Association for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Can Neurofeedback Be a Therapeutic Approach to Chronic Fatigue in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)?

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a complex disorder often associated with severe fatigue that doesn't improve with rest. The ME condition can severely impact a patients life, making the search for effective treatments essential. Among various therapeutic options, Neurofeedback has emerged as a possible method to manage chronic fatigue in ME. Some patients have claimed that neurofeedback therapy carried out by a trained professional can result in some improvements surrounding mental performance and emotional well being. Please keep in mind that this is in no way a cure for ME.

Chronic Fatigue and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is characterised often associated with profound fatigue, pain, cognitive disturbances, and other symptoms that can significantly interfere with a person's daily activities. Unlike typical fatigue, the exhaustion related to ME is not alleviated by rest, and can be exacerbated by physical or mental activity.

What Is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis?

For those not already aware, ME (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)), is a chronic and complex disorder, as stated above. It often affects individuals in their prime working years and can lead to disability. The exact cause of ME is still not well understood, but factors that may contribute include:

  • Viral infections
  • Immune system problems
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Psychological stressors

Symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

People with ME experience a wide range of symptoms that can make daily tasks difficult. These symptoms include:

  • Persistent and unexplained fatigue
  • Muscular and joint pain
  • Sleep disorders
  • Cognitive difficulties, such as memory and concentration problems
  • Sensitivity to light, noise, or odors
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Treating Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Treatment for ME is tailored to individual symptoms and often includes:

  • Careful pacing of activities to avoid over-exertion
  • Medications for pain, sleep disturbances, or other specific symptoms
  • Psychological support, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Physical therapy and graded exercise therapy, if appropriate

Neurofeedback's Role in Managing Chronic Fatigue in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Patients

Given the complex nature of ME, and the associated chronic fatigue, traditional treatments might not always be effective. Neurofeedback, a non-invasive brain-training technique, has shown promise as a complementary approach. Many UK neurofeedback therapy clinics are helping people improve their mental and emotional ability already using advaned brain training and brain imaging technologies.

With Neurofeedback training, individuals with ME can learn to regulate brain activity that may be contributing to symptoms like fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive issues. By training the brain to self-regulate, Neurofeedback can potentially reduce the severity of these symptoms.

Patients engaging in Neurofeedback therapy claim to experience:

  • Improved energy levels
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Better sleep quality
  • Enhanced cognitive functioning
  • Still, it is essential to approach Neurofeedback as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for ME, considering the multifaceted nature of the disorder.


    Chronic fatigue in the context of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis presents unique challenges in treatment. Neurofeedback offers an innovative and personalised approach that can be integrated with other more traditional treatments to enhance overall well-being and control.