Does emotion influence our health more subtly than we realise?











Dr Pamela Mills (BA Hons, DClinPsy)

Clinical Psychologist and Mickel Therapist


Mickel Therapy practitioner training





On M.E awareness week, I feel so much for anyone out there, currently experiencing M.E, CFS, fibromyalgia, etc.  I know all too well how awful it can be, as I was once there myself.  Having CFS (the term I was diagnosed by) is by far, the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through.  And yet, I feel so, so incredibly fortunate that firstly, I didn’t get any worse than I was and secondly, that I found a way back to health.

A process

When I look back now on the two plus years I was unwell, I can see I went through a process.  The first part of this process was lengthy medical investigation, and not knowing what was wrong with me.  Then there was a gradual awareness that I was being given a post-viral fatigue/CFS diagnosis, which I found extremely difficult, as I knew there was no known ‘cure’.  I tried any treatment I could think of in the hope of getting well.  Then there was the fact that I worked in healthcare and knew of what is called ‘the mind-body connection’ – the fact that mind and body are so interrelated you cannot really separate the two. I therefore was also going through the process of wondering – could there possibly be anything going on emotionally that could be contributing to my ill health?  I found this a terrifying thought.  I considered myself to be happy – life was generally good: I had a loving, supportive partner, fantastic family and friends, a job I loved, all my studying was behind me… So how could any of this be affecting my health, especially to the extent of experiencing such awful, debilitating symptoms?  It didn’t make sense, and so I discounted this idea again for a while.  I then came across a book of CFS recovery stories by Alexandra Barton.  It is through this book that I learned of Mickel Therapy.

What Mickel Therapy helped me to see

I embarked on Mickel Therapy two years after my initial ill-health and I was blown away by its effectiveness.  Mickel Therapy made me realise how subtle emotion can be – and how much I was either ‘missing’ the emotions I was experiencing or not acting upon them in a way that best met my needs.  I realised there was quite a lot about my personality that had led to this occurring.  I was very driven and hard working. Interpersonally, I had always been easy going, and would typically avoid conflict with others. If something bothered me, I’d usually let it go (or complain about it to someone else! – not the most constructive!) I give these as personal examples, but I know I’m not unique.  In our society we are not taught how important emotions are.  If you look at young infants, they freely express all emotions they feel spontaneously –which leads to them having their needs met.  But as cognitive development advances, we begin to learn to suppress our emotions – dampening them down, either consciously or unconsciously.  In our culture we also often think about what we should do in life, rather than tuning in to how we feel about things.  It is only through Mickel Therapy that I realised the extent to which any of this could be detrimental to health.

What Mickel Therapy is

Mickel Therapy is a talking therapy, developed by Scottish GP, Dr David Mickel, in the 1990s. The therapy teaches you how to tune in to subtler emotion and act upon it in a way which best meets your needs.  Remarkably, when you do this, over time, your energy increases and symptoms start to reduce, until they go completely.  It is, at first, a very new way of thinking and yet remarkable in its effectiveness.  It made a huge difference to me personally – I regained my health.  Professionally, I was so impressed, I trained in the therapy myself.  It still continues to amaze me, how effective it can be in turning symptoms around.

So, does emotion influence our health more subtly than we realise?

My experience of ill-health and Mickel Therapy has shown me that yes – emotion does influence our health much more subtly than we realise.  The idea that ‘stress’ can influence our health is quite well established (for example, through studies into heart disease, etc).  What has amazed me, however, is that everyday emotions and the degree to which we do/do not act on these effectively can play a role here too.  On regaining my own health, and witnessing it occurring for clients, I feel obligated to share this with others.  Our hope within Mickel Therapy is that the therapy can soon be formally evaluated in a clinical trial, in order for an evidence base to be determined – in addition to the countless reports attesting to its effectiveness with these conditions.

In the meantime, I write this for anyone out there who, like I was, is searching for a sign of something that may help.  For me, Mickel Therapy was just the thing.  I hope you find your answer also.

Dr Pamela Mills (BA Hons, DClinPsy)

Clinical Psychologist and Mickel Therapist

ME awareness

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2 Responses to Does emotion influence our health more subtly than we realise?

  1. Angela Wilson says:

    Thank you Pamela, what an inspiring story.

  2. Fiona Watson says:

    Thank you Pamela. A very honest and inspiring account.

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