Category Archives: Blog

A couple of years later! – A fantastic voyage


By Angela Irving-Brown

Mickel Therapy Practitioner

angela Irving Brown


Mickel Therapy practitioner training

When I go out and promote Mickel Therapy, as a Mickel Therapist, it is often difficult for people to see where I have come from. Nowadays I look so fit and healthy. I take the dogs out for miles at a time. I get up by 7.30 most days, even at the weekend, and stay up all day long. I have zero nana naps. I am able to meet up with friends and go and visit family. One huge difference is the ability to drive long distances. I am the only member of my immediate family to drive so we were very restricted in where we were able to go when I was ill.


Imagine the scenario – We look at something that we want to go to. It is three weeks away, at a weekend and there are a few quiet days either side of it. This shouldn’t be a problem. It is a few hours out, with people I love, not far from home.

After a military like level of organisation of my time, to ensure I am rested and able to drive for 20 minutes, sit for a couple of hours and drive home again, we think we are ready to go. Oh how daft we were!!

On the morning of the event, say a meal out for lunch, I wake up after very broken sleep. I am sore from head to toe. I have a migraine and my joints are seized. Food makes me feel nauseas. Thinking is difficult so it takes a while to figure that I have to be up and dressed by 11.00am. Then it becomes an impossible task. Frustrations rise, both internally and externally, for all of us. The fun wanes to hating the whole idea. The pain increases and my abilities decline even further.

brain fog

The day ends up a write off and I feel extreme guilt for ruining yet another day for us all.

This was in no way a single time event. It was the same process in a different light every day.

Then I found Mickel Therapy! It was a bit like finding God, but I found me instead. I began to see the value of me and the fact that I could take control of how I respond. I found myself!

Nowadays life is completely different. I get up and do stuff. EVERYDAY! I have no time in bed in the day. I feel rested after I sleep. Am I cured? NO. Am I in control of my body? Most definitely. My body still tells me that I am not paying attention to things by giving me symptoms, but the difference is I can deal with them. I can look at what I need to change and change it straight away to alleviate the symptoms. If someone upsets me I tell them. If someone crosses a boundary I reinforce it. If I get body bored at the computer I move away. This allows me to be in control of how my body feels.

listen to your emotions

Just last weekend I drove for 2.5 hours to get to Wales and go on three zip wires. Then drove home, via Preston to drop off my son’s friend, stopping on the way for a lovely meal. Got home some 12 hours after leaving and still felt human. How is this possible? The following day I was fine.

I honestly never thought I would get to do these things again. But I could do this every week. My next adventure is to complete the via ferrata at Honister in Cumbria. This is an outdoor adventure using a series of metal cables, rungs, ladders and bridges to ascend and descend tremendous and precipitous climbing routes and paths up the outside of Honister slate mines. I managed the Infinity Bridge last year and that gave me the bug.

So, how has Mickel Therapy changed things for me?

who am I

The very fact that I am able to be me again, and do the things I want to do on any given day is great. That is the greatest thing I have gained, ME!

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It’s all In Your Mind – Isn’t It?


By Kyle Davies

all in the miind


Co-Developer  & Director of Mickel Therapy 2003 -2011

Mickel Therapy practitioner training


In conversation with a sufferer of M.E. and Fibromyalgia earlier this week, I was asked a series of questions that I think are common in the minds of sufferers looking for a way out…


“But how is this going to help me, how can you help me, you’re a psychologist; are you saying this is all in my mind? If there was an answer to my CFS and Fibro, don’t you think my doctor would have told me? I’m so debilitated, I’m lost in these symptoms, I just can’t see a way forward”.


So what are the answers to these questions, and what do both the questions and answers reveal about the road to recovery? Let’s look at the issues and how they can help you move forward.


1) Is It All in the Mind?


body and mind The mind and body are intimately connected, so the notion of ‘all in the mind’ is simply an antiquated idea. Science tells us that we that we have neurons and receptors in our heart and our digestive system, so there is a complex flow of intelligent activity that takes place throughout the body and brain. This alone supports the idea that we are one undulating and flowing system, not two separate entities of mind and body.


something new The first important step towards recovery is opening up to a new way of seeing symptoms. Rather than believing and embracing a medical mindset of externalizing and ‘pathologizing’ – seeing symptoms as some external enemy that is attacking you, allow yourself to see symptoms as feedback from a mind-body system that is trying desperately to get your attention. They are a process you are going through and one which you can take control of.


symptoms Symptoms of ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia are real and your ability to reverse those symptoms is equally real when you take the right steps.


2) Why Doesn’t My Doctor Have The Answers If They Are Out There?


We are witnessing an epidemic of chronic health conditions in the western world, from cancer and heart disease to autoimmune conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, to depression and anxiety. We can see that conventional medicine is brilliant at treating acute conditions where symptoms need to be managed, but it seems to fall short when it comes to these chronic conditions.


the human body We know more about the workings of the human body that ever in history, we spend more money on healthcare than ever in history, yet we are sicker than ever before. We need a significant shift and expansion in theory and understanding – especially within mainstream healthcare. This is taking place on the fringes where there are many fantastic researchers and practitioners looking to pioneer, push back the boundaries, test and investigate new ways of understanding and viewing health and wellness. These ideas and practices are slowly filtering through, but it takes time. It is these ideas and practices that will become mainstream thinking and practice as we move into the future.


3) My M.E., My Fibro…


who am IOne of the most powerful influencers on our behaviour is our unconscious sense of identity. So we tend to align our words and actions to that sense of identity, even when we know this may not be useful for us. Many sufferers hold their condition as part of their identity, part of who they are, and this can prevent them from taking those first incredibly important steps on the pathway back to health.


There’s a tendency to put one’s life on hold when you suffer from ME and Fibro, but this reinforces one’s identity as a sufferer. Those who have been unwell for significant periods of time can lose all sight of their passions and purposes in life, yet these are vital components to embrace on the journey back to health.

move beyond

Your job as a human being is to experience yourself, to be the full expression of you. Please remember that you are not your ME, you are not your Fibro, these are experiences that you can and will move beyond.


For more details about Kyle Davies and his work with ME/ CFS and Fibromyalgia visit


Very many thanks to Kyle for writing for the Mickel Therapy Blog in this most important week M.E. Awareness Week. Also for his contribution to Mickel Therapy from 2003 -2011



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Emotions and Dis-ease: The Mickel Therapy Explanation

clare caldwell

By Clare Caldwell


Head Practitioner and Head of Training at Mickel Therapy

Mickel Therapy practitioner training

Yesterday’s  ME awareness week blog from Professor Roddy Cowie talked about rational awareness and the separate consciousness of emotions.


teamI think of them as two separate but intelligent parts of our brain, which are meant to work together as a team. The emotional brain centres produce primary emotions to guide us through everything that happens to us each day. The emotion is sent to the thinking brain so we can use this information to guide our actions. Rather like when you have a problem and consult a trusted confidant – two heads are better than one.


We are all rational and emotional beings. Possibly because emotions are less clear, and not as well understood as our thoughts, we have been taught in many ways to suppress our emotions and give them less value.control your emotions

We especially have been taught to downplay and push aside emotions if they feel uncomfortable. It is seen as a strength to be in control of our emotions.


emotions are messagesIt is important that we realise that emotions are there to guide us to be safe and help us to live the best possible life.


A positive emotion from the emotional brain centres mean “carry on”, what you are doing is good for you. Negative emotions from the emotional brain centres alert us that there is something we are doing that is not good for us. They are a call for action and to effect change.


The trouble is we have been taught to be stoic – “…just get on with it”, which lead us away from taking appropriate action in our daily lives.


So if we are doing something that is not good for us and not listening to the emotion that is asking us to make a change, then it makes sense that the body should have another way of grabbing our attention – symptoms of ill health or dis-ease.illness


Primary emotions are there to guide us. If we miss the emotions because we are not used to listening to them, or we don’t take the appropriate action, the body will take action to get our attention – by generating the symptoms of illness.

The emotional brain has a limited way of communicating dis- ease in our lives. It speaks with emotions and shouts to get our attention with symptoms of illness.


overwhelmedThe illness we experience as a result likely depend upon our genetic predisposition. Generally these fall into the categories of ME/CFS/PVFS, IBS Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, although there are many other symptoms and illnesses that can be generated.


listen to your emotionsThe resolution to these debilitating symptoms of illness is to learn to listen to the emotional brain and find appropriate ways to respond to its messages. This way the symptoms of dis-ease are no longer generated and we return to health.


In Mickel Therapy we appreciate everyone we work with is different with unique life experiences, but over the last 15 years of working with many thousands of people, we have seen common themes emerge.

We put together our new understanding of why the body creates dis-ease with these common themes. This enabled us to develop tools for people to use in their daily lives to allow the body to return to health.


In Mickel therapy we focus on the following coaching each client to:-keys to health


–       learn to set boundaries around unfair, ill or thoughtless treatment which can present in many ways in our lives.


–       learn to become more aware of our emotions and practice honest handling and appropriate communication of our emotions


–       become more aware of what our needs are and find our way to meet them at all levels


–       unlearn old unhelpful habits of thought and behaviour regarding emotions and replace them with habits which are more healthy


As a therapist who suffered very debilitating symptoms of ME for a decade and a half I look back and see that like many people I thought it was a strength to be in control of my emotions. I was also making many other unintentional mistakes in response to my emotions, despite being emotionally sensitive and smart.


Despite having worked with a huge amount of people over the last 10 years it still surprises me how “ill” our body will make us feel in order to get our attention.

it really worksIt is an amazing to see people who have struggled with symptoms from anything from a few weeks to several decades return to health.


Screen Shot 2011-12-06 at 14.27.24Thank you to Dr David Mickel for shining a light on something, which once you understand it, makes complete sense, but which until it is explained to you properly is almost impossible to see.


Many thanks

Clare Caldwell




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For M.E. Sufferers – Every Week is M.E. Awareness Week

roddy cowie

By Professor Roddy Cowie




Mickel Therapy practitioner trainingThe conditions called ME and CFS are not rare. Data fromME awareness a respected source suggest that they currently affect 160,000 people in the UK. For them, every week is ME awareness week. For most of them, that will go on for years more. From personal experience, it will be a rare week when they do not have to deal with someone saying, or implying, that it is ‘all in the mind’. Very few of the people who say it will know anything about the condition, or about the relationship between mind and body. mind and body

It takes incredibly sophisticated systems to make human thought and action possible. At least two layers are involved. One is the layer whose workings we experience as thought – call it rational awareness. The other layer comes to the fore in moments that we call emotional, but it is always at work: weighing up the balance of threat and opportunity around us; bringing to mind the things that rational awareness might need to know; managing the groundwork of our relationships to other people; setting our bodies up to work at high pitch, or to relax and enjoy a meal, or to sleep; shaping the way we learn; and if need be, spotting danger and ringing alarm bells.

The second layer sits across the mind-body divide that people often take as read (though it is thoroughly at odds with most genuinely scientific thinking). Its work involves reaching, so to speak, up into conscious awareness, and down into guts and glands, heartrates and hormones.

something is wrongPeople who are diagnosed with ME show multiple signs that something is wrong with that layer. Most obviously, it does not settle back into balance as it should. Where a well-adjusted system would set people in a low-energy state for a while, they may be kept there for months or years; the surge that normally prepares people to wake may go on surging, and drive them to a long-lasting state of shock; muscle fibres tense, and stay tense, until they are viciously painful; the sense of threat, or powerlessness to deal with threat, may build up, and refuse to go; and so on.

emotional awarenessNobody knows the full list, or why these things happen. What does seem clear is that some of the best levers we have involve the relationship between rational awareness and emotion. Whatever causes the imbalances, some ways of thinking about emotional issues can help to reset them.

It may be that when we understand the second layer better, we will find more direct ways to deal with the problems. For now, though, it is crucial that we help people to use the levers that we have, and do not condemn them to long drawn out suffering because what they are going through does not fit a pattern that we can easily make sense of – and even more, that we do not make it worse by convincing ourselves that because we do not understand it, they must be making it up.


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What Shape is a Jelly?

more jelly shapes


By Dr Francis Teeney 


MD Mickel Health Initiatives



ME awareness

We are all familiar with the various awareness weeks that come around every year in an attempt to draw our attention to illnesses such as breast cancer, multiple sclerosis or autism. These are all very debilitating conditions and are worthy of our attention. This week it is the turn of M.E. (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Strange that 25 years ago you had to struggle to know someone who suffered from M.E. – now almost everyone knows someone who has this debilitating condition and even worse most of these people enjoyed terrific health prior to being struck down by this misunderstood pestilence.

feeling tiredI can talk with some authority on the matter as I have had M.E. now for 9 years. (And for the record I was the happiest, fittest and healthiest person that I knew and it struck me overnight). But before I developed M.E. I knew precious little about it. I knew it made people tired –  some people so tired that they could not go out of the house. Then I got to thinking that apart from that I knew nothing more about it. I had to suffer from it in order to learn about it – and did I suffer!

I am loathe to embark upon a catalogue of symptoms, treatments I have tried and quacks who ripped me off. But if I am to raise awareness of the condition then how else am I to do it? People need to know the destructive effects of M.E. – otherwise they will think as I did that it just makes you ‘feel tired’.

go slowFeeling tired is the understatement of the year. Imagine the most exhausted you have ever been and multiply by 100 and you come close to M.E. You lose weight as you are too tired to eat; your jaws will not move and even if you liquidise the food (or more likely someone does it for you, your body is too tired to digest it – it just selectively goes on a go slow).

brain fogConcentration is abysmal, and trying to hold a conversation just leads to fuzzy head and brain fog – you can no longer think coherently and any thoughts you do try to process are filtered through treacle. This leads to considerable relationship issues due to frustration in the rise and fall of symptoms. Your friends never know which manifestation of you they will encounter from day to day.  Your limbs no longer respond and if they do it is akin to lifting a bag of coal. Strange sensations of fear, anger, frustration and boredom become prominent yet you feel helpless to do anything about them. You do not even understand them and trying to explain them to a doctor is almost impossible – what shape is a jelly?

exploding headYour doctor is bewildered and feels you might have a virus or you are depressed. Blood tests show up nothing so you must be depressed then! Anti-depressants make you psychotic and give you voices in your head (because you are not depressed and the anti-depressants then make you much worse) so you rightly stop those. Then the intolerances start. You become intolerant to lights, noises, sounds and smells to the point they make you very ill. One leading authority on M.E. in the United States developed what he called the Shopping Mall acid test for M.E. He brought sufferers into a shopping mall and all the chaos of people, confusion, sounds, thuds, odours, flashing lights and the general hustle and bustle made the patient literally want to explode. The body and brain were just incapable of processing all this information at once.

Family and friends just look on in utter bewilderment at the confident person they used to know who now has to have prolonged rest periods. Stupid people say the daftest things – nothing wrong with you; it is all in your head; pull yourself together; get out for a good walk in the fresh air. One person told me that I should start eating plenty of good wholesome homemade vegetable soup. How on earth was I ever able to explain how I was feeling to well-meaning people and as for the daft folk they just made matters worse by making me frustrated – at times they even made me angry. Trying to explain what was to me then the unexplainable was indeed trying to describe the shape of a jelly.

My life with M.E. has been made so much better because of Mickel Therapy – at long last a treatment that gave shape to the jelly. Mickel Therapy is a proven treatment that has helped over 9,000 people suffering from M.E., Chronic Fatigue  Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety etc. The basic tenets of Mickel Therapy are that the emotional part of the brain that deals with feelings such as anger, boredom, fear, frustration etc goes into overdrive simply because we ignore the emotional signals. For instance, if you were doing a job day in day out that bored the pants off you to the point it was making you ill and you still kept on doing it then you have missed the emotional message of boredom. So the illness manifests itself in some other way and this can lead to M.E..

brocilliYou think that is too simple well consider this then. Imagine that all you were allowed to eat was broccoli – breakfast, dinner and tea. You are allowed absolutely nothing else. How long would it be before you were sick of the sight, smell and taste of broccoli? But still you have to eat it. How much longer would it be before you are ill at the sight of the vegetable that is good for you!!!!!? The body sends emotional signals in the same way. We are rightly angry at something and we continually ignore or suppress the anger then it will manifest itself in some other way. Indeed many forms of depression are widely recognised as anger turned in on yourself.

The same applies with fear (another primary emotion). Living on ‘Red Alert’ for too long the emotional brain fills the body with chemicals of exertion until the burnout comes. The same with frustration or any other primary emotion. These are all important messages from the limbic system in our brain and when we ignore them they turn up the volume louder and louder until something has to give. The result is a body that develops ‘Dis-ease’ including M.E.

diseaseMickel Therapy tries to show people how to break this cycle by listening to the emotional messages; by reconnecting the emotional brain and the body – back to our correct human default system that has served us well for thousands of years. It is the preferred ‘safety pin cycle’ where a connected body and brain deliver harmony and a body at ease instead of a subluxated  (disconnected) brain that exhausts the body  – despite the body screaming stop, stop stop! When the safety pin is closed the correct connection between body and brain delivers ease. Sadly when the safety pin is left opened the connection is lost and formless ever changing jelly shape emerges. It is our intention within Mickel Therapy to show you how to close your own individual safety pin.

body brain intelligenceSo in this M.E. Awareness week Mickel Therapy wants to offer hope to M.E. sufferers worldwide. And we do not want to limit our scope to M.E. Thus far we have successfully treated over 8,500 people for M.E., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia as well as a range of other emotional based conditions that have been given different diagnoses, but that in some cases respond to similar treatment. Mickel Therapy believes these illnesses can on one level be located within a family of illnesses – generated by a disconnection of emotional signals between Body and Brain. Correct reconnection of body and brain resets us to our natural ‘factory settings’  – the correct shape of the jelly!!jelly



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M.E Awareness and the approach of Mickel Therapy

DavidBy Dr David Mickel

Founder of Mickel Therapy


In a week devoted annually to awareness of M.E, I thought it would be appropriate to share a Mickel Therapy view of this debilitating condition.


mystery illnessI’ve come to really appreciate the frustrations of those suffering this poorly understood illness. They are constantly told that it is a ‘mystery illness’ with no known cure. The majority of there medical attendants fail to hide their disdain when they are consulted about M.E. They are enrolled in programs of graduated exercise and CBT despite the global evidence suggesting strongly that the latter can have a significant risk of making their symptoms worse. This is of little wonder to those who know Mickel Therapy for they understand that this is not a psychological illness and therefore psychological interventions are going to miss the mark. Sufferers are left with little choice other than to learn to live with M.E and lamentably it can soon just become a way of life – a life devolved of its original identity. M.E becomes a dense fog separating a person from their true self – a debilitating loss of ‘me.’


In health we know our Body and its innate intelligence knows us. It rolls with life’s punches and self corrects itself from birth. This beautiful relationship allows us to about life with ease. A loss of connection to our primal emotional body (the ‘me’) is what Mickel Therapy believes to cause dis-ease such as M.E.


Putting aside theories and hypotheses, Mickel Therapy has been designed to one thing and one thing only – show an M.E sufferer how to rekindle their symbiotic relationship with their true essence or ‘me’. Mickel Therapy practitioner training


Sufferers are understandably keen to know more about their ‘me’. “Where is it and what is it?” This can tempt forth a long and complicated explanation that is best avoided so let’s keep it simple:


body intelligenceThe body/’me’ intelligence is encoded in our biological form and left unhindered it is self-correcting and sustains our wellbeing. It is present from birth and guides us through life using subconscious emotions. These are purely reflections of what happens around us and are not created by activity in our thinking brain. They cannot therefore be argued away, reframed or drowned in positive thinking.


Early in life we are conditioned to dismiss these pure communications from the innateemotional brain ‘me’. The reasons for this are complex but all result in essentially a loss of connection with the ‘me’ or body intelligence. The subsequent build up of lost emotional signals has a disruptive effect within our cells’ biology known as ‘dis-ease’ – M.E.


Mickel Therapy should be kept simple and strive only to reintroduce a person to their ‘me’, help them to understand it and what it needs them to do to recreate a state of ease – namely health.

keep it simple

Dr David Mickel MBChB MRCGP

EMP – A&E Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin

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A Change For the Better (By Fiona Watson)


“When people start telling you you’ve changed, it’s because you’ve stopped living life their way”.


Those words are so true. I didn’t realise just how true until I found Mickel Therapy. I had always had the mind-set that unless I was putting others first and making sure that everyone else was happy, then people would think badly of me, a thought that I found hard to deal with. In addition to this constant need to people please, I was bullied at school and later in the workplace, before developing symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in my 20’s, which I had for 4 years.

it really works

Looking back over those years prior to developing symptoms, I now realise, that although I knew people were treating me unfairly and that was wrong, I wasn’t able to stop it from happening, because I really didn’t know how to do that. I was gentle natured and didn’t realise that it was ok to stop this wrong treatment of me. I didn’t realise that it was ok to do what makes me happy and look after my needs! That’s what Mickel Therapy taught me and 6 years on from when I received the therapy, the healthy and happy person I have become, is evidence how it really works.

dear future

Has the therapy changed me? I would have to answer both yes and no! I am still gentle by nature and still like doing things for others. But where I have changed is, that now I do what makes me happy, make sure my needs are met and then care for the needs of others. I am still the person and nature I have always been, but a stronger and truer version of it. As a result, I have the people in my life who are genuine and good for me. I enjoy working as a Mickel Therapist and helping others do the same.


Mickel Therapy doesn’t just return you to health and free you from symptoms…..

……It changes you for the better and helps you to be the best person you can be.


By Fiona Watson


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My Way Forward…….

by Pete

25 June 2014


Totally by chance, whilst looking for a way out of my ongoing depression I came across yet another miracle cure!!!

I carried on reading and was a little intrigued by the claims of Mickel therapy and its clients!!

Being a complete skeptic of all ‘think-positive’ courses I proceeded with doubt in my very depressed state!!!


I became so interested in the testimonials from past and present clients, I decided to call my local therapist and book an appointment.

I arrived for my appointment with a head full of doubt that I could ever be helped at all!!!


My appointment went well, and I listened to all that was said, (not understanding a lot at this point).  I was completely baffled by the information I had been given!!

When I left my first appointment, I had already asked myself so many questions about how this could work, but I made another appointment.

I completed the tasks I had been asked to do and went to my second appointment, only to listen to more strange ideas of how I should look at how my body looks at life? (all foreign to me at the time).

Then as I read more and understood less, strange things started to happen to my emotions, which at times where completely uncontrollable!!!!

Eventually I became able to understand these feelings and emotions coming out from dark places in me!!

Moving forward, I kept going to my therapist for a few months and found my life changing completely!!

I can now deal with issues and challenges that previously would have had me retreating into my depressed shell for days, if not weeks!!!

My keys (you’ll find out how to use them when you do the course, fabulous!) are used every day, allowing me to deal with everyday emotions and giving me a much happier way of life.

It’s an ongoing work in progress, but if this course can help me, (a then skeptic of huge magnitude) I can only recommend and thank the Mickel team and especially my therapist. Thanks to you all.



Pete is a property developer and builder in his mid 50s.  He came to Mickel Therapy after many years of wrestling with Depression, Anxiety and Anger issues.   Although, he was primarily seeking help for depression, he also found some positive side effects came out of the process such as: improved sleep, relief from IBS,  a massive increase in energy and improved concentration and decreased muscle and joint pain.  

I think it is fair to say that Pete struggled with coming to our appointments at times and on a couple of occasions he nearly ‘threw in the towel’.  However, he persevered because he and his family could see the positive changes that were occurring in all areas of his life.  The principles taught in Mickel Therapy are simple but it is not always so easy to apply them in our daily lives and sometimes it feels easier to fall back into old patterns.  However, Pete knew that the rewards for persevering were great and he stuck at it.  He, and I, as his Mickel practitioner, are very glad that he did.


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