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The Great Mistake: renaming Chronic Fatigue to Systemic Exertion Intolerance

ME CFS Awareness








Recently there has been a move in the U.S to rename Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also referred to as M.E to instead be called Systemic Exertion Intolerance.

As someone that suffered with the condition for over 6 years, neither term makes sense to me.

I always felt that ‘Fatigue’ was a poor way to describe the mind crushing exhaustion I felt. Tests have shown the lactic acid in the body of sufferers to be that of marathon runners. Also the term ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ misses out the multitude of other symptoms sufferers may experience including cognitive impairment and severe muscle pain. Plus I never really wanted to have a syndrome!

The Good

So to ‘Systemic Exertion Intolerance’….well, I welcome the fact that this illness is being talked about when so often it hasn’t been recognised or properly understood. I guess that’s progress.

The Bad

‘Systemic’ it certainly is as it can affect the entire body, but ‘Exertion Intolerance’ it isn’t. One of the things that was pivotal in my recovery from this horrendous condition was casting aside the ideas around pacing and graded exercise that are so unhelpful.

I always thought being in tune with my body meant resting when I was tired and then using the little energy I had left to do chores or other things.

The thing is, this is where the body can confuse us. Yes, it wants us to rest, but only when we get a regular type of tiredness.

The ‘Fatigue’ with this condition is not for the most part regular or healthy. So what I started to learn that instead, my body wanted me to do fun and fulfilling activities to address underlying messages it was sending around boredom and lack of fulfilment, this gave me energy rather than taking it away.

In fact, when I started following a comprehensive programme I was able to show my body that it had things to look forward to, I no longer got symptoms in the morning or after physical activity – something I’d always viewed as payback. That just wasn’t the case. My body was just saying ‘Hey, I really enjoyed that activity…what is coming next’ and if it couldn’t see anything fun or different, BAM…more symptoms.

Of course this can’t all be done in isolation. There will be other underlying messages the body is sending which need to be dealt with but you start to see why ‘Exertion Intolerance’ is just nonsense.

The Ugly Labels

So this M.E / CFS Awareness Day, let’s cast off the stigma of the illness but also take back some empowerment that we can change our fate and be well and not defined by some silly label.

Saul Levitt, Mickel Therapist

Saul Levitt is a senior Mickel Therapy practitioner, trainer and owner of Intuitive Health. Since recovering from CFS he has completed a 60 mile bike ride, travelled, had two children and holds down 2 jobs!

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Pamela’s story

t1My advice for anyone out there suffering from Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome, CFS (or indeed any energy disorder!) thinking about trying Mickel Therapy is – do it!!  I am so glad I did. In a few short months my life has totally changed.

I’ve gone from experiencing debilitating symptoms daily, being unable to work, to virtually no symptoms whatsoever (I still can hardly believe I’m writing this!) – all because of learning about and using the Mickel Therapy tools. My therapist Leisa Zakeri was really easy to talk to and after 7 sessions over 6 months, I now know how to remain well.

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I wish I had known about Mickel Therapy years ago…..

After many years of poor health, I was finally diagnosed with ME/Fibromyalgia.  I had tried every treatment possible to improve my symptoms – nutrition advice, acupuncture, stress reduction techniques, herbs, minerals, hair testing, metal allergy testing…the list is endless!

I heard about Mickel Therapy through a friend.  I was very reluctant to try out yet another therapy, from a different school of thought.  I had  already invested so much money, with little improvement to my health.  My expectations were now low, to protect me from further disappointment.

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You begin to wonder why you haven’t been doing it all your life.

I am a 45 year old female who has suffered with a lot of minor ailments that made life uncomfortable to say the least. After bringing up 3 children, I suffered from depression brought on by what I thought was burnout. I have been taking medication for this for over 20 years, on and off. A couple of friends told me about Mickel Therapy and my sister actually met Fiona Watson and recommended her to me. The therapy itself is so simple, you begin to wonder why you haven’t been doing it all your life. But at the same time, it is difficult to put into practice. The back up of the therapist is crucial. Every time, I came to Fiona with an issue, she knew exactly what I was talking about and knew the next step. Even if I felt I was going backwards or more issues arose, it actually meant I was going forward. I have now learnt that it is okay to be good to myself instead of thinking I should be all things to all people. I actually say No now. It has made a tough situation much easier to deal with.

Nothing has changed except me! My frequent headaches which rendered me unable to do anything are a thing of the past and now if I get one at all I am able to deal with it better. My medication has been lowered and I am in a much happier place. During the therapy I was diagnosed by my doctor as having osteoarthritis. I have been able to pace myself properly and without medication, been able to minimise the discomfort. I would recommend this therapy to everyone. But particularly any who are suffering from depression, joint pain, headaches, fatigue. All of which I suffered from, but now have minimised or disappeared all together.

RS, 2014

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Mickel Therapy has taught me many skills that I know I will use for life

IMG_1154I was diagnosed with severe CFS at 18 years of age. For four and a half years, I suffered many debilitating symptoms associated with this condition. I was housebound, and entirely dependent on my family for support, as the severity of my fatigue left me unable to function. I saw many health professionals and tried a numerous array of alternative therapies-each without a great deal of success. I was then introduced to Mickel Therapy, and since commencing this treatment program sixteen months ago, my life has improved so much for the better.

I would like to share with you my experience of Mickel Therapy, and the positive ways in which it has impacted my life, in the hope that you too may find it helpful in your recovery.

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I just wish I could tell everyone with M E/ Chronic Fatigue there is a cure

j and b pic testimonialAs a result of Mickel therapy I have my life back. I could never have done this without my Mickel Therapist Catherine Wray.

My story started with what my GP said was only a virus. I struggled on for 4 months thinking it’s only a virus; I will soon get over it. On 14.2.13 I could no longer continue to work. I had such joint pain and fatigue. I contacted my private health care, who did lots of tests. They stated I did have a kidney infection and bacteria in my stomach called H pylori.

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New year resolution – explore alternative treatment for my CFS!

On January 1st 2014 I contacted the Mickel therapy office. By mid January I had my first consultation with my Mickel therapist. To my amazement I found that after this 1 hour session – most of which was spent listening carefully – I experienced a significant health improvement. To my astonishment, this improvement has proven to be sustained.

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Mickel Therapy – My positive experience


My positive experience.

I have suffered from panic attacks from childhood and never really understood why I had them or how I could overcome them. Then a friend recommended Mickel Therapy.
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