August 23


Chronic Fatigue and Exercise in Canberra

By Dan

August 23, 2020

Chronic Fatigue, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)

How to Exercise when you have Chronic Fatigue

It is not just tiredness but systemic fatigue that affects all aspects of your life. Boom or Bust can be a day to day or week to week challenge when you have Chronic Fatigue. Exercise is extremely difficult to manage as you can easily over do it (Boom), and then be out of action for weeks to come (Bust).

When you have Chronic Fatigue or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), exercise has to be in a low dose and progressed gradually. Persistent fatigue unrelieved by rest, cognitive difficulties, mood and sleep disturbances, pain, and prolonged worsening of all these symptoms lasting hours to days can be a result from over doing exercise or any activity for that matter.

Along with fatigue, chronic pain, fibromyalgia as well as POTS can be a complication with this disease. To make the process of exercise easier for you, I have put together 3 simple steps that will get you started on your way to getting stronger. Following this I have given you the best resources to start your exercise journey here in Canberra

Pick 3 Exercises Only

Believe me this is not easy to do. So you actually maybe thinking you will go for a walk or short bike ride, but trust me, do this instead. Pick three exercises, perhaps a few squats, a wall pushup and a row. Do one lot of 6 repetitions each. Do this only twice a week. You are now thinking, this is not enough, but we are in no rush, and want to be effective as possible.

Be Consistent but don't over do it

I mentioned only doing this exercise routine twice a week. That's right, don't push it, but it is important to do it. Be consistent and routine with this exercise. I have a plan for you so let's get going and plan that first session.

Find an Exercise Physiologist

The third thing you must do is find an Exercise Physiologist (EP). The level at which exercise is commenced and progressed will vary greatly from client to client depending on your level of function. I find this method works reasonably well for clients in my clinic, but there is usually a bit of trial and error involved when it comes to establishing thresholds. An EP can monitor your workloads, and encourage and listen to how you respond to exercise over a period of time.

What you Need to Do Now

It is important to have an experienced therapist when you have Chronic Fatigue. If you wish to exercise safely, so you want over do it, but you will do enough to make it worthwhile, then let's get together and start planning. My clinic is private so it will be just you and me, with you being the focus, as well as some well planned Spotify tracks.

- Daniel O'Sullivan

The Best Resources for Chronic Fatigue and Exercise in Canberra

Accelr8 Rehab

As mentioned above Accelr8 Rehab is the best place for you if you need to start exercising and managing your Chronic Fatigue or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). Exercise Physiology prescription along with massage is a great combination for your condition.

ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Providing support for ...

Thank you for visiting.

We provide support and information for people affected by Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) /Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) in the Canberra region.

ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society is a not for profit, self help organisation which provides support services such as monthly information sessions, a self help course and Telephone Information and Support Service (TISS). We provide information about ME/CFS and FMS to members, medical practitioners and the public.

If you think you could benefit from any of our services please get in touch.

ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society does not provide either systemic or individual advocacy.

ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society Inc - Find-a ...

ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society is a not for profit, voluntary organisation which supports and assists its members and provides information to patients, medical practitioners and the public. The Society also strives to promote a better understanding of ME/CFS in the community.

The Society offers a self help course which focuses on the development of an individualised self management program for each participant. Support group meetings, public information sessions and specialised information sessions for medical practitioners are offered. A telephone information and support service is available on request and the Community Liaison Officer provides additional support to members and the public.

Contact Details


Building 1

Pearce Community Centre

3 Collett Place


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Canberra Spine Centre

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), is a medical condition characterised by long-term fatigue and other symptoms that limit a person’s ability to carry out ordinary daily activities.

Symptoms include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Memory loss, lack of concentration or brain “fuzziness”
  • Unexplained muscular pain
  • Joint pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Extreme exhaustion, either physical or mental, that persists after exertion
  • Disturbed or unrefreshing sleep
  • Night sweats
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat

Complications that may arise include:

  • Depression
  • Increased absence from work or school.
  • Inability to carry out normal daily activities such as caring for children and housekeeping
  • It can cause significant social isolation and loneliness

Doctors do not yet fully understand the cause or causes of CFS. Medically, the diagnosis often involves several tests to rule out other similar disorders and is usually only diagnosed by the absence of these other disorders.

As this is usually not a quick process the patient may be left with troubling and often debilitating symptoms and no real answers – sometimes for months or even years. By the time a patient receives a diagnosis of CFS they are usually exhausted both physically and emotionally.

People who receive an early diagnosis and early treatment tend to do better. Having a supportive community and health therapists, who understand the potential seriousness of CFS, can improve recovery for people with the condition.

It is important to find a doctor who is sympathetic to CFS, has a good knowledge of the syndrome and can suggest ways to manage the condition. Treatment choices will vary for each person with this condition, as the severity affects people differently.

CFS patients often consult the Chiropractor for relief of the musculoskeletal and neurological complaints. Many of these patients have found that chiropractic treatment helps reduce the pain as well as results in greater flexibility, increased mobility and reduced inflammation of joints.

The patients generally require a course of treatments consisting of spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy, exercise and nutritional advice. As there is no simple cure for this syndrome the Chiropractor may also recommend other forms of therapy to compliment the treatment. The goal is to relieve the symptoms, strengthen the immune system and enable the patient to feel more in control of their body and their condition.

In addition to therapy, CFS symptoms can be managed by listening to your body and finding what it responds to without causing any flare ups. A few of the following may help:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and anything else that could affect your sleep
  • Establish a good sleep routine
  • Gentle exercise such stretching, yoga, walking and swimming, with slow and gradual progression
  • Keep an activity diary
  • Find CFS Support groups
  • On good days do not try to “catch-up” or overdo things as it may result in more days when you are exhausted.
  • Think about taking up relaxing hobbies
  • Surround yourself with positive people

Useful Websites

Call us at (02) 6257 9400 or request an appointment online today!

Emerge Australia

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex and disabling disease that affects many parts of the body, including the brain and muscles, as well as the digestive, immune and cardiac systems, among others. ME is classified as a neurological disorder by the World Health Organization.

Who can develop ME/CFS?

ME/CFS affects men, women and children of all ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 75-80% of people with the condition are female. Around 25% of people with ME/CFS experience severe symptoms, leaving them housebound or bedbound.

While estimates of how many people have ME/CFS vary, it is thought that around 0.4-1% of the population is affected. This means that up to 250,000 Australians have the condition.

What are the symptoms of ME/CFS?

People with ME/CFS experience a wide range of symptoms.

A common misconception is that people with ME/CFS have 'chronic fatigue', and are just tired. Chronic fatigue is a symptom of many conditions (for example, heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, anaemia and ME/CFS), but it is not a condition in its own right. Persistent and profound fatigue is just one symptom of ME/CFS, as it is with a number of other conditions.

The central feature of ME/CFS is post-exertional malaise (PEM), which means that symptoms get worse after physical or mental activity. PEM is very disabling and causes fluctuations in a person’s health: what they may be able to do one day, they might not be able to do the next. The level of activity that triggers PEM varies. For some, it may be a short walk or writing a homework assignment. For people who are more severely unwell, it could be brushing their teeth or reading a sentence of a book. PEM is often delayed and can last days, weeks or months, making the illness difficult to manage.

Emerge Australia offers a free national InfoLine service for the ME/CFS community, including members, anyone living with ME/CFS, carers and healthcare practitioners.

The InfoLine is available during business hours, Monday to Friday, for the ME/CFS community to ask questions, seek information and connect with us.

Common queries include:

  • information about ME/CFS
  • support group details (in-person and online) around Australia
  • telehealth nurse appointment bookings
  • general advice 
  • membership 
  • donations

Get in touch with our helpful team today to connect, learn more and share your experience.

You can contact the InfoLine on (03) 9529 1344 or email us.

Chronic Fatigue | The RiotACT

My daughter has suspected chronic fatigue at 19. She is in second year uni and everything is a struggle.

I am asking if anyone knows of a GP or specialist who had dealt with CFS and if there is any (useful) advice you might have for dealing with and getting over CFS?

You could contact the ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)) ACT Support Group for more information on local services

My sister has suffered for 19 years (also from her 2nd year of Uni) and I know where you are at. My best advise is, find what helps your daughter cope on a daily/hourly basis. Dont listen to the 1000’s of different pieces of advise people who dont have CFS, or care for someone who has CFS, will give.

Also, remember to ask for help for yourself if you need it. My parents look after my sister 24/7 but still need respite for themselves on a regular basis.

Best of luck and please get in touch with me if you want to discuss anything further.

ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society Inc - General

Provides support and information for people affected by Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Quarterly journal; Self Help Courses and Seminars with guest speakers are conducted throughout the year.

Information available for health practitioners and the public. Seeks to raise awareness of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome within the community.

ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society is a not for profit, self help organisation which exists to give support and help to its members. It provides information about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) to members, medical practitioners and the public and also promotes research.

ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society is coordinated by volunteers. The Society is a member of SHOUT (Self Help Organisations United Together) which is a secretariat and first point of contact for several member groups. The Society receives some funding from the ACT Government and the remainder comes from membership subscriptions, donations and fundraising ventures. 

ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society does not provide medical advice or recommend or endorse any specific treatment, therapy, practitioner or service.

If you would like more information about ACT ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society and what it offers, please email or phone 6290 1984 for an inquiry pack.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Capital Clinic Physiotherapy

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a severe, complex, acquired illness with numerous symptoms related mainly to the dysfunction of the brain, gastro-intestinal, immune, endocrine and cardiac systems. As many as 180,000 Australians are directly affected by ME/CFS.

CFS Signs and Symptoms 

CFS is characterised by an overwhelming physical and mental exhaustion, unlike the tiredness that well-people experience after strenuous exercise or a day’s work or the “chronic fatigue” associated with many chronic illnesses.

How can an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) assist in the management of CFS? 

The challenge of any chronic disease, including ME/CFS, is to learn how to live within the limitations of that disease.

Often, there is a tendency for people with ME/CFS to ‘push’ when they are feeling improved and to continue activities until symptoms worsen, by which time it is too late to prevent post-exertional malaise and a ‘crash’ from which recovery can be prolonged. Most individuals with ME/CFS have experienced the ‘push’ and ‘crash’ cycle, which is unhelpful, frustrating and can lead to further complications. Pacing is a key strategy to keep ME/CFS symptoms manageable and to lead a consistent lifestyle. A progressive Pacing Plan will assist a person to move towards a higher level of wellness and is essential in the recovery process.

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP) are 4 year university-trained health specialists that specialise in managing chronic conditions, including CFS, using lifestyle management strategies. They can help the CFS sufferer determine their ability/disability level and then start the process of establishing a Pacing Plan, which involves determining threshold values for both mental and physical tasks for a given day and week.

The AEP will use tools such as activity/symptoms diaries and pedometers (to assess daily step count) to establish physical and mental thresholds. The diary also allows the client to prioritise each activity, plan their daily/weekly load and determine the link between symptom scores and daily activities. The main aim is to reduce the boom-bust cycle and establish weekly consistency. Once the client has achieved a consistent weekly routine with no worsening of symptoms, the AEP will assist the client in safely increasing their exercise/physical capacity within their Pacing Plan. This is termed Graded Exercise Therapy (GET). GET is a type of physical activity therapy that starts very slowly and gradually increases over time. Five minutes per day is a typical starting point for an individual who has been totally inactive. Research has shown that GET is key management strategy in reducing the symptoms of CFS and helps sufferers recover from their illness. The AEP will assist the client in setting goals to prevent activating symptoms and assist in increasing overall fitness and physical capacity over time. It is important that this process is closely monitored to ensure positive adaptation.

Active Health Clinic – Specialists in the treatment of chronic

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) are illnesses characterised by disabling physical and mental fatigue, sleep difficulties, headaches, sore throats, concentration and memory difficulties, muscle pain and dizziness. These symptoms aren't relieved by rest.Fatigue can be misunderstoodFatigue is not something that can be seen, like a broken arm, and it can often be misunderstood or dismissed by people not familiar with the condition. Due to the severity and long-term effects of fatigue, it can cause problems in a person's ability to socialise and attend work or school, which may lead to isolation and depression.

Program backgroundIn 2001, Active Health Clinic founder Nathan Butler met paediatrician Dr Lionel Lubitz when working at the Austin Hospital. Dr Lubitz was working with a group of adolescents who were very unwell and not being taken seriously by the greater medical profession. They had been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).Through the program they participated in at the hospital, these teenagers were able to return to school, socialise with friends and no longer be limited by their health. Seeing these changes inspired Nathan to continue to develop a program to manage complex fatigue, with cutting edge research and links with the world’s best practitioners in CFS/ME. This is the program we offer at Active Health Clinic.Our programOur program consists of 10-15 individual sessions over 6-9 months. It is designed and focused on CFS/ME rehabilitation, and helps our clients make and maintain gains made, through a holistic approach.The sessions focus on:

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