If people are recovering so fast,
am I saying that long-COVID is all in the mind?

Absolutely no!

Long-COVID is a very real, physical condition. It shares a lot of the same symptoms as ME/CFS (brain fog, fatigue, post-exertional malaise, muscle weakness etc which are also real and physical) and also has added symptoms of breathlessness, racing and erratic heart, lung damage that is visible on scans and additional neurological damage. This is obviously real physical illness and is not all in the mind. 

Here is where some of the confusion lies.  If I am teaching mind-body techniques, does that imply it’s all in the mind.  Not at all!  The effects of a severe stress response in the body have been documented since the 1930s and include symptoms such as immune malfunction, inflammation, hormone imbalance, over-stimulation of the heart and lungs, restless leg syndrome, digestive problems, cognitive functioning issues, reproductive issues and neurological malfunctions. This is not just about “being stressed”.  It is a physical state in the body with massive overload in the sympathetic nervous system and the HPA axis that can lead to a huge range of health problems. When the body is guided out of the stress response, it allows the body to reactivate its innate healing properties and a myriad of health benefits can occur with healing happening at a physical level.

What does the research shows us about how this relates to long-COVID?    

An article published by the Oxford Immunology Group states:

“Psychosocial factors are also very important in regulating our immune activation and the response to SARS-CoV-2. Two of the main biological systems involved in the stress response, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis or the autonomic nervous system, are also key in the regulation of our immune response. Therefore, strategies tackling our levels of stress and/or the stress response, including psychosocial intervention, physical exercise or potentially dietary interventions, could be also useful in counteracting some of the negative effects of chronic inflammation.”


Long-COVID is a very new condition with much still unknown about its treatment. However, early results are looking very exciting at Empower Therapies. As of October 2023, 27 clients have come to me for long-COVID treatment and there has only been one client who has not experienced any improvement.  Most have had dramatic improvements and many have reported that they no longer have any symptoms, have returned to full-time work and can exercise as much as they want. These people have reported to me that they no longer have long-COVID and have been counted as a full recovery. For the ones who are not quite there yet, it is their own self-reports on percentage of recovery that is included in this table.

 Recovery rates reported by long-COVID clients:
16 – full recovery!
3 – at least 90% improvement
3 – 70-80% improvement
3 – 40% improvement
1 – no improvement
0 – got worse
1 – unknown, though reported improvements at the course

Five of these clients were so bad that they were hospitalised many times, were wheelchair bound and could not think clearly enough to do simple tasks like tie their shoe laces. Another was housebound and required assistance to walk from her bed to the toilet.   No matter how serious their illness, significant improvements or full resolution of symptoms have been experienced by almost all of these clients.

Recovery times of the 16 people who are  100% better:
1 – Next Steps Webinar
4 – within the four days of The Switch course
3 –  1 week after The Switch
1 – 2 weeks after The Switch
6 – 1 month after The Switch
1 – 3 months after The Switch

I realise this is a very small sample size without formal research, so no big conclusions can be drawn, but it is looking highly promising as a fast and effective treatment for many who experience long-COVID.

Infographic from Clinical Immunology, Vol 245


Long-COVID is a very new illness and there are many different theories in the research. 

Here is an infographic from the the Clinical Immunology Journal showing the role of stress in long-COVID. My work is very much in alignment with this principle that a severe stress response in the body (at a physical level) is responsible for why people stay sick after an initial experience such as a virus.

Among the clients that I have seen so far for long-COVID,  they all had a significant stressful event or long term background stress prior to catching COVID so it is likely that their stress response was already quite activated. Catching COVID was the final tipping point where their stress response became so strong that it was causing severe depletion of body systems such as immune, digestive, neurological and hormonal, while over-stimulating organs such as heart/lungs and causing inflammation.


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 or you are not yet well enough to manage course attendance, 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 long-COVID. 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. This can be watched in short chunks if you are too unwell to watch for two hours in a row.  Some people who have a severely low starting point (eg, bed bound or house bound) need to do a few ten minute zoom sessions with me to get some improvements happening in order to be able to cope with any sort of course. 



1. Preliminary research shows that it is important to get enough rest in the early days of your recovery.  When you feel tired, rest.  Don’t push yourself to do exercise before you are ready. When you do feel like exercising only do gentle exercise with slow gradual increases. This step is applicable for the first 2-4 months after your COVID illness.

2. 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 long-COVID can help people to relax and calm their stress response and get a bit of a lift in energy levels.

3. Start actively reducing your stress response by doing things like meditation, breathing exercises and activities that you find particularly relaxing.


4. Watch the Next Steps to Recovery 2-hour webinar for some techniques for calming your body, changing your body language to create health improvements and catching faulty thinking patterns.

5. If you are still feeling unwell after about 4 months you are likely to have slipped into the chronic illness zone rather than the acute zone. This is where it is now a good idea to look into attending the full four-day Switch programme to rewire your brain and body back into wellness.



Lee initially went to her GP in October 2023 feeling exhausted all the time, falling asleep driving and feeling like she had muscle problems because she got sprains and strains too easily. She said to her doctor that she needed…

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…

All Switch clients do three group follow-up calls where they share their progress since the course and ask me questions on things they need further help with.  Here is a group of clients sharing about their progress since The Switch.

Heather shares her story of being well for ten years since she came to Empower Therapies with CFS.  She also talks about how several family members have also come to me with excellent results.

A client saw me for chronic fatigue syndrome (stemming from a concussion) and post-natal anxiety.  She said in her application form "I am still having ‘shut downs’ where all of a sudden I can’t handle any more stimulus or information…

Hayley emailed me recently, delighted to be celebrating her 10 year anniversary of wellness and thanking me profusely for my help.  She said I could share her story as an example of how long-lasting the changes really are from attending…

Annabelle caught COVID in NZ in March 2022 and then developed long-COVID. This became progressively worse until she had to leave University, return to live with her parents and even required assistance to walk across the room or have a…

Kezia caught COVID in the UK and was in hospital, breathless and fearing her death when she heard that her uncle had just died of COVID. She pulled through but was so ill with long-COVID that she had to return…

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…

Brendan has had adrenal fatigue since 2008, which became so bad that he has not been able to work at all for two years and said that even walking to his letterbox had become a huge struggle. Here is his…


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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 clients have reported excellent results, and we have followed them up for a year to confirm that they are maintaining their positive changes. Long-COVID is a very new illness so we do not yet have lots of data. However, all our long-COVID clients have recovered so far. Two have now reached the two year mark and are both still fully healthy. 26 out of 27 long-COVID clients so far have experienced significant improvements and many are reporting full health.

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