My New Lease Of Life
By Leah Seator
Following a ten-year battle with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Evie’s Pamela Scott is bed-bound no more, after finding a “miracle cure” she says has given her a second chance at life.
Pamela spent six months in Elgin receiving a new treatment called Mickel Therapy, and made a full recovery. She now hopes to help other Orcadians who suffer from ME and other somatic conditions, and has taken training so that she can offer the same treatment in Orkney, and in Caithness for the first time.
Primary teacher Pamela, now 33, first began to suffer from ME in 1992, when she was just 21, and experienced symptoms for about six years. She began to recover in 1998, but in 2002, the condition struck with a vengeance.
She explained: “When I was struck down with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) for the second time, my whole world crumbled. I was unable to look after my, then ten-month old toddler and my husband, Allan. I had to give up my job as a primary teacher, and I looked on forlornly as my social life and hobbies ground to a halt.
“A year later I had succumbed to it, and spent all my time in bed. At my worst, I only had energy for trips to the bathroom, and my husband had to wash, dry and dress me. I felt as if something had sucked my life force away completely. The constant tiredness, severe joint pains, persistent headaches, muscle pain and brain fog turned life into a nightmare. Sometimes I felt it was too much effort even to breathe.”
“I had been ill previously in the 1990s, but it was nothing compared to this time around. I now understand that it had never fully gone away during those four years when I had felt well. It had been lurking around the corner, waiting for any opportunity to inflict itself again.”
But Pamela didn’t just bow down to her illness, trying every kind of treatment that she could get her hands on. “In desperation, I tried any treatment which was going. You name it, I tried it. Reiki, reflexology, massage, supplements and even a man who called himself an ME specialist.”
It was after reading an article in a newspaper in April 2003, that Pamela began to see light at the end of the tunnel.
“By the time I came across an article in the Sunday Post, about a new treatment called Mickel Therapy (formerly called Reverse Therapy) in Elgin, I was at rock bottom. I was barely fit to travel, but with support from my family, I got to Elgin for my first treatment in May. After four treatments I began to notice a difference. I began to do little day-to-day things which we could all take for granted; read a story to my son, lift the kettle, turn the shower on and actually stand in it!”
The treatment which Pamela undertook in Elgin involved her having one-hour consultations with the founder of the treatment, Dr David Mickel. There were no drugs or supplements involved, or any change of diet.
Described as ‘talking treatment’, Mickel Therapy “gets to the root of the problem,” according to Pamela, unlike alternative therapies which may only help symptoms in the short term.
It is thought that the symptoms of CFS, ME and fibromyalgia are caused by a dysfunctional hypothalamus gland.
Pamela explained: “It has gone into overdrive, and this has a knock-on effect on the autonomic nervous, endocrine and immune systems – hence the diverse range of physical symptoms experienced by sufferers.
“It is important to understand that these symptoms are real and not all in the mind as sufferers are led to believe by doctors who cannot find any physical proof that anything is wrong.”
The therapists work with clients to stop the symptoms occurring. The underpinning premise of the treatment is that all symptoms serve a purpose in the context within which they appear.
Pamela said: “If we are able to understand that purpose, then we are able to take action that enable the symptoms to go away. This is a shift from the current medical model which views symptoms as uncomfortable and unhelpful, and works to eliminate them rather than understand them.”
Having improved after just four treatments, Pamela continued with the therapy, and soon grabbed life with both hands. She felt she had fully recovered by Christmas, 2003.
She said: “I continued with regular trips to Elgin and each time came home a little better. After eight months, I had returned to full health, and had to pinch myself. Life is a gift and I was being given another chance. I went back to teaching, started swimming regularly again, went to Body Balance classes at Picky, braved the gym for the first time, and even took up running last summer, all with no ill effects.”
“I believe now that this condition was a blessing in disguise. The treatment has been so life-changing that I wanted to be involved in helping others get their lives back.
Having trained with Dr David Mickel, in Edinburgh, who developed this innovative treatment, I am now able to offer Mickel Therapy in Orkney and Caithness.”
“It is possible to effectively treat clients with a range of somatic symptoms, including chronic fatigue syndrome, ME, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome as well as the conditions of anxiety and depression.”
“There are now 20 or so Mickel Therapists offering treatment in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the Netherlands, and following initial trials, the therapy has now treated over 250 sufferers.”
Pamela knows of other patients from Orkney who, until now, have travelled to Elgin for the treatment, as it was the nearest clinic. She is currently looking for premises to set up her own clinic, and hopes to treat sufferers from Caithness.
Feeling optimistic about her new lease of life, Pamela said: “I am looking for premises in Kirkwall, and I’m hoping to set it all up properly in July.”