Navigating adolescent CFS

Neuroscience and education conference September 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — parentingcfs @ 1:47 am

I’ve just spent two days at a conference on neuroscience and education!

It’s an area of great interest to me for many reasons and it’s the first time in over a year that I have done something professionally for myself .

I loved every minute. I even got to be the one wired up to check my brain’s response to stress!

And believe me I was listening out for every clue I could get about helping our ME/CFS kids too. Some of the presenters were really cutting edge researchers in the area of neuroscience. One of them taught us exercises for overriding the ANS (autonomic nervous system) so that it (momentarily?) resets the homeostasis in the body.

As you can imagine I was very motivated to learn about this as the ANS is so completely out of whack in ME/CFS.

I tried the first part with my daughter last night and it made her dizzy (she was in bed at the time so no falling)…I found that interesting because it obviously impacted in some way (my poor guinea pig girl!) The leading neuropsychologist whose work was most relevant also has a private practise so I’m going to make an appointment to see him myself and ‘pick his brain’ for want of a better phrase (and cos I couldn’t resist!) I don’t want to subject my girl to yet another appointment until I’ve really talked it through. As you know I’m always looking for ‘fixes’

There is more and more hard evidence coming through (now that we have more advanced brain imaging equipment) that we are at our healthiest when living in the moment. And the power of mindfulness and meditation are inarguable now. The science is in, it’s just going to take a while to get the word out so that it’s adopted into mainstream medicine.

I’m going to go right out there and hypothetise that (one of) the reasons this illness is seen predominantly amongst ‘driven’ people is that they have the wonderful brains that allow them to relive experiences and learn from them…and anticipate how to be more successful next time…and by doing this they are more often putting their bodies into a state of high alert (because of the chemicals the brain releases at the time) that makes them vulnerable to whatever the other trigger(s) are with this illness.

And that this would be why most people get immense benefit from employing mindfulness/meditation strategies?

Now I’m just putting this thought out there as a work in progress. I am by NO means arguing that this is not a physical illness, just pondering aloud that this may explain the demographic affected.

Any thoughts?


4 Responses to “Neuroscience and education conference”

  1. Melissa Says:

    Annie, this is so interesting. I agree with you, think you are really onto something. As you know, I am doing a lot of my learning from our treating herbalist/guru – and she uses the term “highly vigilant” all the time (you used the term high alert) but of course, its the same thing. She also told me last appt with Matt that the next stage is meditation and doing more along those lines, which can be more of a challenge with youngsters. So what you are doing is very interesting, and I believe is only going to help the gorgeous girl.

  2. Merridy Pugh Says:

    Annie five months ago I began a mindfulness meditation course under the guidance of a psychologist. I have had some patches of increased energy and he was positive that the meditation practice would be having some effect of this nature. I was meditating twice daily for 30 minutes, at the moment I meditate once in the morning for 30 minutes. He had an explanation that related to the mind-body connection the details of which I can’t recall now.

    • parentingcfs Says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting Merridy! I’m glad you found some benefit in the mindfulness course. Can I ask where you did it? I am really benefitting from introducing yoga into my life but my precious teenage girl doesn’t want to go anywhere near meditation etc so I have left this alone for the moment…however I’m still convinced that the advances in neuroscience mean that the right neuropsychologist could really tailor something to help with ANS dysfunction. You’ve reminded me to follow this up! Thanks : )

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