Pacing 101 - Brain Training as a tool to pace better

Brain Training -- Another Pacing Tool

Excess Baggage


  • Brain training is one of many tools to help pace better by reducing wasted mental and emotional energy.
  • The brain is small, but it is an energy hog that can eat through spoons faster than a sprint up the stairs.
  • The science behind most "brain training" is sound.
  • Most brain training programs oversell what they offer.
  • You do not need an expensive program to learn this science.
  • Outside of the "tools" that brain training programs teach you, which you can learn for free, the main benefit is accountability and the support of a coach. Some people might benefit from hiring a coach whom they can afford and feel a connection with.

Brain training is not the boogeyman. It is just another tool to add to your healing toolbelt. Don't expect miracles. Stay away from programs that promise quick results and learn what you need for free.

Like every other "cure" out there... people like to show off the big success stories because it makes you feel good and gives hope. The benefits go both ways, those desperate for healing need hope to continue and those who are trying to help fellow sufferers love to see that their efforts are having an impact on the lives of others.

This video gives a good quick overview of the different kinds of "brain training" and the red flags to look out for when listening to or hiring a "coach". 

Get the tools for free!

However, I suggest learning the fundamentals/tools from free resources on YouTube, the internet and from books on the topic. This is nothing new... "Brain training" has been around for a long time and it has been used in many settings.

And... as Lindsay Vine mentioned in the Raelen Agle video. There are many kinds of Brain Training tools. Find what works for you, add it to your toolbelt and move forward. 

*Trauma/PTSD/and trauma with a small "t" are often brought up as roadblocks to healing. Unfortunately, some seem to think that their LC/ME was caused by "Trauma". However, that is not the case. The damage that caused all this is physiological. It is not "in your head". The reason that dealing with trauma is beneficial is because it helps with healing and pacing.

Awkward analogy time (see image at top): 

A small aeroplane has a fuel leak. They must reduce the load to make it to the island with a landing strip! The pilot orders everyone to throw out all the luggage and cargo. 

The reduced weight helps the plane make it to the landing strip just in time. They all survive... Yeah! Break for commercial...

Dealing with trauma is like the luggage and cargo. The cargo did not cause the plane to have a fuel leak! This deadweight is an "innocent bystander" that needs to be taken care of for the plane to land. 

Dealing with trauma is the same as dealing with the luggage. The reduced load helps pace and heal faster. Therapy to deal with trauma is just another way to pace.

A personal example which might make it clearer.

Before I accepted my LongCovid and I truly learned to pace --thanks in part to free "brain training" tools -- I would get myself into binds by pushing too hard during a walk and then pushing even more because I was too cheap to pay for a taxi, bus or many of the other options that would have gotten me home faster and with less energy. 

I learned that a couple "small t" traumas that are deeply ingrained were holding back my recovery and making it harder to pace. These traumas had nothing to do with the original illness. They were only innocent bystanders making it harder to pace and heal. 

A person with "big T" Traumas will have a harder time since dealing with Trauma also takes energy. It is a catch-22. In those cases, professional help, especially someone who understands MECFS will be needed. If I had to deal with these "big T" Traumas then I would probably look at EMDR, somatic release and psychedelics like psilocybin with a trained specialized therapist.

Luckily, most of my traumas are the "small t" variety.... at most "medium t" on some scales. 

And thanks to brain training, nicotine patches, fasting, various meds and supplements. a clean diet, cold exposure, etc. I am doing very well and I have lots of tools in my toolbelt to keep getting better. 

Remember, we are stronger together!

Take care of yourself, and if you can, someone else too! --Stephen Dubner 

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