Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Mindfulness Studies

First Advisor

Nancy Waring

Second Advisor

Melissa Jean


Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a chronic health condition; its etiology is poorly understood, and treatment options are limited to management of symptoms. Current recommended treatment options are controversial, and evidence of effectiveness is limited. This paper proposes a novel model for symptom management of ME/CFS using mindfulness-based interventions, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and relaxation techniques. A comprehensive review of available evidence is used to support this approach. The idea is that, working synergistically, these three approaches, grounded by mindfulness-based principles, can address many of the symptoms of the illness and help patients better cope and manage their day-to-day lives.

This work is particularly important in a field that is under-researched and under-funded. There is still little understanding of pathology, or viable treatments, for ME/CFS patients. Yet there are millions of individuals afflicted with ME/CFS who deserve current scientifically-validated treatment options. In the absence of curative options, treatment alternatives must recognize the gravity of, and how best to address, the unique symptomology of the condition.

The literature review suggests that the combined use of mindfulness, CBT and restorative yoga can be effective in individual symptom management for ME/CFS. However, the limitations are that this three-pronged model has not yet been empirically tested. This project leaves the door open for, and establishes the importance of, future research.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.