Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Mel Abbott with Full Health

Mel Abbott with full health after CFS

“Having suffered from CFS/ME for a whole decade, I well understand the completely debilitating effects of living with unrelenting exhaustion and pain, and constantly fearing that I may never recover. Thankfully, I made a full recovery in just two weeks by doing a mind-body based approach in 2008 and I have been been healthy and energised ever since.

My own recovery story can be found on the About Mel Abbott page.

It is now my passion to help other people to recover. So far, I have assisted over 1000 people’s recoveries from chronic illness, about half of whom had CFS.”

What is CFS and what causes it?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME) is a debilitating disorder in which severe fatigue is not improved by bed rest.

To be diagnosed, you must have:

  • Severe fatigue of six months or longer
  • Other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis
  • Four or more of the following symptoms:
  • Substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration
  • Sore throat; tender lymph nodes
  • Muscle pain
  • Multi-joint pain without swelling or redness
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Post-exertional fatigue not improved with rest.
The medical profession has yet to conclude what causes CFS. They have been searching for a virus in an attempt to find a one-size-fits-all answer to this syndrome.  I think they are searching in the wrong place because I have observed that people develop CFS from many different causes. Some have glandular fever or a bad case of flu, others have a physical injury, others have an emotional trauma such as a divorce, bereavement or abuse experience, others have burnout from their highly successful career, others develop it following other mainstream treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery. With such a wide range of origins, it is very unlikely that one common virus could be found.


What is common to all these people is that their experience put their body into a stress response.

It is my belief that this is the true cause of CFS. When people experience a stress response for a significant period of time, it drains all their organs because it is so demanding on the body to be in a constant state of flight or fight. This can reach a tipping point where the body becomes too exhausted to repair itself. Helping clients to calm their body out of the stress response allows their body to heal very quickly.

CFS recovery results

It was lucky that while I was ill with CFS, I was too tired to google my condition and therefore did not find out the terrible statistics on recovery from CFS. In the mainstream arena, only 5% of people fully recover and 60% achieve no improvement at all*.

However, you don’t need to fear! About half of my clients come to me for CFS, which means I have now seen over 500 clients for CFS and have seen around 80 – 90% of them recover and only about 1% of them make no improvements! These clients have ranged from totally bedbound to being able to work full time but feel worn out at the end of the day. They have ranged from being ill for four months to being ill for 40 years. They have ranged from 10 years old to 78 years old.  Length or severity of illness does not seem to make a difference to recovery – the main factor is whether someone really wants to get well and is willing and open-minded to do the work to become well.

Inspiration for you…

Wendy has had CFS for so long that her teenage daughter has never known a healthy mum. She cried for hours about being so ill.  Suddenly, she is happy and healthy, having attended The Switch at Empower Therapies. Here is her story.

Recently, a lady came to me for 32 years of CFS. She had watched all my testimonial stories and become convinced that it could work for her but had expected that it would take her longer because of how long she’d been sick.  However, she had made a full recovery within two days, which was even faster than most people! She reports:

I can hardly believe it myself!!  I’d read how change can be easy and quick, but never expected THIS easy and quick! I can’t believe I actually enjoy doing the vacuuming,  just ‘cos I can. Can also do lots of things in a day now, and can visit friends, do voluntary work , go out at night with energy to spare! And I don’t even think about sleeping in the afternoon now !!

Sarah has missed so much school and sport for four years, since she developed chronic fatigue syndrome, food intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome and insomnia. She ranked her health as 4/10 when she came to me and was really sick of missing out on life. Here are her comments just one month after The Switch:

I have completely returned to being healthy and energetic!
I haven’t even thought about doing fatigue since I left the course!
I’m finding school fun and interesting, and it is no longer a struggle to get through the day. I have been catching up with my friends every weekend, and a few of my friends and I have organised a tramp for later this term. My best friend and I are going to Samoa for a bike tour in the holidays and we have been training for that twice a week!! We’ve also both started going to the gym again two mornings a week. I am surprising myself with the amount of energy I have – after an early morning going to the gym or swimming, a day of school, hanging out with friends, finishing my homework and walking the dog I still have lots of energy. I’m also taking up a lot of opportunities through school – I’ve joined a few committees and clubs and I’m doing some extension work in each of my classes. Overall, I have a much more positive attitude and am enjoying life a lot more. I’ve also been able to enjoy having time to myself without feeling guilty, and I’ve been going through at least one book a week! My sleep has improved – although I’ve been going to bed much later than I used to, I usually get to sleep quickly.
Thank you for everything!
(Note: Name changed at client’s request)

You can also ‘like’ Empower Therapies on Facebook for more inspirational testimonials and success stories.

How to enrol

I taught The Lightning Process to over 1000 clients over an 8 year period, of which about half of them came to me for chronic fatigue syndrome.  I am now very excited about teaching a wonderful new programme called The Switch and CFS clients have reported excellent results.  For further information and enrolment options, click The Switch.


* Systematic review by Cairns and Hotopf, published in Occupational Medicine Oxford Journals, 2005.  A literature search of 28 articles compared 14 University studies for prognosis and outcomes of CFS sufferers.