HAVING FUN IS IMMUNE BOOSTING IN ME/CFS


In ME/CFS, patients seem to share very positive responses to particular stimuli. My supporter with ME, Helena, coined the phrase "immune boosting activities". Some claim that "the boost" is improved function in the thymus gland (at the top of the chest) which "labels" white T cells. People with ME/CFS know immediately when their energies are either boosted or depleted. This effect may be related to increased T-cell outputs or more balanced outputs of T-cells. They know they must avoid activities that deplete their energy and intuitively sense that certain activities could cause a serious relapse or even physical collapse. On the other hand, patients with CFS/ME positively want to do as many activities as possible which boost their immune system. I describe, on other pages, the most "immune boosting activities": lying flat listening to music in a dark room, taking garlic, rest, kindness, laughter, doing what gives you pleasure, a calm environment, love and friends who unconditionally accept you. Here are some other fun things to do, which seem to particularly enhance immune function in CFS/ME. Have fun and come back again and try them again!

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Holiday brochure of Spencers Scott - Painting Holiday in Venice
Travel the world from your chair! Leafing through tropical or Mediterranean holiday brochures is very immune boosting in ME/CFS, while listening to a CD of your favourite music, bird or water sounds. Ask others to pick up brochures in travel agents for you and use them as "mind relaxation trips". Doing the same with houses in holiday locations is fun. You can peek inside flats and houses without getting up from your chair! However, strongly resist the temptation, in ME/CFS, to take financial risks. Worry is very depleting in CFS/ME!

Look at the Earth from space and think about floating in space and "being in tune with the movement of the planets" for 10-20 minutes while listening to Mozart or gentle music.
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Look up the Planets and their moons on Wikipedia (e.g. the 27 Shakespearean moons of Uranus) and listen to Elizabethan music at the same time.

Order David Attenborough's "Planet Earth" from BBC online. No need to risk your life in wild places, like David himself! Sit back and relax watching him rolling in the grass - here with gorillas.
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****Enter Narnia****
"Your winter has been destroyed, I tell you! This is Aslan's doing...." Re-read the Narnia series of children's books. In ME/CFS the language is not too demanding.
Find out more about C.S Lewis's great Lion, by clicking on "Enter Narnia" above.

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Write a Shakespeare Sonnet without any effort! Express loving feelings in a sonnet in Shakespeare's own words in 15 minutes. The rhyme scheme of a Sonnet is a,b,a,b,c,d,c,d,e,f,e,f,g,g. Think of a theme like "love" "death" or "deceit", then choose your lines in the rhyme pattern and put a Sonnet together using the programme. Then polish it. For the Shakespeare Sonnet programme Click here. For an example of what you could produce using Shakespeare's lines but with slight alterations, click here.


****Dolphins****
Barbara Tufty said, "Dolphins exhibit a friendly willingness to cooperate with other earth creatures, a rare attribute which another animal, Homo Sapiens (humans) has not yet learned to do with any consistency". Many people's spirit is crushed by ruthless individualism, which is caused by Man's innate preference to rebel against rules, put himself first and to be autonomous. But this damages relationships which nurture us. Most people with ME/CFS long for a higher way of life in which cooperation and love, replaces control, aggression and competitivenesss. Perhaps this is why the idea of swimming with dolphins is very appealing in ME/CFS, though it is not possible, due to muscle weakness etc. It seems that their high intelligence, sense of playfulness and humour, as well as their well-established lifesaving activities, influence our perceptions of dolphins as rather "magical", nurturing creatures.

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Roman Plutarch thought that dolphins offer what we humans really need and want : a relationship, for its own sake, without fear of the other party taking advantage of us. (Christians actually receive this gift in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ). This may be why relating to dolphins can release curative hormones which relieve stress. Some disabled people report feeling "healed" by swimming with them. In ME/CFS, we have to be satisfied with just thinking about being near a dolphin which completely accepts us (and our illness) and treats us "as an equal". We can daydream about its positive "whistles" and clicks, nudges and easy ability to "connect" with us (how unlike some humans we encounter!). Link to this photo page (below) and imagine about being dragged through the water by a flipper! (see photo gallery as well).

See here.

Enjoy art? Spend hours enjoying the world's greatest paintings. Click here

Look at Turner paintings
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Get a collection of prints of **Turner paintings**. Their mystical beauty is healing in ME/CFS. The sun, always the focus, is often towards the centre of the painting in softened hues: warm but not burning. Turner's mystical sun seems to touch a deep, inner need in ME/CFS. Perhaps it is like love, hope or just direction at the end of a dark tunnel? It invades the picture as energy. The atmosphere in Turner paintings is often dream-like, often created by water, which is relaxing too. This print demands a balanced mental response, equally from both sides of the brain. By the way, Venice, the city of Art, in spring, is the perfect city for ME patients through balancing water, a soft sun, great art and land. It is also accessible with little walking (using traghetti, boats instead) so it is a perfect place for a recuperative break. It is possible that some "balancing" element in Venice, Turner, as in Mozart, acts against the tendency in the ME brain towards mild seizure. The Turner painting above is of Alnwick Castle, Northumberland. Blue is low stimulus on the brain (used in libraries), soft on the eye (but not to be used exclusively for lighting, as it could damage the sight in the longer term).

Create - write something. Learn about creative writing techniques. click here to see my page on creative writing techniques but please do not become an expert, all at once. It is quite demanding in ME/CFS to read too much and can cause a relapse. Start gently by writing a Shakespeare Sonnet using little or no mental energy (see above).

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Smile.....back at her! . Apparently, smiling activates curative hormones in the body. Smile as much as possible in ME/CFS.


Watch the "Jesus film" free....and take His hand! You will never be alone again. He is enough to provide for you and remake your life.
http://www.jesusfilm.org/languages/index.html
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Watch Mr Bean movies or whatever makes you laugh out loud. Research suggests that laughter helps to heal the immune system. I read about a man with cancer who expected to die so enjoyed himself watching comedies all day - and then fully recovered. Laughter may not cure ME on its own, but it will certainly start to boost T-cell production. Grief (inner grieving) has a lot to do with depleted T-cell production too - and the best antidote is joy, fun, delight and laughter!

An alternative we highly recommend is buying a boxed set modestly priced Laurel and Hardy's films in colour - a stupendous feast of laughter in about 50 films which leave one with a real sense of inner healing. Find them on Amazon as "Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy - The Collection". Stan Laurel's childlike simplicity, innocence, craziness, outsider status and resilience seems to touch a healing chord in ME. What a comic genius.