefits have been stopped
If you, or someone you know, would like more information about these conditions or are interested in one-on-one care, please contact me about the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia focus shift at the RSNC.