Jul 30, 2021
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), called myalgic encephalomyelopathy (ME) in other countries, is one of my least favorite topics. It is just so slippery, and we understand very little about how it comes about, how to treat it, and how massage therapy might help. We are likely to see more cases of CFS/ME soon, as this symptomatic profile is common in people with long COVID. What is chronic fatigue? And how can massage therapy be helpful? Join me for an exploration of this complex and frustrating topic to get to some possible solutions for a client who lives in pain.
Anatomy Trains: www.anatomytrains.com
Books of Discovery: www.booksofdiscovery.com
Ruth Werner is a former massage therapist, a writer, and an NCBTMB-approved continuing education provider. She wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, now in its seventh edition, which is used in massage schools worldwide. Werner is also a long-time Massage & Bodywork columnist, most notably of the Pathology Perspectives column. Werner is also ABMP’s partner on Pocket Pathology, a web-based app and quick reference program that puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips. Werner’s books are available at www.booksofdiscovery.com. And more information about her is available at www.ruthwerner.com.
Recent Articles by Ruth:
“Pharmacology Basics for Massage Therapists,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, July/August 2021, page 32,
“Critical Thinking,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, May/June 2021, page 54,
Check out ABMP’s Pocket Pathology: www.abmp.com/abmp-pocket-pathology-app
Alraek, T. et al. “Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Systematic Review,” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11 (2011): 87.
Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine. “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” May 24, 2018.
Jacobson, Eric. “Structural Integration, an Alternative Method of Manual Therapy and Sensorimotor Education,” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 17, no 10 (2011): 891–99. doi:
Jones, James. F. et al. “Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapy Utilization by People with Chronic Fatiguing Illnesses in the United States,” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 7 (2007): 12. doi:
MECFS_KeyFacts.pdf. Accessed July 2021.
NINDS. “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Standards.” Accessed July 2021.
Wang, Ji-hong et al. “Effects of the Intelligent-Turtle Massage on the Physical Symptoms and Immune Functions in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 29, no. 1 (2009): 24–8. doi:
Anatomy Trains is a global leader in online anatomy education and also provides in-classroom certification programs for structural integration in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan, and China, as well as fresh-tissue cadaver dissection labs and weekend courses. The work of Anatomy Trains originated with founder Tom Myers, who mapped the human body into 13 myofascial meridians in his original book, currently in its fourth edition and translated into 12 languages. The principles of Anatomy Trains are used by osteopaths, physical therapists, bodyworkers, massage therapists, personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonics, and other body-minded manual therapists and movement professionals. Anatomy Trains inspires these practitioners to work with holistic anatomy in treating system-wide patterns to provide improved client outcomes in terms of structure and function.