Following a head injury as an 18 year old, I spent 11 years on an invalid benefit with chronic fatigue and pain.

I lay on the couch all morning and slept every afternoon from 3-6pm. I could barely walk up one flight of stairs, and wore a neck brace for six of the 11 years. I was assessed as 54% impaired by ACC and my cortisol levels were triple the normal healthy rate.

I was so scared that I would never recover and so sad for all the experiences I was missing out on in my 20s. I felt total despair when I was told by a chronic fatigue specialist that there was no cure, and I would have to “manage my symptoms” for the rest of my life.

But suddenly,

 aged 29, 

I made a full recovery!

I attended a three day mind-body course based on NLP (neuro-linguistic programming).
From the first day of the course, I stopped having afternoon sleeps.
A week later, I danced till 4 am.
Another week later, I knew I was all better!

The answer lay not in a magic pill
but in using my own mind to calm my body’s stress response and allow my body to heal itself.


I used to say
“If I ever get well, I will help others do the same”.

And that is exactly what I have done.

I have helped over 3000 people achieve remarkable results from a wide range of health conditions over the last ten years with over 80% of them reporting success during follow-ups and feedback forms in the year following their course.

I am also passionate about extending awareness of mind-body health to the medical community. I regularly present at the National GPCME Conference and was voted Best Speaker two years in a row (out of 200 speakers). The Switch is also included as a resource for medical students at the University of Otago Medical School to help students explore what mind-body therapies have to offer.  Dr Hamish Wilson, Associate Professor at Otago Medical School, has recorded a statement and an interview about his perceptions of how The Switch is in alignment with modern neuroscience understandings of chronic illness. These movies are shown below this paragraph.

I have a BSc in Psychology (Auckland) and am an NLP Master Practitioner (London). I was President of the NZ Association of NLP from 2018-2021

Dr Hamish Wilson (Otago Medical School) shares opinion

The 7 minute speech version
The 40 minute interview version


The Switch is the main programme that I offer.

In brief, it is a holistic approach to wellness – calming the stress response to allow natural healing, changing thoughts and beliefs that maintain illness, releasing past trauma that may have caused illness in the first place, and making healthy lifestyle choices. Learn more about The Switch here.

 I love hearing my clients tell me:



I am a high energy trainer with lots of positivity. I give a lot of encouragement (one client commented that he “enjoyed my over-use of superlatives”). I am also a firm trainer who challenges people directly if they are doing patterns that are sabotaging their recovery (not always my most popular trait, though usually appreciated in the long run). I am a careful observer of client’s body language, so that I can see when people have had a breakthrough and when they need more coaching and challenging. Having worked with so many clients, I have become a lot more intuitive at picking up underlying patterns that are the cause of each client’s illness.

The Breakfast Show

Here is a video from one of my TV interviews on Breakfast, talking about my recovery and the principles of my work.

Share my anniversary celebrations with me!

5 year anniversary
My mum's message to other mums of ill children
15 year anniversary
Illness journal readings plus recovery goals


Warm Regards

Mel Abbott

Founder of Empower Therapies
and creator of “The Switch”

Certified NLP Master Practitioner
BSc (Psych), Dip.Clin.Hyp NLP Coach


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