I asked people I am working with:
What makes the biggest difference to their health?
What would you want to tell people in your situation?
Here’s some of what they said, in their own words:
- Don’t be afraid of GET (Graded Exercise Therapy)
- Don’t try it on your own. (Even as a physio, I didn’t have the cognitive ability to make good decisions on my own).
- Success is dependent on having a therapist, skilled and knowledgeable in the field of GET.
- Consider it a ‘long term’ investment – not a quick fix.
- Physiotherapy and GET do actually work but it can take a long time.
- To understand if you do nothing your physical condition deteriorates and it takes longer to go back in the other direction.
- Base lines are important place to start from . Then just push your boundaries a tiny bit to avoid the boom and bust cycle.
- Try to understand the difference from the aches and pains of the illness to aches and stiffness of muscles due to exercise.
- If you are aching all the time however unpleasant if you can keep to a small baseline even if you only have a shower each day and do nothing else the pain will eventually ease it can take months its seems like forever but it will start to ease.
- If you are lucky enough to be in the stage where you are not aching all the time you may feel a little worn out from doing virtually nothing ie making a cup of tea you are going in the right direction but remember keep to your baseline.
- If you feel good for a few days and then you go into the bust cycle and ache for a few days you have done to much and this is what you need to avoid, you will learn from your mistakes.
- Booming and Busting will make your recovery period longer. If you push to hard physically or mentally stressed it is possible to make the symptoms worse than they have ever been before and to take longer to recover than before. Important to learn quickly from your mistakes.
- It might sound funny but a doctor said try to enjoy your time of ill. Learn new things do things differently. Its good advice being fed up and depressed al the time is not good for you.
- Psychology (CBT) is key. Learning about yourself strengths and weaknesses & how the body and mind work together
- Your health and happiness is key and should come first
- Try to work out how you got here in the first place. You can be pushing yourself too much and be under constant stress without ever realising you have been like this for months or years and this is what can make you ill
- Learning how to breathe properly and to relax
- Basic meditation
- Basic yoga
Basic nutrition and healthy eating is key. You will need a better understanding. You would not put petrol in a diesel l car.
It’s a huge learning curve!Robert:
“The graded exercise for me has been very important – because it was scientific and because we only made small incremental changes it gave me something to look forward to and gave me measurable results in terms of my improvement. It stopped my boom and bust cycle because of this and took away the stress; previously I worried about having relapses from doing too much and if I did feel unwell I would stress about whether to carry on or stop. This took the stress out of the situation because the increases were so incremental that I knew any reaction would settle down. Also because we never went backwards this was a big moral booster. I also think you blend well a coaching based approach where the client is encouraged in a safe environment to find their own answers and instruction. Recovery is possible.”
Daniella’s thoughts as to what makes a big difference:
“Learning to plan, monitor and regulate your activity; rest and relax, do practical exercises, look at the bigger picture to gain perspective and be mindfull of physical and emotional symptoms as they occur.”