Neti pot– I used a neti pot (which is a nasal irrigation device) with salt and grapefruit seed extract for several months. The main purpose for using this was in the hope of treating some of my nasal symptoms. I had read of CFS patients curing their post nasal drip, allergies and nasal congestion with a neti pot. Unfortunately it had no affect on my CFS. When I had a cold and my nostrils were completely blocked, the only thing that cleared them for me was the neti pot. I strongly recommend that anyone with nasal problems should use a neti pot. This is based on reading hundreds of people discussing the neti pot across various forums.
Meditation– For a period of a year, I meditated every day for around 50 minutes (25 minutes in the morning and 25minutes in the afternoon.) Meditation made me feel much more relaxed throughout the day and made coping with the devastating illness that is CFS, much easier mentally. Meditation is the one thing that has helped when I crash (crashing for me is doing too much and then fatiguing quite severely and not being able to move or talk for periods of up to 2 weeks.) Although meditation is less effective for me nowadays when I crash, it would improve my ‘crashed state’ about 50% of the time in the past. I stopped meditation around June 2009 because I found it was giving me strange and severe headaches every morning for several hours.
Yoga– I completed a yoga routine based on a DVD, everyday for 3 months. I ended up stopping because I felt like it was taking too much out of me.
Graded exercise therapy– This was recommended to me by a CFS- specializing doctor that I saw. He instructed me to wear a pedometer and reach 3500 steps every day for a week and then increase it to 4000 steps the next week. This increment of 500 steps would keep increasing weekly. I would then graph the number of steps I had completed as a Y-axis, against the X-axis of days. Also included on the Y-axis would be how I felt that day out of 100. This number was based on Dr Bell’s Disability Scale. On the X-axis I would include how many hours sleep I had that night as well as any changes I had made, e.g. supplements I had begun taking.
I found the graded exercise therapy to be detrimental to my overall health. Before I started it, I was already quite disabled. By the time I stopped it I had become much more disabled and my CFS had deteriorated further. I would be highly skeptical of someone recommending graded exercise therapy to a CFS patient that had CFS severely such as I did.
Dietary changes– For the period of a year I took dairy out of my diet. Many naturopaths and alternative doctors had stated that removing dairy from my diet would help with my sinus problems. I didn’t experience any positive effects from this dietary change and am unsure if it caused any negative effects.
Acupuncture-I went to two separate acupuncturists for around 4 appointments each. The only difference I noticed from the acupuncture was the relaxed feeling I would experience afterwards.
Cold water– For a period of 6 months, I would go down to the beach and stand in the freezing water around twice a week. This included some winter days in which the temperature at the time was only 7 degrees Celsius! For the first 4 months this was like a miracle, as my headaches and cognitive problems improved 75% for around 24 hours. After 4 months, this became less effective and after 6 months it started becoming detrimental.
Nasal strips– I place a nasal strip across the bridge of my nose every night before I go to sleep and remove it upon waking in the morning. These nasal strips have improved the quality of my sleep. I find they are a good natural way of doing a similar job to what my Endep tablets were doing before i had to stop taking them. The nasal strip product also claims to help alleviate snoring, reduce allergies and decrease nasal congestion however I have only personally found the strips beneficial for sleep quality
Massage– I have had many massages from over 6 different masseurs since my CFS began. The main reason for this is the constant back and neck pain I have experienced. Almost every masseur is amazed at how tight my back and neck are. The massages don’t really improve the back or neck pain for me however they do help to relax me.
Chiropractic manipulation– I spend around 4 months going to a chiropractor 2 x per week. He originally stated that I had 41 back problems. He was certain that the chiropractic adjustments and stretches he had given me would improve my CFS. Unfortunately it made no effect on my CFS and only mildly improved my back and neck pain.