Essential Oils For Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Symptoms

I have lived with ME for most of my adult life. In this article, I examine Essential Oils For Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Symptoms and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that allow me to cope and hopefully thrive daily. I'll focus on oils like Marjoram and vetiver that enable me to sleep better and oils like clary sage and Roman Chamomile to support my nervous system.

What Is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

What Is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Life changing! That is what it is. I speak from in-depth and extensive personal experience of this condition.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis is also called chronic fatigue syndrome, often abbreviated to ME/CFS. It is a severe and chronic condition, a complex, systemic disease affecting many bodily systems. More research is being done on why ME or CFS manifests. Still, it is associated with neurological, immunological, and autonomic dysfunctions and within the body's energy metabolism.

It is generally a long-term condition with an extensive range of symptoms. This can make it very difficult to get an actual diagnosis from a medical professional. Diagnosis can sometimes take many years for those who suffer from the condition to attain. Because there is no one test for it, you must rule everything out first!

The most common symptom is extreme tiredness or fatigue, which often impacts how you can continue with your daily routines and day-to-day life. People who experience ME/CFS cannot do their usual everyday activities and may sometimes confine to bed.

People with ME/CFS usually have severe fatigue and sleep problems. ME/CFS may worsen after sufferers try to do as much as they want or need to do; it is called 'crashing' or, more scientifically, post-exertional malaise (PEM). Other symptoms can include problems with thinking and concentrating, resulting in what is usually referred to as brain fog.

Unexplained pain in the muscles and joints and pain that moves around the body is also a symptom of ME/CFS.

ME/CFS can affect anyone, including children. However, it is generally more common in women and tends to develop between mid-20s and mid-40s. I was 27 when I first started experiencing severe symptoms of ME.

According to the CDC," 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans have ME/CFS. At least one-quarter of individuals with ME/CFS are bedbound or housebound at some point in the disease, and most never regain their pre-disease functioning".

It can be a cruel condition to live with, along with medical professionals telling you they cannot wave a magic wand for you. However, you can do much for yourself, and this is where essential oils can help you along this journey of living with ME or CFS.

Let's move you from surviving to thriving instead.

Symptoms of ME and CFS

There are so many symptoms of ME/CFS, and had I kept a diary, I could probably list well over a thousand! Many symptoms vary and change, and the severity of symptoms can vary from day to day or even within a day. So much so that eventually, you may feel like you are being neurotic or even going mad.

You are not. 

Some Of The Most Common Symptoms of ME/CFS

    • Feeling extremely tired all the time, you may need help to do your normal daily activities.
    • Continuing to feel tired even after resting or sleeping
    • Taking a long time to recover after physical activity can usually be delayed by a few days. 
    • Sleep issues include getting to sleep, staying asleep, and waking up often at night. Restless legs can also contribute here.
    • Problems with thinking, memory, and concentration.

Other Symptoms of ME/CFS

    • Muscle weakness
    • Muscle or joint pain without swelling or redness. 
    • Headaches
    • Tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
    • A sore throat that happens regularly.
    • Flu-like symptoms and malaise 
    • Experiencing dizziness or feeling sick
    • Fast or irregular heartbeats (heart palpitations)
    • Shortness of breath
    • Digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome
    • Chills and night sweats
    • Allergies and sensitivities to foods, odors, chemicals, light, or noise

It is worth noting that many people with ME/CFS also have a very tender spot on their sternum. I remember someone poking me in the chest once when I was about 17 and being bowled over by how painful it was, even though they had not poked me hard. The pain lingered far longer than it should have done. My sternum is still tender today (and I wish I had not just poked myself to double-check. Ouch).

NOTE: The symptoms of ME/CFS are similar to those of some other illnesses, so it's essential to see a medical professional to get a correct diagnosis.

Benefits of Using Essential Oils for ME and CFS

Sensitivities are common with CFS and ME medications. Using essential oils means taking control of your symptoms without adding to the myriad problems with drugs' side effects.

At a time in your life when everything feels out of control, and you can often feel very much like a victim, there is real power in the feeling that you are doing something to impact your well-being positively.

It can be challenging when the doctor introduces new medications to the regime because it will take a while for the body to get used to them. While the effects of essential oils are cumulative and will get stronger over time, they are assimilated well into the system, so often, you will feel almost immediate benefits.

In a condition where symptoms seem to fluctuate daily, it is lovely to have the tools to respond quickly to each challenge as it presents itself.

The Importance of Pacing in ME and CFS

This is one of the most fundamental things you can do yourself if you have ME/CFS; learn how to pace yourself. It is one of the hardest things to get to grips with, especially for those among you who are busy do-ers and fill your day with one job after another.

If you KNOW what you're capable of, do it to 80% of your capacity and leave 20% resting energy in the tank instead. If you don't know what you are capable of yet, keep a diary and make simple notes to help you.

Rest is VITAL in ME/CFS; when we say rest, we mean absolute and total rest. Put down the phone, turn off the tv, set the book aside, and do NOTHING.

Yes! NOT-A-THING. I guess that thought horrifies you already; after all, those who tend to suffer from ME/CFS most acutely are the busy ones. It is one of the hardest things to get to grips with.

At my worst, I could not even stand the sound of the television or video games, and talking on the phone was difficult and exhausting.

Even to this day, sound can come at me like a wall of noise, and I cannot distinguish voices or what people say, especially if there is noise both in front of me and behind me. Luckily now you can wear earplugs to help with this debilitating symptom. I must try them.

3 Essential Oils to Help with Pacing in ME and CFS

Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea)

Clary Sage is a beautifully calming and very gentle essential oil. Often it can give us a euphoric feeling, making it a great oil to use when we are emotionally or mentally confused.

Metaphysically, it can help you get clear on your life's purpose and objectives, helping you get clarity on the subject at hand. This can help when planning your pacing strategies.

Clary Sage is also widely used in aromatherapy to inspire optimism and happiness.

Safety: Do not it in the first 37 weeks of pregnancy

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis L.)

Chamomile essential oil can assist you in getting used to accepting that whatever will be will be. One of the hardest things to come to terms with in ME/CFS is taking what is happening to you and a new kind of 'normal.' The faster you can find acceptance, the sooner your healing process begins. Fighting against yourself gets you nowhere; ask me how I know that! Using Chamomile can assist you in that process.

Safety: Do not it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy

Cedarwood (Cedrus Deodara)

Metaphysically, Cedarwood is good at chasing away those negative thoughts you can have about stopping and resting. When we ruminate or overthink, Cedarwood can help bring some peace and serenity.

It can also move our mindset and foster us toward finding courage and pushing us beyond what we think we are capable of. Bette Davies implied old age wasn't for sissies; neither is ME/CFS! It can take vast reserves of mental strength and courage to navigate not only the physical symptoms of your condition but also the mental, emotional, and spiritual ones.

On a physical level, it is widely used to help relieve nervous tension, making it a perfect choice when you are feeling down and frustrated with your lot.

Safety: Do not it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy

The Importance of Getting The Sleep Pattern Right

This was one of the things that I eventually got to grips with.

I was having trouble falling asleep; then I would wake up after about 30 minutes, be awake for another couple of hours, sleep for another 30 minutes, and so on. It took me a long time to realize I slept best between 9 am and 11 am. I still do and can ultimately justify my Friday morning lie-in, not setting my alarm and waking up when my body (or bladder) is ready.

Work out your best sleep window and sleep then, even if it is inconvenient to other people or they don't understand. They don't have to live your life; you do. Work out what is best for you.

During this time, I worked with a doctor and used Melatonin to try and help reset my body clock, as it was a more natural alternative to highly addictive sleeping tablets. It was not licensed and frowned upon here in the UK, and I was lucky to find a doctor who would support me. This was a game-changer for me.

It took several weeks to start working well and several months to completely regulate my sleep into some semblance of a pattern.

I did not want to take sleeping medication, but occasionally, if my health dipped, it was necessary to supplement with more potent sleeping aids for brief periods, like a week. This helped to maintain the sleep pattern, if nothing else.

Those who read my posts regularly will know that I now use Lavender, Ylang, and Vetiver daily in the bath to support maintaining that vital sleep routine. 

Restless Legs

I would suffer from the most horrendous restless legs, and my legs would kick and buck like a deranged donkey at a rodeo. This is one of the reasons why I would find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Throughout this time, I used Marjoram essential oil with nervine properties.

Other essential oils that can be wonderful for RSL are clary sage and Chamomile. In particular, it can be helpful to use these with Epsom Salts, which are magnesium based and support a healthy nervous system.

5 Essential Oils to Help With Regulating Sleep Patterns in ME and CFS

Marjoram (Origanum Majorana)

I turn to this when my muscles twitch at night, and restless legs and arms are soon slathered in a mix of Marjoram and Lavender's essential oil diluted in some carrier oil. It takes about twenty minutes to take effect, usually just the time for a cup of milky Kashmiri chai; it's bright pink and somewhat incredible.

It is also the essential oil that I add to my usual nighttime bath mix if I feel restless or in much pain. It brings that extra layer of soothing and helps me relax.

If you have yet to try it, I highly recommend this.

Safety: Do not it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy

Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)

You knew it was going to be here, right? Of course, it is. Used globally for its relaxing properties and its association with aiding sleep. It might be the obvious choice, but it is one that you can use to bring some equilibrium back to both mind, body, and spirit.

As I said, I use it every night in my bath; I use it with Marjoram to soothe those twitchy muscles. However, I also use it when I am in a lot of pain and mentally struggling, as its soothing effects are unrivaled.

Safety: Do not do it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Vetiver (Vetiveria Zizaniodes)

I make no bones about it; I LOVE Vetiver; it has been a recent addition to my daily routine and has brought no end to positive change. I have been sleeping better, more profoundly, and longer because I'm less restless, presumably, because I am in less pain.

It also has antispasmodic properties, which had more of an effect than I initially realized and helped my endometriosis.

It is used in aromatherapy, most often in treating depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

It is also considered to have properties that act as a tonic to the joints' connective tissue and strengthen and sustain the body's systems—making it a perfect choice when you have many varied aches and pain you can't quite pin down.

Safety: Do not do it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis L.)

Roman Chamomile moves us from feeling rigid to feeling relaxed. It helps you become aware of the stiffness in your body, the stiffness in your mind, and your actions. It enables you to release the tension allowing you to become relaxed.

The theme of Roman Chamomile is soothing, which is precisely what it does. It helps you let go, relax your shoulders, breathe deeply, and find peace. It also helps on that path of acceptance, and when we can see that, anxieties often fall away, which can benefit our sleep patterns.

Safety: Do not it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy

Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis L)

Ok… so this one is The Big Gun! This is the one that I save until last, until things are dire, probably because I'm not too fond of the smell of it, so resist using it unless necessary.

It grows all over my garden, and I love it as a plant, so stately and elegant with its gentle flowers, but as an essential oil, I struggle to find an accord ….until I'm desperate.

I remember my mother using it many years ago to calm a lady in one of her workshops who was … frankly…hysterical. It worked immediately, and I remember being impressed with how quickly and effectively it worked. Over the years, I saw her use it to calm many distressed people.

It is what I turn to when the pain is unbearable, sleep is out of the window, and the anxiety is reaching new and previously undiscovered heights. Honestly, I use it to knock myself out, and it often works, but it may take 2-3 applications over 2-3 hours for it to be effective.

It is considered to have sedative properties and is an excellent choice to promote restful sleep and address restlessness. Its properties can also help soothe anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, and stress, which is useful when your symptoms have whipped you up into a frenzy.

Finally, while it is highly effective for me and would be tempting to use it all the time, what would that leave in my arsenal for the 'super-bad' times? I like to have something left in reserve, and Valerian is mine.

Safety: Do not do it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Tackling the Symptoms of Depression and Boosting 'Happy Hormones' in ME and CFS

One of the first things your doctor will likely do is offer you antidepressants. Some of them, like Amitriptyline, have the added effect of acting as a painkiller. These can be helpful for many people but are not always the answer and mask some of the core issues at the center of living with ME/CFS.

Happy Hormones

One of the most common ways to "treat" ME is to prescribe SSRIs to try to balance neurotransmitters in the body.

Serotonin is one of four "happy hormones" produced in the body, alongside dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. All these "happy hormones" perform a different function and assist us in having "happy" feelings. It is known as a mood regulator but is much deeper and more complex than you can imagine. Serotonin acts as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter at the same time. The body does produce it, but it is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan, which is found in many protein-based foods such as turkey.

While it is not clear if serotonin deficiency causes depression or the depression itself plummets neurotransmitter levels, a vital link has been made between the two, and the same applies to anxiety. SSRIs are designed to block your brain's serotonin reabsorption so that more of this feel-good hormone is available for your brain and body to utilize.

However, as mentioned, these medications don't address the root cause of your depression, and accepting what is happening to you is often crucial in beginning mental recovery.

There are natural ways to support these.

When we exercise, endorphins are released, and these can act as a natural painkiller. Many of us living with ME/CFS avoid exercise because it often causes us to crash. However, it is well-researched that some exercise is helpful. It is just finding what suits you - that may look very different for someone who is bed bound vs. someone who maintains their employment.

Oxytocin is often known as the 'Love Hormone' because our bodies release it when we are shown showing affection for others or even to animals. It gives you that 'loved up' feeling.

Dopamine tends to be released when we are proud of ourselves, complete our goals in life, or seek out activities that give us pleasure. Because it makes you feel good, you tend to seek it out more. That is probably working with crystals; for my husband, it is golf. What gets your dopamine production going?

How to Boost 'Happy Hormones' in ME and CFS

It makes sense that boosting our happy hormones can help us feel better, be it mentally or physically, and sometimes even the smallest margins of improvement can feel like a huge triumph.

Using essential oils to support you during these times can be extremely useful and practical. 


There is much evidence on how essential oils help support healthy serotonin function.

Lavender is proven relaxing because the Linalool binds to the transporter molecule serotonin also uses, helping it find more receptors to bind to (essentially what the SSRIs try to do without all the side effects, including sexual dysfunction). (Lopez, 2017) (Chico, 2013)

Of course, Linalool appears in many other oils, including neroli and sweet basil essential oil.

Indeed, it has been proven that smelling basil essential oil increases serotonin in the saliva and reduces stress hormone cortisol levels. (Sentari, 2019)

Ylang-ylang is interesting because it is proven to directly act upon the hippocampus, a part of the brain that suffers during uncontrollable stress. Ordinarily, the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenals have functions to switch stress responses off if needed. However, in times of unmanageable stress, this cannot switch off and eventually injure the hippocampus's cells, which will likely manifest as poor memory and brain fog.

Luckily though, these cells exhibit plasticity; they can grow new cells and repair themselves. Ylang-ylang can affect this change within the hippocampus. (Zhang, 2018)

For other thoughts about boosting your Serotonin levels naturally, you may enjoy this in-depth article Serotonin & The Gut: The Gut-Brain Axis, by Amy Myers, MD.


Oxytocin is the body's natural bonding neurotransmitter. It does many things, from triggering lactation and contractions to supporting orgasms and even contributing to bone density.

As one might imagine, it is boosted by being around people we love.

In periods of isolation, oxytocin drops can affect any number of things, from blood pressure to sexual desire.

One of the critical areas of research in aromatherapy is how inhaling essential oils can affect oxytocin.

Several trials have established a strong relationship between inhaling essential oils and improved oxytocin.

Liz spoke more about oxytocin here, and she recently did a professional lecture about the benefits of inhaling essential oils, including their relationship with oxytocin.

Quick spoiler, oils like rose, geranium, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood had the best effects.

Use an aroma pendant to breathe your oils for around 15 minutes daily. 


Such an important part of the motivation. It's not surprising that this may start to wane when we become so demoralized.

Two of the oils which have the most evidence of how they affect dopamine are lavender and ylang-ylang. (Zhang, 2023) (Kim, 2009)


I remember being told at the height of my ME to 'do aerobics.' Quite how the doctor thought I could do aerobics when I could not even pull my knickers up was beyond me.

Yet again, I left demoralized.

But, exercise is shown to have beneficial effects.

Cauwenbergh, (2012) concluded that: 

'Exercise therapy for people with CFS should be aerobic and must comprise of 10-11 sessions spread over a period of 4-5 months. A time-contingent approach is preferred over a symptom-contingent way of exercising. In addition, people with CFS can perform home exercises five times a week with an initial duration of 5-15 min per exercise session. The exercise duration can be gradually increased up to 30 min.'

Some of you reading this might not be able to manage that, but do what you can to stimulate the release of those endorphins. Not to mention maintaining muscle tone and strength which can be significantly diminished in those living with ME/CFS for many years.

Do what you can in proportion to your energy levels and ability. It may initially seem very little, but it can be built upon. 

3 Essential Oils to Help With The Symptoms of Depression in ME and CFS

Sweet Orange (Citrus Sinensis L)

Wonderfully uplifting and motivating. Limonene is proven to be antidepressant goodness. (Zhang, 2019) Though it makes up almost all of the orange oil, it's prevalent in most of the citruses, including the lemon that gives limonene its name.

I like to use Sweet Orange; in fact, there is a bottle right in front of me that I often use to inhale for a 'happy boost.' Uplifting me and motivating me onward. Zingy and gorgeous, it's a good choice if you are not used to using essential oils. It's relatively inexpensive and easy to use if your skin is not sensitive to it (many citrus oils can irritate the dermis of the skin, so always do a 48-hour patch test).

Safety: Do not do it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia)

Bergamot is like sunshine in a bottle!

Like Sweet Orange, this is perfect for giving you that boost; it is a light, bright and sunny oil and can support us with many varied emotions that go with ME/CFS. Bergamot may help you let go of all that is somewhat defeating self-judgment and low self-esteem that often comes with ME/CFS.

I love this trial. It makes me giggle…it says, yes, bergamot is an antidepressant (to rats), but we have no clue why! (Saiyudthong, 2015)


    • Do not do it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
    • IFRA recommends a maximum dilution of 0.4% to avoid issues with phototoxicity. 
    • We do not recommend the topical use of Bergamot essential oil on children under 2.

Yuzu (Citrus Junos)

As another one of those lovely bright, citrus oils, Yuzu is a lesser-known essential oil but is becoming more popular with aromatherapists for relieving anxiety and tension. It suppresses the activation of the fight-and-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system. (Matsumoto, 2014)


    • Do not do it in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
    • Yuzu oil that is extracted by the cold press is phototoxic, so do not expose the skin to the sun within the first 24 hours of topical application. Steam distillations of Yuzu are not phototoxic.

How to Use Essential Oils For The Symptoms of ME and CFS

There are many ways to use essential oils to support yourself living with ME/CFS, and you will all have different preferences. Tailoring your products to suit yourself is thoroughly encouraged. When you feel crappy, it's nice to treat yourself to some beautiful aromatherapy products.

This article provides many links to various product tutorials; it cuts all the searching out for you. Pop over to here Creating Aromatherapy Sets With Essential Oils to see what is possible and dream about all the beautiful creations you can create.

Some of my favorite ways to use essential oils for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis symptoms and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are:

Bath Oils

Bath oils are perfect for using last thing at night to support healthy sleep, soothe aching joints, or sustain you if the day has been long and harsh.

Making a small range to suit your every need is super easy. Make them in small quantities to reduce the chances of the carrier oil going rancid.

Massage Oils

I know all too well that even the seemingly innocuous act of rubbing in a lotion can, sometimes, be too much. This is where rollerball blends can come into their own. They are easily portable, and you can use them on the go.

If you are up to it or have a willing helper use them for body massages, which nourish, relax and fortify the body.

Lotions And Moisturizers

These products are great for repeatedly using blends, like sleep blends, hormonal support, emotional support, and lotions for achy joints and limbs.

The only limit here is your imagination.


If you feel worn out and a bit blue, these are lovely to help bring more positivity to the room. They are simple and require minimal effort to be used even on your worst day.

How about a dreamy stroll through the forest with pine, fir, or spruce oils?

Some uplifting zest with citruses?

Aid healthy concentration with peppermint, eucalyptus, or rosemary.

Remember, though, if you have developed sensitivities to smells, to use this sparingly and for short bursts of time. 

Aroma Pendants

These are ideal if you need a boost…a bit of sunshine bergamot, rosemary to focus the mind or ylang-ylang to soothe and restore.

You wear and take them with you, so they are perfect if you often need a boost to keep going or revive your concentration levels.

What Can I Do Alongside Using Essential Oils for ME and CFS?

Educate Yourself On Your Condition

Dr. Sarah Myhill is a naturopathic GP. Her work is controversial and has been struck off twice in the UK since her work goes directly against traditional GP recommendations. However, many of us who suffer from ME/CFS will tell you that the current system of diagnosis and treatment is nothing short of appalling, and radical new ways of thinking and working are needed and thoroughly welcomed.

Dr. Myhill focuses on diet, the need for sleep, and macronutrients as a way to heal and is very focused on the need for magnesium. She is the foremost authority in the UK, perhaps in the world, and has a highly detailed website with all manner of support you may find helpful.

The information I gained from her website turned the tide of my ME and gave me the wealth of information and knowledge I needed to start doing everything I could for myself.

Her work changed my life for the better.

It also highlighted where to ask the doctor for help and what to ask for. At first, my doctor did not like my 'lists.' However, after a couple of times, he realized that I had gone away and done everything I could for myself and was only coming to him for the things I could not do myself. Once he realized that, he was more than happy to help.

Later in my journey, I found the work of Andrew William in his book Medical Medium very revealing and gave me a much deeper insight into the apparent stages of the condition that he posits. It also gave me a clear road map of herbs and supplements that could help me.

This led me to regularly take Lemon Balm or Melissa as a herb and discover Colloidal Silver and its interesting properties. After extensive research, I make my own, which is part of my daily routine.

Pay Attention To Your Diet

One of the first things I did was cut out refined sugars from my diet. Though, I was still using unrefined sugars. This was one of the most actions that had the most positive impact on my diet.

I also reduced caffeine for many years, which helped with some restlessness. I am now able to tolerate caffeine again.

I could not tolerate alcohol, which went out the window for many years. I had a time when I could drink again, but it caught up with me over Christmas last year, even with a simple cocktail, and so now I am not consuming alcohol for a while again.

These things can come and go; these changes don't necessarily have to be forever, even if they are significant changes to make to your diet and nutrition anyway!

I have always done most of my cooking from scratch, but when you are ill or crashing, you are unlikely to be able to keep up with it. If you are choosing ready-made meals, make sure you are cutting out as many preservatives as possible and eating as cleanly as possible.

Developing strategies to cope when you relapse is vital. Batch cooking can ensure your freezer is full of nutritious home-cooked food. Consider employing the services of a friend or family member to do some batch cooking for you.

Canning can help free up freezer space and have shelf-stable food right at hand that is already cooked and you can quickly reheat.

Teaching those around you to cook can also be a game-changer to support you when you need it most.

Keep A Food and Mood Diary

Keep a food and mood diary to see if food plays a part in some of your symptoms.

I love Ice Cream, but it does not like me. I will feel sick, lethargic, and like all my energy has been zapped just from eating a small amount. I now avoid it; it is just not worth it. But I can eat sorbet :)

Write down what you eat and note your mood or symptoms shortly after; keep your eye out for patterns and subtle changes.

This can be a very revealing exercise if done persistently, but it can be an important part of your healing process.

Relaxation and Exercise

Work hard to develop effective pacing techniques that suit you, and be flexible when changing them to suit your symptoms. Rigid thinking is not your friend here. Remaining flexible and adaptable is highly beneficial here.

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking exercise will knock you off your feet. Because often it already has! You do stuff; you crash. You feel awful; how can you exercise? Trust me, I have been there and burned with frustration and anger as people say, "Do aerobics," or "Go for a walk," and felt ashamed because they thought I was lazy.

I do not think you are lazy - I understand completely and deeply.

Drop the shame.

However, you do need to move your mindset to doing something. It always has to be proportional to your current ability, though.

One day that might look like doing weights for 10 reps with a can of baked beans; on another, it might look like a 5-minute walk in the fresh air; on a perfect day, that might look like getting in the swimming pool. On a bedridden day, 2-3 reps of lifting your arm or leg every couple hours.

Get into the mindset of doing some exercise. My fit bit app told me this week that on the days I exercise, I get 25 extra minutes of deep sleep…whoo hoo! I NEED that.

Remember this from earlier? Cauwenbergh (2012) concluded that:

'Exercise therapy for people with CFS should be aerobic and must comprise of 10-11 sessions spread over a period of 4-5 months. A time-contingent approach is preferred over a symptom-contingent way of exercising. In addition, people with CFS can perform home exercises five times a week with an initial duration of 5-15 min per exercise session. The exercise duration can be gradually increased up to 30 min.'

It could be something to aim for and work towards.

Improve Your Gut Health

One of the other avenues I found both fascinating and very beneficial was to explore my gut health. I was given the book Clever Guts Diet by Dr. Michael Moseley as a birthday gift, and it had a profound impact on me and how I changed my nutrition, including more fresh food that has a more alkaline effect in the gut.

Your gut health is intrinsic in maintaining health systems within the body. Also, there is a relationship with your body's serotonin levels as much serotonin is produced within the gut.

Read more on this in my article on IBS Soothe Your IBS Naturally: Essential Oils For A Happy Tummy And Improved Life, and this in-depth article Serotonin & The Gut: The Gut-Brain Axis, by Amy Myers, MD.

It makes for fascinating reading, and you can make easy, effective changes with some tweaks to your nutritional intake. Why wouldn't you?

Check Your Magnesium Levels 

Magnesium is involved in around 300 processes in the body and is fundamentally involved in the body's ability to rest and restore. Magnesium deficiency can be diagnosed via a blood test and sometimes a urine test; however, the deficiency levels must be very high for them to register. Many of us are nominally deficient, making it more difficult to relax. For example, restless legs are often soothed by adding Epsom salts to the bath.

A large part of the magnesium we should acquire naturally comes from fruit. It develops as the fruit ripens on the tree. The problem is that now we pick it up much earlier so it can travel to the supermarket…so that natural reserve no longer applies.

Magnesium is best absorbed through the skin, so magnesium oil (so simple to make from just magnesium flakes and distilled water) or Epsom salt baths can be excellent. There are also tremendous oral, powdered supplements you can drink that can be very helpful.

The Final Word

ME/CFS is a cruel, debilitating condition that can make us despair. It can feel like we are prisoners in our bodies, and each day is a different hell. It can also seem never-ending, infinite, and hopeless.

Can I offer you some faith?

I made changes in my life: significant radical changes and lots of small ones. I had to; it left me no choice. I was too ill to continue living an everyday life.

Acceptance is vital and a powerful thing that you can GIVE yourself. It moves you to a different place, a better place.

Eventually, after many changes, I took up a hobby, which ended up with someone encouraging me to teach, so I did my teaching qualification; admittedly, I may have needed help to dress me and get me there on occasion. I passed, got a teaching role, and eventually became an assistant manager of the department. Working part-time, my life reached a new manageable daily, and life was good. I was even living with ME.

Then, I had a life-changing back injury, and it all started again.

But life is still moving forward, and so am I.

I manage two jobs, admittedly from home, and stop when needed. I accept where I am and what I am capable of. I know when to cut things from my diet, change my nutrition, or support my immune system. I know when to drop items from my diary and cultivate friendships and relationships by understanding my condition and fostering realistic expectations.

I have faith that life goes on.

Find what works for you, use essential oils to support you through this process, and move from surviving to thriving.

I hope you found more than essential oils for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Symptoms and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in these words. May your health be blessed.

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