“Having suffered from CFS/ME for a whole decade, I well understand the completely debilitating effects of living with unrelenting exhaustion and pain, and constantly fearing that I may never recover. Thankfully, I made a full recovery in just two weeks by doing a mind-body course in 2008 and I have been healthy and energised ever since. My own recovery story can be found on the About Mel Abbott page. It is now my passion to help other people to recover.
CFS is my largest client group, making up over a third of my client base. Around 80 – 90% of them get rid of all or most of their symptoms, resume normal exercise, work life and social life. They ranged from totally bedbound to mild fatigue, from four months to 40 years of illness and age ranges from 10 to 78 years old.
Are we saying that CFS is all in the mind? Absolutely not!
CFS is a very real, physical condition but my experience has been that you cannot separate mind and body – both are having an impact. If you change mind patterns and calm the physical stress response in the body, this can allow the body to activate its own healing and can help to resolve CFS and other physical conditions.
WHAT CAUSES CFS?
The medical profession has yet to conclude what causes CFS. They have been searching for a virus in an attempt to find a one-size-fits-all answer to this syndrome. I don’t think there is one cause of CFS. I have observed that people develop CFS from many different causes. CFS can develop after glandular fever or a bad case of flu, a physical injury, an emotional trauma such as a divorce, bereavement or abuse experience, burnout from highly successful careers, the Type A personality effect (motivated, ambitious, driven, intelligent, perfectionist) or following other medical treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery. With such a wide range of origins, it is very unlikely that one common virus could be found.
What is common to all these people
is that their experience put their body into a stress response.
It is my belief that this is the true cause of CFS.
When people experience a stress response for a significant period of time, it drains all their organs because it is so demanding on the body to be in a constant state of flight or fight. This can reach a tipping point where the body becomes too exhausted to repair itself. Helping clients to calm their body out of the stress response allows their body to heal naturally.
HOW CAN EMPOWER THERAPIES HELP?
The Switch will teach you how to switch off the stress response, which will allow your body to start healing naturally. You will also learn how to recognise thinking patterns and behaviour patterns that are contributing to fatigue, plus techniques to change these. You will resolve any deeper emotional issues from the past that might also be contributing to you remaining sick. You will also learn how to make lifestyle changes to promote wellbeing.
If you don’t feel quite ready to jump into a four-day course, you might like to start with our webinar series, which gives an overview of mind-body health, the role of stress and thinking patterns, and some basic techniques to start using on yourself. This webinar is a general approach, rather than being specifically about chronic fatigue. For some people, it’s enough on its own, and for others, it is their inspiration and lead-in to doing the full Switch programme.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOURSELF?
1. Get your hope back about recovery being possible by watching some of the movies on this website. Just knowing that there is an answer to chronic fatigue can help people to relax and calm their stress response and get a bit of a lift in energy levels.
2. Start actively reducing your stress response by doing things like meditation, breathing exercises, and activities that you find particularly relaxing.
3. Every time you catch yourself thinking “I’m tired”, immediately make yourself think about something else instead. If you re-route your brain often enough, you can start creating changes to those faulty neural pathways.
4. People with CFS spend a lot of time lying on the couch and speaking in a flat voice because they are so exhausted. They also fear being more active because of the likelihood of big repercussions afterwards. However, no matter how much you rest, you’re still tired, right? It may seem scary to contemplate, but I have found that my clients can increase their energy by several points on a 10-point scale by doing some simple movements. They have effectively spent a bit of energy but now have more. This means the energy was already available to them (from their food and oxygen) but they were not able to access it when they were not moving at all. I would encourage you to try standing in a triumph pose, cheering or clapping to access some energy. Or try a short walk to find some energy. However, until you have calmed your body out of the stress response and allowed natural healing to take place, it is unwise to do large amounts of exercise. If you are in a totally bedridden stage of ME, you would need to calm the stress response before attempting the suggestions on this page.
If these suggestions fix your CFS – FANTASTIC! If these very simple interventions are not enough for you, that’s OK. We have far more comprehensive techniques and education available at The Switch that will allow you to make bigger transformations.
Em attended The Switch for a huge range of health problems including fatigue, pain, allergies, EoE (Eosinophilic oesophagitis), PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome), CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) and possible endometriosis. She filmed herself each day of the course and shares…
Clair developed MCS after exposure to paint fumes every day for a month during a school art project. Her symptoms were so severe that she had to quit school and do Northern Health school from home instead. She was often…
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Disclaimer: We are not medically trained and therefore did not diagnose these clients ourselves. We rely on client information about their diagnosis from their health professionals and we recommend clients to return to their doctors after our treatment to confirm that they no longer have their condition and to be advised about safe weaning from their medication. We cannot guarantee results, as every individual is different, however, over 80% of our chronic fatigue clients have reported excellent results, and we have followed them up for a year to confirm that they are maintaining their positive changes.