The 3 Fastest and Most Cost-Effective Ways to Learn Essential Recovery Skills for CFS / ME, Fibromyalgia, and MCS

Become a master in regaining your health and happiness by learning from an experienced mentor.

Become a master in regaining your health and happiness.

When you and I came down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, we had to face the hard truth that the actions, thoughts, and beliefs that, prior to our illness, allowed us to feel happy and healthy were no longer working.

In order to regain our optimum health and happiness we needed to—and may still need to—adapt to our changed bodies. We have to relearn how to take good care or our “new” bodies and live happily in them.

The best way to do this is to learn from an experienced mentor.

There are lots of ways—many of them free—to learn from an experienced mentor. In this lesson I will share with you my experience on how to make that learning journey as easy, swift, and enjoyable as possible.

Have you noticed the elephant in the room?

Obviously, there is a conflict of interest in my teaching you that you “need to get a mentor.” Badly done, this could become a sad and shameful display of my shamelessly advertising my coaching services.

Please trust me. This lesson is not going to end on: “Hire me, or you’ll never regain your health and happiness.” I promise, and I hope that, by now, you know me well enough to believe me.

To write this in complete service to you, not me, I’ll drop extra deep into my heart. I promise that I will share with you any resource that can accelerate your recovery, not just mine. In fact, I will show you how you can get as much information as possible for regaining your optimum health and happiness potential for free.

I will also point to my coaching services in this lesson where appropriate, but only when I believe learning on your own will limit you and needlessly delay your getting your life back.

Knowing how hard it is to spend money on yourself when you are sick and have no guarantee that you’ll ever recovery, I will even show you a method for benefiting from my paid training and coaching services completely risk-free.

There are three ways to learn from an experienced mentor; the price starting at free! I’ve benefited from all of them, and will outline for you the benefits and limits of each one.

Free knowledge ——— this is where you start

Excitingly, much of what you need to know to make the most of your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia recovery is available for free on the internet. For example, you can get a bunch of free stuff from reading the articles on my blog, the fifteen lessons of this e-course, or simply typing a question you may have, such as “How to improve my sleep when I have CFS?” into an internet search engine.

Here is what many people can learn on their own for free:

  1. Get answers to your most burning questions. When we come down with a shocking illness such as CFS or FM, we have many scorching questions and are in need of answers; feeling like our life depends on them.

    Most of these questions, you can get answered easily by typing them into a search engine or posting them in an internet forum on CFS and FM such as the Phoenix Rising forums.

    Here are some of examples of questions many of you might have typed into Google in the past, or might want to type in there in the future:

    Secret tip: Once you’ve discovered through this method and read an article that answers your question, here is how you can get personalized advice on your specific situation for free: Post your specific question in the comment box of the blog (most blogs allow you to comment anonymously). What many people don’t know is that bloggers love comments, and are most happy to give you a personalized response in return for the frisson of excitement and shower of joy you’ve excited in them by leaving a comment.

  2. Get an overview of what needs to happen for you to get better. It’s good to have a roadmap of the larger scheme of what your recovery journey will look like. You could borrow a book on the topic from your local library, such as the excellent Fibromyalgia for Dummies, or Treatment Guide for CFS and FM. Alternatively or in addition, you can study my e-course on the Health and Happiness Fundamentals; which you’re already doing at the moment :).

What are the limits of free?

Taking this e-course, you might have already noticed some of the limitations of free information, the most prominent of them being:

  1. Inaction. Your mind is willing, but your flesh is weak, even more so since the whole CFS or FM thing has entered your life. Welcome in the club ;). While you might read some of the articles and book you’ve discovered on overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you are not taking action on them.

    The hard truth is that information is great, but action makes the difference. You recognize that this may be true, and you’re looking for a way to get into action.
  2. Overwhelm Some things are just too complex to learn through an e-course. I don’t know what you thought about the two lessons from this e-course on conducting and evaluating an experiment, but I thought they were quite a monster. In hindsight, I realize the topic of experimenting may be too complex to teach in this e-mail course. Instead these lessons would better be cut up into bite-size pieces and served to an exciting group of hungry folks by way of an online class.
  3. Lack of fun. While I am confident that each lesson in this course will increase your long term health and happiness, the process of learning them in the first place can feel painfully arduous. Having to learn them on your own makes it even harder. It’s always easier to have a buddy or two when learning a difficult concept so you can bounce off and learn from them.

As you can see, there are many ways in which learning on your own can halt your progress. There is hope though: online classes. Let’s have a look at how you can benefit from them.

Free money back guarantee classes

These are my favorite. They can easily change your life and yet there is no financial risk on your end. It’s likely that you will get what the teacher promises, and if you don’t—even though that would be disappointing—at least you’d get your money back.

Here is a list of what you might learn best in a group setting

  1. You name it. It’s a fact that most people learn nearly everything more effectively in a group setting. So if you know that you learn faster in a group and a class is being offered in what you want to learn, consider taking that class.
  2. Activities that are enhanced by partnering up with someone. Some of the best online classes I’ve assigned and connected me with a practice partner. My phone calls with weekly-changing practice partners were sometimes even more useful than the actual teaching sessions!

    Topics that you may enjoy a lot more if you do them with a partner include those that are

    • overwhelming to master on your own, such as evaluating an experiment;
    • uncomfortable, such as releasing an uncomfortable sensation or emotion by meditating on it. It’s so much easier and enjoyable to face the short-term discomfort and celebrate the long-term benefits of the exercise with a partner.
    • require an outside perspective, such as working your way through a belief that is blocking your recovery.
    • give you a more powerful experience when done with a partner, such as visualizing perfect heath and happiness.
  3. Things you want to experience. If you want to get a real experience of the power of a particular technique for regaining your health and happiness, learn about it in a group setting.

    Even if you are not getting the full benefit of a technique upon your first try, it’s nearly guaranteed that others in your group will. As you see those who “got it” beam with joy as they report a breakthrough, or cry their heart out as they share what deep suffering they were just able to let go of, you’ll feel motivated to practice the technique until you’ve experienced all of its benefits as well.

    Ashok Gupta, creator of the leading DVD-based CFS and FM recovery programme, just shared with me that even though his DVD program is a huge success, he still wants to go back into teaching in-person workshops: “The experience of in-person workshops is just unmatchable,” he said to me.
  4. Things you know you should learn, but you don’t feel like learning them. These things are the main reason why parents send their kids to school, right?

    Some techniques or knowledge are uncomfortable or just no fun to learn on your own, for example, evaluating an experiment, meditating, or eating healthy. If you pay for a class, and go through the experience with a group of fellow “sufferers”, you are likely to successfully endure the short-term discomfort of learning and enter the promised land of increased long-term health and happiness.

    If you take a class on the topic you want to learn, you will be more likely to take life-changing action than if you read an article or a book. There is a reason why self-development books are sometimes mocked as ”Shelf-development books” :).

A couple of tips on how to identify a high-quality class for yourself. A high-quality online class should…

  1. … come with a money back guarantee. A money back guarantee minimizes your financial risk and is proof of that the teachers of the class stand behind it. Ashok Gupta’s DVD program offers a money-back guarantee, so does this course by fatigue guide Russell Stubbs, and so will all classes offered through the CFS Recovery Project in the future.
  2. …encourage practice sessions with a practice-partner and help you set them up. Ask the teacher of a class if they support partnering up.

Even though online group classes are my favorite way of learning, there are certain situations in which they are limited. At some point on your path toward full health and happiness, you will likely need more support, so let’s look at some situations that are best dealt with in a one-on-one coaching or therapy relationship.

Get individual support through coaching or therapy

Here are a few examples of situations in which, in my experience, one-on-one therapy is your fastest route toward health and happiness:

  1. Rid yourself of a deeply seated belief that is hurting your progress toward health and happiness.

    Some deep-seated beliefs are just too scary for us to deal with on our own—let alone change them.

    How do you change a belief that’s holding you back from your optimum recovery with the help of a therapist or life coach? Let me give you a personal example.

    Before I could change my belief, I first had to be made aware of its existence, as I was blind to it. First, my coach helped me to muster the courage to look at the belief and explore whether it was harming me. Second, I learned how to let go of it.

    Here are some examples of detrimental beliefs I had held at some point on my recovery journey. Can you see how they’re kinda’ scary?

    • I’m not good enough. What a depressing belief to carry around—yet I did for years.
    • My life doesn’t have a purpose. My motivation skyrocketed when I was able to let go of this one.
    • The world is a bad place. Another depressing one—thank god I was able to let go of it.
    • The only way to make a positive difference in the world is to work for an engineering company. If I had not let go of this one, I could not have regained my health and happiness, because the intensive mathematical thinking I did when I studied engineering made me sick.
    • There is too much to do in a day. Letting go of this one required and continues to require a daily practice.
    • I will never succeed. I’m surprised that I could even recover with such a belief clinging to me. Letting go of this one also requires a daily practice, as it comes up whenever we are up to something big—like regaining our health and happiness :).
  2. Issues too private to discuss in public. Whether you want to discuss your health issues in the privacy of a one-on-one setting to not harm your professional career, or you fear that you will not look good in front of others; these are all very valid and common reasons. Don’t make your recovery journey harder than it has to be by ignoring your need for safety and privacy.
  3. You might just learn best through one-on-one mentoring. Kim, one of my clients, is equipped with a remarkably vocal inner critic. When she tried to learn the Amygdala Retraining technique on her own, she got so down on herself that instead reducing her anxiety and negative thoughts, her practicing the technique had worsened them.

    At the same time—god bless her—Kim is also an extraordinarily wise person and, knowing her tendency to get down on herself, asked me to teach her the technique in a one-on-one setting where I can make her aware of and help her stop when she gets too harsh with herself.

    She’s now one of my most successful clients, and is very close to regaining her full health and happiness.
  4. You could benefit from additional accountability and focus. Mike has a tendency to put way more on his plate than he can handle. The problem is that the stress that results from this increases his CFS symptoms and hurts his professional success.

    I suggested to him the same solution that helped and continues to help me with the exact same challenge: Check in with someone on a daily basis who keeps you on track.

    During our weekly check-ins, I helped him to plan his week realistically, and provided him with accountability which helped him to stick to his plans.“

    The feeling of spaciousness, being and control, and getting my work done is very uplifting,” Mike says.
  5. Accelerate you progress by getting advice tailored specific to your situation. Life with and recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia is made up off a million large and small challenges, such as,

    • How will I fall asleep more easily?
    • How do I leave my house without intensifying my symptoms?
    • How do I deal with my friends making uninformed and sometimes hurtful comments about my condition?

    Your ideal coach has enough experience, so that he or she knows how to best deal with your specific challenge!While articles may give you some general ideas for overcoming the situation, a coach that knows you intimately can give more specific advice, and troubleshoot, if your first solution doesn’t work out.

  6. You can’t find a class on the specific topic you want to learn. Unfortunately, there might either not be a class taught on what you want to learn or the next class might not start until a long time. It may be worth getting help from a coach, if waiting for the class means an unnecessary—and costly—delay in your progress toward optimum health and happiness.
  7. You have special needs. When Joanne began working with me, she was so severely affected with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, that she only had two thirty minute periods in her day when she had sufficient energy to speak with me on the phone. Since she decided to work with me one-on-one, I was able to meet with her right at the times when she was well enough to receive coaching.

    Now, two months after her starting to work with me one-on-one, she has increased energy and and is no longer bed-bound–a good argument to justify the cost of working with a coach one-on-one :).

These seven scenarios are just some ideas for when working with a coach might be best for you. You might have your very own reasons for why you want one-on-one support. Give me a call, and let’s discuss how you can get the support that feels right to you.

What to look for in a good coach or therapist

If you recognize that you might benefit from one-on-one support, how do you find the right person for the job? Here are some tips:

To begin to get to know your potential coach or therapist, you may want to check out their website for free resources, a few of their articles, audios or videos, their clients’ success stories, or their bio.

Does the coach make the impression that she or he knows about your specific challenges? Do you like him or her? Does they seem trustworthy? The free resources I just mentioned are a good way to warm up to a coach.

Once you trust a coach enough, you may want to schedule a free consultation with them and ask for their honest opinion regarding whether they will be able to help you with your particular challenges. Most reputable coaches offer a free chat; just ask for it if they don’t advertise it.

This consultation is yet another valuable opportunity for you to evaluate if the coach seems trustworthy and whether they care deeply about you. In my coaching school, we believe that one of the most important things that help a client transform is to feel the love of someone who deeply cares about them. Get a sense of whether your coach loves you :).

If you’d like to have such a free consultation with me, you can schedule it here.

Two quick actions: don’t delay regaining———maybe even full———health and happiness

Remember how earlier in this lesson we looked at how “information is great, but action makes the difference”?

If you recognize that this may be true, take a minute to integrate what you’ve learned from reading this article and then get into action!

The key questions to ask after this lesson are:

  • What type of support is right for you?
  • Should you get a book, sign up for a class, hire individual support, or maybe even all of the above?

After reading this article and taking a minute to reflect on it, my hope is that you feel increased clarity on what your next steps are.

Don’t wait until that clarity has faded in a few days—take action now! Borrow or buy that book, check out some group classes, or sign up for that free consultation with a therapist or coach.

Seriously, I want you to get better. Take your first baby step toward increased health and happiness by taking action now.

What is most important to me is that you get better, regardless of how you do it.

If, however, you think that you might benefit from my support on your recovery journey, I’d be most happy to help you. Just give me a call at +1(650) 204-1567 or contact me at, and we’ll have a chat.

I promise to listen to your challenges and then give you heart-felt and genuine advice.

I care about you, and I want you to regain your health and happiness as I have.

With love and well wishes,
Johannes' Signature


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  1. Hi,

    Each article is better than the last. Thank you for all you do.


  2. Great article, as usual 🙂 Keep up the good work.

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