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Member Meeting Resources

Upcoming Member Meeting Topics for 2022

  • May – ME Awareness Month – Online meeting with Dr Ros Vallings
  • June – What is effective preemptive rest
  • July – MSD 
  • August – The immune system
  • September – Pain Management
  • October – Restorative Movement
  • November – Sleep
  • December Pacing

ALL handouts and PDFs on this page are Copyright © 2021 Complex Chronic Illness Support Incorporated for permissions contact: [email protected]   All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by New Zealand copyright law

Tabitha Ramsay (Health and Wellness Facilitator - Lakes District) speaks about the importance of attending Member Meetings - in person or online

Member Meetings

Why attending CCI Support Member Meetings matters

February 2022

Stress Management

What is stress?

  • What happens in the body when it is stressed?
  • The role of the Autonomic Nervous system
  • Stress and ME/CFS/FM
  • The Process of The Stress Response – Symptoms of stress – The Freeze response – Some strategies to manage stress

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March 2022

Breathing / Mindfulness

Breathing and Mindfulness go hand in hand. You cannot focus on your breath without becoming mindful.

Learn more




April 2022

Restorative movement and THE BREATH

  • Practice simple restorative movements that help our breathe and calm the nervous system, and gently stretch our bodies
  • Mindfulness is associated with breathing and restorative movement
  • Spinal movements are an intrinsic component of the shape changing activities when breathing, therefore we coordinate our breathe with are movements
  • There are two other diaphragms that we can use and engage whilst breathing and, in some movements, to help us breathe even more effectively and bring more awareness to our body
  • Handout
  • ME Yoga Brochure

May 22

ME / CFS Awareness Month



June 2022

Pre-emptive rest


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July 2022

MSD advocate – Craig Speaking

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February 2021

Knowing your rights

This meeting covered the basis of human rights and discrimination, followed by the complaints process and agencies that can help you make a complaint about health services.

Lastly, we go over your entitlements with Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) and the types of benefits they offer.

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March 2021

Skin and Temperature Supports

Skin and temperature issues are commonplace for those with ME/CFS/FM. We talk about the function of the skin, common skin conditions, temperature regulation and support and ways to manage heat and cold intolerance.

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April 2021

How to manage the fear of change

Chronic illness often means things in your life change. We cover how to cope with these changes, and also look at the stages of grief, including the Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle.

Also discussed are some strategies that can be implemented to help with the fear of change and some helpful tools.

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May 21

ME / CFS Awareness Month

All areas had a meeting with a guest speaker, including Dr Ros Vallings, Dr Sarah Dalziel, Dr Trish Zingel. These doctors either special interest in ME/CFS and shared some valuable information to our members.

Dr Trish Zingel – Chronic Fatigue Practical Tips

Dr Ros Vallings – Research Update



June 2021

How to get good rest

Rest is a natural requirement for the human body. It allows the immune system the essential resources it needs to heal and restore. Sleep naturally provides restoration, but for many with ME/CFS sleep is disrupted, disordered, non-refreshing.

At the monthly meeting, sleep cycles, the impacts of disordered sleep, and sleep hygiene ideas are discussed. The importance of rest and four types of rest are also discussed, through the lens of the Maori Health model of Te Whare Tapa Wha. Some words of encouragement to support a change in mindset around resting are also shared.

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July 2021

What “Recovery” looks like

Seeing “recovery” as being an improvement in your health to a point where you can live a productive, fulfilling life is a great goal to aim for.

Personal stories were shared from people that have lived with ME/CFS/FM and the tools they used to help them lead a better quality life.

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August 2021

Different Types of Pain

The process and perception of pain, as well as four different types of pain are discussed: acute, chronic, nociceptive and neuropathic. Pain management tools are offered and information for Pain Management Programmes are provided.

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September 2021

Healthy Boundaries

Creating healthy boundaries is important for our physical and emotional health. This is especially true for those living with chronic illnesses. We have more constraints around our energy and our ability to give to others. On a positive, chronic illness can allow us to go inwards, to clarify our values, what is important and how we want to be treated by others. These insights form the foundation for boundary setting.  This handout will discuss what boundaries are, why healthy boundaries are important and how to create them. Creating healthy boundaries is empowering!

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October 2021

Dysautonomia (Dis-Auto-No-Mia) is an umbrella term for multiple conditions which affect the Autonomic Nervous system (ANS). ME/CFS & FM are two such conditions whereby dysautonomia can often be associated

This month we will be discussing three types of dysautonomia – POTS, Orthostatic Intolerance and Neural Mediated Hypotension. We will also be discussing what the typical symptoms are, the known triggers which can exacerbate symptoms, how to be diagnosed, along with symptom management strategies. 

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November 2021

Nutrition and why it’s important

Around 90% of people with ME/CFS/FM report experiencing IBS, food intolerance and gastric issues as part of their condition. We will explore what effect the stress response has on our digestion system and what nutrition plan can best support our wellness journey.

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December 2021

Managing the Festive Season

In New Zealand, Christmas, summer holidays and road trips to visit family all go hand in hand and gets all wrapped up together under the umbrella of “The Festive Season” Today we will be sharing tips to help navigate this busy time of year, discussing how to reduce stress at Christmas, how to keep cool in the summer heat and some tips when traveling.

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Dr Ros Vallings

CCI Support Waikato

13 May 2021

With the launch of CCI Support Waikato, we had the privilege of having Dr Ros Vallings speak to members on the 13th May 2021

Dr Ros Vallings

Dr Ros Vallings discussed the latest research around ME/CFS

Dr Sarah Dalziel

Dr Dalziel discussed Covid-19

Emeritus Professor Warren Tate

Emeritus Professor Warren Tate shared his journey and NZ research.

Powerpoint Handout

February 2020


We can have a positive impact on our ME/CFS/FM symptoms and overall happiness by reframing the thoughts that we have.

Reframing techniques are used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), counselling, psychology, by sport, life & health coaches and healthcare professionals. Multiple examples of reframing are discussed in this meeting, including a word replacement exercise.

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March 2020


Pacing is the practice of matching our energy levels with activity levels throughout the day, avoiding using up all of our energy. Activities are split into three areas: physical, mental and social, and pacing is broken down from body based and head based. Learning these elements of pacing can be beneficial to those with ME/CFS/FM. A pacing diary example is also provided.

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April 2020

Meditation / Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the quality of being present in a non-judgmental way and fully present. Kate Fyfe compiled this meeting resource, which covers what mindfulness/meditation is and how it can help people with ME/CFS/FM.

She also provides website, app and book recommendations.

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May 2020

Stress Management

Stress can play a big role in ME/CFS/FM, and often we are acting from the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). Different tools are offered to help encourage the body to go into a healing state via the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). These include breathing techniques, mindfulness, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Qigong, Tai Chi, Yoga and Grounding.

Learn More



June 2020

Systems of the Body

The human body contains 11 systems that operate to keep our bodies performing optimally.

With ME/CFS/FM, it has been found that many of these systems are functioning sub-optimally and often the symptoms are signs that a system is not working at its best. We break down each system, the correlated ME/CFS/FM symptoms and possible steps to wellness.

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July 2020

Sleep Supports

It can be hard to recognise, but most people with ME/CFS/FM have some form of disordered sleep.

We elaborate on this and also provide some steps to improve sleep, including environmental factors, routine, foods and medications.

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August 2020

Restorative Movement

“Exercise” can become impossible when living with a condition like ME/CFS/FM, and Post Exertional Malaise (PEM) is often experienced.

Restorative movement offers the ability to keep the muscles active and supple without causing an increase in PEM and other symptoms. We discuss the steps to create a personalised restorative movement programme.

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September 2020

Pain Strategies

In this meeting we explore the meaning of chronic pain, the pain cycle and steps to break the cycle. A Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) is included, as well as a pain definition from the International Consensus Primer for Diagnosing ME/CFS, and a widespread Pain index for Fibromyalgia.

Learn More

October 2020


Dysautonomia is an umbrella term that includes multiple conditions which affect the Autonomic Nervous System.

We discuss Neurally Mediated Hypotension (NMH), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), how they are diagnosed, triggers, symptoms and some simple self-help measures.

Learn More

November 2020


It is common that people with ME/CFS/FM experience issues related to food and digestion. Cephalic Phase Digestive Response (CDPR) is explored as a potential option to help increase optimal digestive response.

Naturopath Malcolm Whitaker shares his suggestions on how to best support your body nutritionally and offers some insightful tips.

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December 2020


People with ME/CFS/FM experience many frustrations in their relationships, including loss, feeling misunderstood and unreliable, guilt, isolation and fears of dependency and abandonment.

We cover some strategies that may help these issues and improve your relationships.

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