Energy Envelope Theory

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The Energy Envelope Theory is a self-management tool to reduce symptom severity and the frequency of relapses. This theory suggests that because variations in day-to-day energy levels are often unpredictable in people with ME/CFS, they are to assess their perceived energy levels on a daily basis (or in smaller time increments, as needed) and use that level to gauge their energy expenditure for the day. It encourages people with ME/CFS to accept their daily energy limitations and not exceed or fight them.[1]

Some practitioners of the Energy Envelope Theory take the concept further by recommending that people with ME/CFS do less than their perceived energy would allow in order to have energy left over for recovery.[2]

Under the Energy Envelope Theory, treatment programs that recommend a steady increase in daily activity are discouraged because the person with ME/CFS may exceed the amount of energy available for that day, thereby initiating post-exertional malaise or an increase in symptoms. Those that stay within their daily "envelope" of energy, not only have fewer symptoms but often recover to a higher functioning level than those who don't.[1][3]

The concept of staying within one's "energy envelope" is a similar pacing technique to the spoon theory.

Patient experiences with the Envelope Theory[edit]

  • The Just ME blogger, Sally Burch, has written about self-pacing and the energy envelope in a post called "Play-Up & Lay-Up" not "Boom & Bust".[4]
  • Brain Campbell, PhD, has included the Envelope Theory in chapter 7 of his manual, Recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: One Person's Story[5]

Notable studies[edit]

Learn more[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jason, Leonard A.; Muldowney, Kathleen; Torres-Harding, Susan (2008), "The Energy Envelope Theory and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome", American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, 56 (5): 189-95, doi:10.3928/08910162-20080501-06 
  2. http://www.recoveryfromcfs.org/chapter7.htm
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jason, LA; Brown, M; Brown, A; Evans, M; Flores, S; Grant-Holler, E; Sunnquist, M (2013), "Energy conservation/envelope theory interventions", Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, 1 (1-2): 27-42, doi:10.1080/21641846.2012.733602 
  4. "Play-Up & Lay-Up not Boom & Bust
  5. http://www.recoveryfromcfs.org/chapter7.htm


The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history