Promoting Recovery ........... Try The 50 Percent Solution

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Promoting Recovery: The Fifty Percent Solution

    The experts agree that lifestyle change is the foundation for recovery from CFS. According to Paul Cheney, M.D., this is "easily the most important and often the least emphasized" part of treatment.

    CFS is a cyclical disease. One important aspect of lifestyle change is how you manage your cycles. You can be "doing everything right," and you'll still have cycles, often for no apparent reason. You can, however, learn to reduce their severity, and even use them to your advantage. Here's how.

    On the "Good Days" ...........

    Waking up to one of those precious "good days" is like finding an unexpected $100 in your pocket. What do you do with this extra money? The temptation might be to go out and spend it all. You may want to "make up for lost time" and do everything you've been deprived of: go shopping, go for a long walk, do the laundry, clean the windows, go to a movie, wash the car, shampoo the carpet, and finish those three or four other projects... knowing that this is a rare opportunity to "get a lot done." And then, of course, you crash.

    There is an alternative way to work your cycles. You can actually use the good day to help build momentum toward healing. Think of the good day as a form of "capital" that can be invested in your healing process–rather than being spent or squandered.

    I call this "the fifty percent solution," and it goes as follows: When you awaken to a good day, make an assessment of how much you feel you can do. For example, you might make a list often things you feel capable of doing and want to do today.

    Now, instead of spending all your newfound capital, you would do half the things on your list, and then stop. For the next day or two, you observe your body's responses.

    If you crash, your assessment is adjusted downward on your next good day. If you feel fine, you may want to repeat this process, each time doing just half of what you feel capable of doing. As your confidence grows, your appraisal of how much you can do may increase, but you still do just half.

    "The essence of the fifty percent solution is that you spend half your energy and invest the other half."

    What to do with the other half of your energy? This is the key. It takes some self discipline, but here is where you have a chance to do something clever.

    The essence of the fifty percent solution is that you spend half your energy and invest the other half. What is not spent outwardly is used inwardly to support your body's self-repair mechanisms. Thus, even though you don't feel you need to, you take extra time to rest. The rest that you get on a good day is of a higher quality than that on a bad day. By gaining extra "unneeded" rest on a good day, you are investing in a savings program that collects interest.

    Your body's self-repair mechanisms are what will eventually lead to your recovery. By giving them the benefit of this extra good quality rest, you build momentum toward a higher baseline of functioning.

    As you move further toward recovery, your assessment of your available energy will gradually rise. By managing your energy conservatively on your good days, eventually your periods of remission can lengthen, and the severity of your relapses can gradually diminish.

    Let your wealth grow. Don't spend every penny you find in your pocket. The fifty percent solution has served as a useful guideline for many former PWC's in promoting recovery.

    by William Collinge, Ph.D.

    William Collinge, PhD. is a consultant, author, speaker and researcher in the field of integrative health care. He has served as a scientific review panelist for the National Institutes of Health in Mind/body medicine and complementary therapies.

    Article excerpted from the book Recovering From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Guide to Self-Empowerment. Articles available for download free of charge from

  2. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    And it would work if only so much stuff didn't wait for us to have a good day.

    Sometimes it's overwhelming...the list of "to do's" grows depending on how long we're down. With 2 years of down, my list seems never ending.

    But I can tell that if I don't start taking it easy, I'm gonna crash again.


  3. Tantallon

    Tantallon New Member

    Very interesting article, explains the need for conserving energy well, trouble is you need a 'good day' to do this though.

    Thanks for posting it
  4. JolieLuLu

    JolieLuLu New Member

    This is the perfect article to show my MOTHER!!! She keeps telling me "Well, you just gotta push your self more to break this!" Uh huh-thats my mom! @#$%^&*!!!!!

    Deep Breaths
  5. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    The other thing that might help is learn to "trim" the list.

    So the windows need washed? Can you still see out of them? Yes? Take them off the list.

    If you don't iron will you have a clothes shortage? If you just iron what you can't live without will you get by? If it isn't vital, don't iron it. Take it off the list.

    The oven need cleaned? Can you still get a pan into it? Does it catch fire when you turn it on? If the pan fits and it's not on fire take it off the list! (I like to move when the oven gets too dirty to use. My DH got me a self-cleaning oven!)

    Can you spot clean the kitchen floor or those stains on the carpet? Then you don't need to shampoo it. Cross it off the list.

    When I have a good day and look at the list of things I would like to get done or have been putting off because I just felt like #*&% I cross off everything that isn't absolutely essential. There, my work is half done! And if you can delegate (I can't, my dogs just aren't that good at housework!) do it!

    I can see where resting on a good day would be a great idea. Naps are a good thing!

  6. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Thanks for bumping this today. It is exactly what I needed to read while I sit here questioning whether I could have really pushed myself to go to church. The answer is NO. I don't have enough energy to comb my hair, let alone get dressed and all the rest.


  7. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    I wake up feeling good one or two days a year. At my age I'll be dead long before I'm any better according to this program.

  8. puffy1

    puffy1 New Member

    this is a great idea one I have put into pratice mane times the prblem for me right now is drivng to much well set me off.

    Well we only have one car right now so when I have the car I have to cram as much erran running in as possible before I have to pick my husband up from work.

    And that can make me have a flare up and feel it for days or weeks but I need the car at leat once a week thats all the gas we can afford right now since my husband works a good 30 mins down hill and we have a jeep cherokee so it eats up gas fast and then if I need to use it thats 2 trips up and down the hill.

    So I do believe in the 50 % solution when tis fiesable for me to do it.

  9. AnjieCFSFM

    AnjieCFSFM New Member

    I died laughing!!!!!! So funny! Thanx! Think I'll take a nap,now...ZZzzzzzz( much for my 'list'...LOL) ~*Anjie*~ :)
  10. AnjieCFSFM

    AnjieCFSFM New Member,too. My sister and I laughed about our arms hurting while using a 'power toothbrush!'LOL
    jlh...I will consider what you shared and let you know how it goes...if I can do it...~*Anjie*~ :)