It was just such a situation that happened with me recently when I was pondering on “fears are just tricks of the mind”. (You are not really going to get crushed in a lift – you just think that you dislike confined spaces).
And then I heard the statement on ABC Radio’s AM Program: “New research suggests there may be a link between glandular fever and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), whereby the fever damages an area of the brain, which is then tricked into thinking the body is unwell and subsequently sends out messages of fatigue and pain.”
Glandular Fever and CFS Research
My research (on the internet) uncovered that both the ABC radio report and a Report in the Sydney Morning Herald (2 March 2006) were referring to an article in the “Journal of Infectious Diseases”. This article reported on a 12 month study of 39 Australians with glandular fever, including eight patients who had developed chronic fatigue syndrome, and it was found that neither the virus nor an abnormal immune response explained the difference between the two groups.
The researchers said the study found personality style such as neuroticism and psychological disorders like depression failed to predict long term illness. Lead researcher Andrew Lloyd, of the University of NSW, said the study was part of the on-going “Dubbo Infection Outcomes Study”, which was tracking the long term health of people infected with Ross River virus, Q fever infection and Epstein-Barr virus, which causes glandular fever. 700 people have been involved in the total study which began in 1999.
ABC Radio’s AM Report
AM - Study finds Chronic Fatigue caused by brain injury [This is the print version of story? HYPERLINK "http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1581993.htm" http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1581993.htm]
AM - Thursday, 2 March?, 2006? 08:20:00
Reporter: Barney Porter
KAREN PERCY: A long-term Australian study has found Chronic Fatigue Syndrome indeed may be all in the mind, but not in the way you might think. Local researchers now believe the syndrome is not caused by a virus, nor a problem in the body's immune system, but instead develops as the result of a type of brain injury caused by the onset of glandular fever. The study's authors say it won't necessarily make for an immediate cure, but it may re-focus research into the condition and lead to better treatments. Barney Porter has the story.
BARNEY PORTER: Debbie Connell is a nurse who lives and works in Mudgee in the New South Wales central west. She had a bout of glandular fever in February last year and gradually recovered after several months. Recently, she had a relapse describing it as an overwhelming feeling of lethargy and apathy.
DEBBIE CONNELL: You don't want to get out of bed and actually I can see how people do become depressed from that, because it's awful. It's just… I probably cannot explain enough, you just have no energy. You just want to sleep all the time and you don't want to get up and do anything. And it's not out of being lazy, it's just because you have no energy.
BARNEY PORTER: Ms Connell hasn't been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, but she's describing the same symptoms. The condition hasn't had a lot of good publicity. As yet, there's no definitive medical or psychiatric explanation, and some people still dismiss it as a malingerer’s disease. However, the new research suggests there may be a link between glandular fever and CFS, whereby the fever damages an area of the brain, which is then tricked into thinking the body is unwell, and subsequently sends out messages of fatigue and pain. The research has been led by Professor Andrew Lloyd, an infectious diseases physician from the University of New South Wales.
ANDREW LLOYD: We don't think about this illness as being, you know, a malingering or imaginary thing that you're tricking yourself into saying you're tired or you're in pain, because ultimately it's a valid experience. There is pain, because your brain chemicals are saying you're in pain. And so if those brain chemical signals get out of control, then the subject, the individual experiences pain or fatigue, or disturbance of mood, etcetera. Professor Lloyd also says the study has obvious ramifications for future research.
ANDREW LLOYD: We need to move the focus for the field as a whole, to really where the money is and our belief is that it's in the brain.
KAREN PERCY: Professor Andrew Lloyd from the University of New South Wales.
The subconscious mind does not know the difference between imagination and reality. Never under-estimate the power of pretence – fake it till you make it! This is why we can trick the mind when we are working with it, deliberately implanting new habits of say “I can easily walk long distances into caves” when in reality we have claustrophobia. Using the methods I teach, which include guided imagery, visualisation, positive self talk and active meditation, the new habit will prevail – and this can happen in a very short time (say a month).
Recently an elderly gentleman who found it extremely difficult to walk to the bathroom first thing in the morning (because of arthritis), lay in bed a little longer and meditated on visualising himself walking easily to the bathroom – then he got up and did just that. Tricking the mind – every morning !
A Possible Solution
A thought could be to combat the signals of pain and fatigue which the brain is falsely giving out, when one has the illness of CFS; we could work inside our subconscious mind, visualising the fact that we are well and able to do the things that we normally did before the illness took hold.
Remember to use only good, positive words and a lot of positive emotion – emotion being the language of the subconscious mind. I am sure that my Peaceful Place CD number 15 – Overcoming Fear, could be used for this purpose. So, please pass this E-Report on to those for whom you think it may be helpful, and enjoy the Easter Break.
All The Best
My husband and I attended your Active Meditation seminar some months ago and I would like to thank you for helping me in overcoming some anxieties I had about travelling overseas. On one hand I have been excited about travelling through many different countries and spending much quality time with my husband and three children, and on the other hand I felt I was being held back by my fear about plane travelling and our safety while we are away. I listened very closely to your calming, inspiring words and purchased one of your meditation CDs to take home. Each and every day since then, I have scheduled time into my day to meditate guided by your CD, and within a very short time I noticed a calmness with in myself and a decrease in my anxiety about travelling. I look forward to my meditation time each day and have noticed a considerable difference in how I feel in general. Being anxious and fearful is so debilitating and consuming, I now feel so much lighter and freer to think about other more positive things.
Thank you so much, I am so thrilled with you program that whenever the opportunity presents itself, I spread the word. Our world needs more people like you. DS, NSW.
I've waited some time before replying to your various messages and your email which you sent when I first ordered your meditation tapes and then the music. As I told you then (but don't expect you to remember) I was last year diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer and in addition to the treatment I was to undertake, felt I needed further spiritual assistance. Hence to move towards meditation. I believe the body listens to the mind. So I undertook your suggested program conscientiously and found it an immediate help. I put in some twists of my own which may help other cancer sufferers-- the two most powerful images were of little white corpuscle men running around with big needles bursting black cancer cells and (against a background of washing waves) a dead crab being tossed onto the shore by the sea)-- The Crab is Dead. I don't know whether it all helped? but I do know that I am now in remission with very bright hopes for the future. With cancer ,Time is the prize, as new treatment methods are being developed all the time. Thanks Sandy. HR, QLD.
I took some really deep breaths and started to think back to what you delivered at your conference and for the first time really put into action that thought process of letting go, relaxing, finding that calm place. I focused on saying to myself, the tooth is going to release and within 2 minutes of this process – it came out and was done. What a relief!
So thank you. You are on my mind often and I forward all your emails to clients and friends. Please take care - hope you and your family are well. WA, Qld.