When you are tired, don’t you wish you had more time to rest? Have you heard about people who were prescribed to take long periods of rest because of an unknown condition? Have you heard about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? It is a term used to designate a group of physical symptoms that includes, among other things, extreme and persistent weakness and exhaustion. (John Hopkins Symptoms and Remedies, 1995). The definition did not change nor was the cause of its development specified to date.
It is a condition characterized by severe, debilitating fatigue, usually made worse by exercise. It also includes recurrent flu-like symptoms, including a chronic sore throat, aches and pains in the muscles and joints, painful lymph nodes in the armpits and neck, headaches, low grade fever if 99.5 to 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, mental confusion, irritability, memory loss and sleeping difficulties.
This syndrome is usually treated symptomatically, which means, management is directed towards the symptom. Since the source of this condition is unknown, over-the-counter pain relievers are used for the muscle and joint pains. Plenty of rest and a healthy and well-balanced diet are recommended. Physical limits should not be exceeded, since exercise and exertion can worsen the symptoms.
An individual with this condition will be seen most commonly sitting or lying in bed. Energy gets depleted with simple tasks – which makes the person confined to his bed or chair most of the time. This poses a problem for the muscles that are not used – they atrophy or in much simpler terms, shrink.
Most probably, you have heard the saying: “What you don’t use, you lose.” This is true with muscles. In order for this system to function well, it should receive enough blood and nutrient supply which is afforded by moving or exertion. And since an individual cannot do so, the muscles will expectedly reduce in size. Look what happens to people who recovered from a coma. They usually need physical therapists in order to be able to walk or use a specific muscle again.
No matter how good your circulation is, there is nothing that comes near the benefits of exercise provided by movement and exertion. Now, how can someone with such a condition afford an exercise to prevent the muscles to shrink?
Some patients hire a physical therapist or go to one. The therapist will help move the individual’s muscles and strengthen it with passive or range of motion exercises. This will ensure that adequate circulation for the different parts of the body is achieved.
Another growing alternative is to go to health clubs or spas. This is a great way to relax for those who cannot afford to rest because they need to work. Most of the massage sessions in health clubs or spa include aromatherapy or the use of scents from varied flower and herbal oils. Aromatherapy in health clubs helps to relieve stress while the massage helps to strengthen the muscles.
Another alternative is to use a massage chair. It helps to bring enough circulation to the upper parts of the body. In addition, such device will also help to mobilize secretions to prevent the lungs from developing pneumonia and other related-lung disorders connected to restricted physical movement. An individual can use aromatherapy with the massage chair by purchasing easy to use aromatherapy kits. This is also a great way to enjoy your massage chair while at home.
If a massage chair is not possible, nor visiting a health spa quite difficult, then home service can be called in. It is important that the individual achieves some form of movement in the muscles to prevent it from shrinking.
Another option is to have one member of the family render the range of motion exercise for the individual affected by chronic fatigue syndrome. This way, the exercise can be accomplished on a daily basis without additional financial expenses on your part. The passive range of motion exercise is usually taught or demonstration by nurses or doctors to close family members of the patient.
Limited physical movement is a debilitating predisposing factor for many illnesses – this includes higher fat deposition, pulmonary problems as well as bowel movement problems like constipation. The blood is sluggish in its movement and so is the supply of blood and nutrients to different parts of the body. Heart problems such as hypertension and stroke will eventually develop from fat deposition in the arteries and veins. The nutrient supply is more than what is needed, but the demand for it is limited due to the condition. As such, development is also decreased. It’s like the individual is being forced to become a couch potato even if he does not want to.