07.18.2017

Got fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue? There’s a class to help with that…

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When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I spent a lot of time researching and trying to figure out the best treatments. I was on a desperate hunt for that ever-elusive magical pill that was going to restore my previous life.

Back then, I didn’t understand fibromyalgia treatment involves much more than popping a few pills or supplements every day. Lifestyle changes can be just as important.

That lesson was my most important takeaway from the Introductory Course offered by CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help. Yes, you read that right: There’s actually an online class to help you better manage your fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue symptoms!

CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help offers online classes to help manage life with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

The course was developed by Dr. Bruce Campbell, a recovered ME/CFS patient. Before becoming ill, Dr. Campbell consulted on self-help research projects at Stanford Medical School, including the Arthritis Self-Help course and the Chronic Disease Self-Management program. He credits many of the strategies from these programs with his own recovery and included them in the courses now offered by CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self Help. (You can read Dr. Campbell’s complete bio here.)

The seven-week Introductory Course is offered quarterly (January, April, July and October) and covers practical skills for managing fibromyalgia and/or ME/CFS. There is a new topic each week, and discussions are led via email by volunteer instructors. Topics include strategies for managing fatigue and pain, improving sleep, stress management, exercise, nutrition and dealing with emotions, among others.

“All of our courses are led by members who themselves suffer from ME/CFS and/or fibromyalgia, have taken our introductory course, become long-standing members of our ongoing classes and undertaken some training in moderating and our philosophies,” said Kris Nichols, co-executive director. “We share our own experiences – sometimes commiserating – but more often sharing what works for us personally. We offer no medical advice – just sound self-management techniques.”

For me, the most helpful part of the course was its focus on pacing. When I took the course in 2015, my fibromyalgia diagnosis was still relatively new, and I had never heard of the concept of pacing. In a nutshell, pacing is learning your limits so you can avoid the push/crash cycle of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. (This series of articles on pacing does a great job of explaining the concept in more detail.)

Following the Introductory Course, there is an option to continue study via the organization’s Living Your Plan course and through an Alumni Discussion Group.

One of the things that I appreciate most about the organization’s courses is their low cost. The Introductory Course is just $20. It’s a little bit more if you’d like a supplemental Kindle book ($30) or paperback book ($34).

“We recently changed our fee structure to be able to offer the course at a lower cost without requiring the purchase of the book to participate and still gain value,” Nichols said. “We do that by offering the weekly readings with the emailed lessons, so the book has become a self-study aid for further work after the intro course is complete.”

Even though the course fees are extremely reasonable, I know for some $20 is still too much. The organization does offer partial scholarships for anyone with a family income under $25,000.

There is also a self-study course that’s open to anyone free of charge.

The next Introductory Course begins on Oct. 2. Click here for registration information. 

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Comments

  1. Mary K Priebe says:

    I have FM, Arthritis, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Uncontrolled Epilepsy, IBS and more. My question is for everyone. Does anyone have your arms, elbows & legs “jerking” and when you are trying to sleep? Does anyone know what this is? Please help me!

Trackbacks

  1. […] as fatigue can be for an average person, it is even more debilitating in individuals suffering from underlying medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis or Lyme […]

  2. […] written a full article about CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self Help’s low-cost fibromyalgia classes, but the organization also offers a free version covering symptom management, pacing, navigating […]

  3. […] gratuita   . (Puede leer mi informe completo sobre los cursos de autoayuda SFC y FM    aquí […]

  4. […] versie  . (U kunt mijn volledige bericht over CVS en fibromyalgie cursussen zelfhulp lezen   hier […]

  5. […] gratuita . (Você pode ler o meu post completo sobre cursos de CFIDS e fibromialgia auto-ajuda  aqui […]

  6. […] 29. Introductory Fibromyalgia Course – CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help offers a $20 Introductory Course for managing fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I took this course a few months after my diagnosis and found it really helpful. The organization also offers a free version. (You can read my full post about CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help’s courses here.) […]

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