Tag Archives: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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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Here and Now

Here and Now

anita

by Anita Nolan

Mickel Therapy came to my notice through a newspaper article read by chance by my husband several years ago.  I had already been suffering from ME for 10 years – initially too exhausted to take more than a few steps, too tired to hold a conversation, too unwell to attend my 87 year old mother’s second wedding!  Over those years I had tried various alternative therapies with limited success, and at the time of the article I was deeply cynical of any so-called cure.  Since Dr. Mickel was a GP in the town where I had been brought up, however, this personal connection persuaded  me to read his book and eventually to start therapy.

This case of serendipity and that decision were life-changing.  The therapy made me well.  Seven years on I am still well, continuing to use the tools MT taught me, and now teaching these tools as a practitioner to others.

And so I constantly sing the praises of this simple effective therapy.  What strikes me above all is the ‘here and now’ element within it.   In my own case the two probable main contributors to my illness –  i.e persisting in the wrong career and suppressing a close family issue –  had both passed into history long before I started MT.  Yet I was still ill, and it was only by learning to deal with all emotion correctly on a day-to-day basis from that point onwards that good health returned.

MT therefore deals with life in the present, and the present as it will be in the future.  No matter how much emotional energy has been blocked in events long gone, the therapy, by dealing with the here and now, releases that energy and allows the body to do what it constantly strives to do – bring itself back to health.

Anita Nolan

anita.nolan@mickeltherapy.com

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Payback’s a bitch! by Saul Levitt

Payback’s a bitch!

Saul-Levitt

by Saul Levitt

 

6 years a slave to CFS

During my 6 years of struggling with CFS through university, 3 jobs and 3 home moves, one of the things that always seemed strange to me, was that I could be exhausted, have aches and pains and other horrendous symptoms but if I did something I enjoyed like seeing a friend or painting a picture or even if I made it on holiday, for the most part, I felt a lot better and energised for it.

Payback’s a bitch

What I did find though was soon after doing one of these fun activities or coming back from holiday, I would get payback. The fatigue, aches, sound sensitivity and other symptoms would rapidly return.

I would just think to myself “Paybacks a bitch…I’ve had some fun, now my body is paying me back for overdoing it.”

How wrong could I be!

Taking things into my own hands

In 2005, I’d had enough of the illness and was unhappy in my marketing job in London and felt it was time for a change…a big change. So I packed up my flat and decided to take a year out in Australia.

I was no longer the meticulous planner I’d always been. I left with no itinerary and no plan for my year-long trip, just a friends place to stay and the idea of a fresh start.

The more time I spent in Aus, the better I seemed to feel. I would manage to go for a run or surf or see my new friends and wasn’t getting the payback I was expecting.

I was still left with a raft of symptoms from intolerances to muscle pains though.

Discovering Mickel Therapy from someone back in the UK, it all seemed to click for me and a month later I found myself in New Zealand, training to be a Mickel Therapist!

Rapidly I found my remaining symptoms go and understood why I’d been making good progress through things I’d already put in place like self-care and setting boundaries.

No payback!

One of the most important things I learned as a Mickel Therapist, was that the body doesn’t pay us back with symptoms for doing things we enjoy.

“Ah”, I hear you say, “but then why do I get symptoms after the fun stuff?”

The simple answer is that the body wants more… more fun, more variety, not our same old routine. If it sees us do something fun, it just wants more!

Obviously in Mickel Therapy there is more to it and we need to address any other negative emotions including any lack of fulfilment and boredom, but the great thing is not having to pace myself as long as I rest when I get a regular healthy tiredness.

Not so long ago I did a 65 mile charity bike ride and you guested it… no payback!

Saul Levitt is an Advanced Mickel Therapy Practitioner and trainer, working with clients worldwide including the UK, U.S, Sweden, Australia & Germany.

Thank you to my client Wendy for inspiring me to write this!

 

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What has changed since starting Mickel Therapy?

AIB

by Angela Irving-Brown

When I first heard about Mickel Therapy I was cynical to say the least. I had tried so many supposed treatments, none of which had done more than offer brief periods of respite, at best. I was at the stage of trying to accept the way life had turned out for me and move on. I was getting used to not being able to do things with my son. It was his reality about his mum too. I was trying to get my head round having to work only occasionally and then suffer for days afterwards. I was having to appreciate that, although my relationship had changed beyond all belief, I was still loved, no matter how dependent I was. The falling out when things got too much for either of us was just a part of life.

Luckily, I have a very tenacious partner, called Amanda. She was not willing to give up on the possibility of a solution or a cure. Research was what she did. God bless Google!! (Other search engines are obviously available)

It was her uncompromising determination that there must be more that could be done to help with Fibromyalgia that led her to Mickel Therapy. I had long since subscribed to the UK Fibromyalgia magazine, although the thought of opening it to see more depressing stories about other people’s suffering meant that it went straight to Amanda’s desk. In one of these magazines she saw a small advert for Mickel Therapy. She had already got as far as seeing Fibromyalgia as a problem with the HPA axis so this new type of therapy seemed to make sense. I was having none of it. I was fed up with throwing money after money to just get worse. She bought the book and read it. Then gave it to me to read, like any of that was going to go in with the joys of brain fog!

After much nagging, which she is very good at, and emotional blackmail (again a well-honed skill of hers) I agreed to contact this Mickel Therapist in Warrington. What harm could an hour out of my life do to keep my lovely partner happy? At least I could say I tried. So off I went.

I don’t recall much of the first session but I do know I walked in on two walking sticks feeling lots of pain and brain fog, as well as drug induced confusion from all the medication I was taking. I do know that after that session I reduced my walking support to one crutch. Session two, again a blur, was a week later. After that one I stopped using crutches at all. Did my therapist notice during the next session that I had two free hands? Did she heck! She was totally oblivious.

Over the next few months I found I had energy, I was awake most of the day, I was even doing this strange thing called sleeping when I was in bed. I hadn’t managed that for years. I could start to think about things without getting confused and began to increase my work load. I could go out and walk the dogs. I could even drive a decent distance without excessive pain or tiredness. I was beginning to get back to me.

By completing Mickel Therapy I have regained my life. I am now a happy mum who is able to run around with my son, although at 14 he is a tad fitter than me. I can pan to do things every day of the week without having to have days off, although I DO NOT go to work every day as that would have a major setback in my health. I have even managed to get through major building works on my home without completely relapsing, although it was very trying and required good use of the Mickel Therapy tools I had learnt.

I now know how to read my body and also how to listen to my body. I still have to take pain killers but that is not for Fibro pain, it is for the pain caused by my car accident which started this whole process. I can’t look upon it as a negative as I have gone on to become a Mickel Therapist and hope that I can help someone else find the relief that I have found from Mickel Therapy. As the research base grows and the understanding of the human body continues I believe that the skills we teach in Mickel Therapy will become the norm and, over time, conditions like Fibromyalgia will be all but eradicated. We all need to work hard to get the message out there that our bodies are clever enough to tell us how to be well, we just need to learn to listen to them and take heed of them.

For further information contact Angela at angela.irving-brown(@)mickeltherapy.com or check out www.mickeltherapy.com

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