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How Meditation and Mindfulness Support Those Suffering from Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue
David A. GoldbergFebruary 27, 2018
Stress has been found to be the root cause of many diseases and conditions in the modern era. It has become so prevalent in the United States more than half of Americans report feeling stressed daily. Meditation and mindfulness have come into the spotlight as a way to support your long-term happiness and health… Rightfully so! As a medication-free, cost-free, accessible form of self-care as healthcare, this is a remarkable life-hack you should know about.
In fact, 80% of Americans have reported feeling the following symptoms related to stress:
Prolonged exposure to stress can cause numerous health problems including:
• Digestive Issues
• Heart Disease
• Weight Gain
• Sleep Problems
• Impairment to Memory and Concentration.(2)
Chronic stress can also trigger and worsen other conditions like chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue. Fortunately, various forms of therapy—like meditation and mindfulness—can greatly alleviate the symptoms many people experience. To show how meditation and mindfulness helps, it is important to learn what chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue are and how these conditions affect the body.
Comparing Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue
Waking up tired, feeling aches and pains, and experiencing insomnia are all familiar states to people suffering from chronic fatigue and adrenal fatigue. Though these two conditions may share some similar symptoms, they are quite different:
Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue is a complicated disorder that leaves a person feeling extreme fatigue even following prolonged periods of rest or sleep. The condition continues to worsen when the individual participates in mental or physical activity.(2)
What causes it? Modern science generally accepts chronic fatigue as a genuine condition, but there are differing opinions regarding the cause of the disorder. Theories range from viral infections to prolong exposure to stress.
How does it affect the body? The condition leaves a person feeling physically and mentally fatigued on a constant basis. People with chronic fatigue experience sleep problems, pain in the muscle and joints, headaches, sensitivity to light or noise, impaired memory, dizziness, and depression.(3)
When the adrenal glands are unable to function properly, this causes an imbalance in the body. It’s important to look at the function of the adrenal glands to comprehend this condition.(4 )
What are the adrenal glands? The glands are attached to the top of each kidney and they control the body’s ability to manage stress. These glands release hormones into the bloodstream, including cortisol, aldosterone, and testosterone.
What causes adrenal fatigue? According to Dr. Michael Lam, a physician specializing in nutritional medicine, if the body undergoes chronic stress—emotional, physical, or environmental—over time the stress will overwhelm the body and lead to adrenal fatigue.(5)
How does it affect the body? Those who suffer from adrenal fatigue experience extreme fatigue, body aches, weight loss, low blood pressure, and dizziness.(5)
Searching for Treatment
Although conventional medicine has largely ignored and even rejected adrenal fatigue as an illness, a growing number of holistic and naturopath clinicians are finding effective, non-invasive treatments to help those suffering from both conditions. One form of therapy that has been shown to be highly successful is meditation.
Mindful Meditation: Finding Relief from Fatigue
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of year and research shows that it’s one of the most effective ways to combat chronic and adrenal fatigue. Meditation is an umbrella term for the many different techniques practiced to find a relaxed state. It is defined as “a mind-calming practice that focuses on breathing and awareness of the present moment”.(15)
Dr. Jennifer Bosch, PsyD, believes meditation is absolutely necessary: “We live hectic lives and have a laundry list of things that need to be done each day: waking the children up for school, getting to work on time, paying the bills and so much more. Through all of this, we forget to make time for ourselves.” As a psychologist, Dr. Bosch states that the key to managing fatigue is through a 15-20 minute daily session of meditation.
We want to add that meditation does not need to be thought of as only sitting cross legged under a tree. True yogis say that meditation is not a task or activity, rather it is a state of mind where the objective is to be in a meditative state at all times. The “practice” of meditation is training the mind in how it responds to stimulus.
Benefits of Meditation
Those experiencing severe fatigue are advised to avoid high-intensity exercises as they can further exacerbate their condition. Meditation is an appropriate alternative for these individuals. According to a research study, meditation was found to “significantly improve fatigue, enhance vigor, reduce pain and thus may offer a promising new treatment modality for patients with therapy-resistant CFS.”
Some other benefits of meditation include:
• Increased energy • Relaxation • Decreased pain • Improved sleep quality • Stress reduction • Brings a sense of calm and well-being
Here are a few other meditation practices you may want to try:
Seated or Lying Down Meditation
Focus and Breathe Deeply Mindful meditation is another form of therapy that includes breathing exercises. Taking deep breaths enables the heart to pump more oxygen into the body, which will increase energy levels. There are many types of breathing exercises, but this is the most simple and effective:
How to Do It:
1) Sit straight and take a full breath.
2) Inhale through your nose and feel the diaphragm expand. 3) Breathe out slowly. 4) Stay focused and mindful of each breath as you inhale and exhale.
5) It may sound crazy, but its actually that simple… Relax, just chill and focus on your breathing!
Walking meditation is a practice that has been implemented for thousands of years, in multiple cultures. Walking meditation, also known as kinhin is the disciplined practice of walking in-between long periods of seated meditation.
How To Do It:
Traditionally, practitioners walk clockwise around a room or large open area while keeping one hand closed in a fist and the other hand grasping or covering the fist. The pace of a walking meditation is controlled by the practitioners breath. It can be very slow or even as quick as a jogging pace. The practitioner takes one (or multiple) full steps per breath. Some practitioners count to five steps and start again at one as a way to focus even further.
Using The Music YOU Love for Mindfulness and Meditation
This is a form of meditation that was pioneered by Dr. Andrew Goldberg, and focuses on your ability to mindfully meditate while listening to music you love. Since the dawn of humankind, music has played an important role in how we communicate and express experience. In essence, music has always been a meditation, this practice brings a heightened sense of awareness to an activity many of us enjoy doing daily.
What is so innovative about Dr. Goldberg approach is the ability to guide you through a meditation using the music you love, whether it’s classic rock or show-tunes.
A Final Thought on Meditation
For many who suffer from chronic and adrenal fatigue, relief seems like a foreign concept as conventional medicine can only do so little to help treat these conditions.
David A. Goldberg
Hi! I am the Founder + CEO of Curos. I believe in living as your Highest + Best Self, I love my family, I love my friends. Curos is more than a business to me, its a purpose. That purpose is to do everything I can to help us all live healthier, happier, longer lives so we can spend more time doing the things we love with the people we love. You will hear from me often because I care. I will ALWAYS try to make things easy and I guarantee they will always be backed with Science, Research and Integrity.