CRPS – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

I have really enjoyed working with clients with CRPS. It seems to be one of the most painful pain conditions but also one of the quickest and easiest to fix. I think this is because it is often very localised and has not ended up linked in with many other conditions such as chronic fatigue, anxiety et cetera. I have seen nearly all my CRPS clients recover – even higher success rates than my other client groups. The record holder so far was able to fix her CRPS in seven minutes!

What is CRPS?

CRPS is a chronic pain condition that usually starts following an injury or surgery in a limb. It is characterized by prolonged or excessive pain and mild or dramatic changes in skin colour, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected area. People experience swelling in the central nervous system and maladaptive neural pathways which send pain messages through the body that are disproportionate to the original injury experienced. Fluctuating blood flow can cause extra swelling, skin turning red or purple, temperature changes and sharp pain. With time, the pain usually starts to spread from the original injury site (around 90% of sufferers) and for an unlucky 35%, the pain is then felt all over the body.

How does Empower Therapies help CRPS?

I teach people about the physiology of the stress response and the body’s natural mechanisms for registering pain. I show people how to recognise the thinking patterns and beliefs that can exacerbate the faulty opening of pain gates and then teach people simple techniques based on NLP that help them to calm the stress response and allow their body to naturally close the pain gates.

In the last couple of years, I have discovered that some CRPS clients are able to recover from a one hour NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) session that I have personally developed, tailor-made for CRPS clients. I have also developed my own three day mind-body programme called The Switch, which I now teach instead of The Lightning Process (which I resigned from in July 2017). Only certain clients are suitable for the one hour intervention, so I ask that all people apply for the full three day Switch course and when I assess them for the course, I will offer the NLP approach if I think that it is suitable for them.

Anyone who applies to work with me would need to be able to come to Auckland, New Zealand.  We get a lot of enquiries from America, so may I recommend that there are two Lightning Process Practitioners in America that you could check out - Amanda Ashley and Berit Frivold.


Be inspired by these remarkable stories

Jasmine, aged 11, was a fabulous gymnast before being struck down by a nasty pain condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, after stubbing her toe. After a year of hospital stays and treatment, she found Empower Therapies, and recovered almost overnight…

Here is a movie of Sienna doing the NLP quick intervention with me.

Kate was not successful with the NLP quick intervention, but she then got a fantastic result by attending The Switch.

Here is a 40 minute movie created by Madee’s mother to show her full story of getting CRPS, going through many months of mainstream treatment and then doing one NLP quick intervention with me and leaving my house walking.


Below are some graphs showing my statistics of clients with CRPS:

Graph of the length of CRPS illness

Graph of CRPS recovery time with LP


Busting unhelpful CRPS myths

“Only children can recover from CRPS”

Of the 13 recent CRPS clients, 10 were children and they all recovered within a few days. Three adults also did the course and they all recovered within a couple of weeks and experienced dramatic pain reductions within the first 3 days.

“Recovery is only possible in the first year of having CRPS”

There is a nasty myth perpetuated by doctors and media that people who have had CRPS for longer than a year can not hope to recover. This belief is not at all consistent with Empower Therapies philosophies. We see the body as a naturally self-healing mechanism that can sometimes get trapped in a stress response. Remove that stress and natural self-healing is reactivated. I have had several clients who had CRPS for 8 – 10 years and they also fully recovered.

“Results won’t last”

I follow up my clients for at least six months and I consistently see people maintaining their improvements long term. This is because they have learnt how to fix themselves and have actively rewired their own brain, rather than having someone else treat them. Therefore, if they were able to turn off all the pain in the first place, it only becomes easier to maintain a comfortable body as the new neural pathways become more entrenched. If a person ever did experience a flare-up in the future, they have the tools to quickly turn it off again and they can also access further help from me if required. My experience of over 1000 clients now is that it is very rare for people to need further help later on from me.

“Treatment for CRPS will be very painful”

While the hospital physiotherapy treatment for CRPS can very painful and requires many months of purposely using the affected limb and massaging it through the pain, treatment at Empower Therapies does not cause additional pain. This is because we work by retraining the mind, rather than targeting the affected limbs. Most clients experience a dramatic pain reduction very quickly and are usually pain-free and medication-free within a few days or weeks.

 Liri’s Story

Liri recovered completely from CRPS within just 15 minutes (the NLP quick intervention). Read her story below:

From Liri’s family:

“At this point where we are standing today, I can see the light. I can see the future with a normal life for Liri and for us. But, several months ago it was all dark.

It all began with “regular” elbow injuries. She had physiotherapy, an MRI, a specialist orthopedic surgeon… nobody understood why she had so much pain all over her hand. Then suddenly, with no cause, the pain “jumped” to her leg. It was unbearable pain, no pain medication helped. It was a HORRIBLE NIGHTMARE. Then came the diagnosis – CRPS. When we realised what it means to be diagnosed with CRPS we felt that the sky was falling upon us, that life was upside-down, that there was no future – all was covered with a mask of pain! Unbelievable pain, with no relief at any time.

When we came to Mel, Liri walked in on crutches with her left leg totally painful, sensitive to any touch. Even to sit in the car driving all the way to Mel was very hard. When we walked out of the appointment with Mel – Liri walked with “a life” and new leg! Since then Liri is doing NLP many times a day, and getting better all the time!

With the pain so reduced, she can do the physiotherapy and get back to a normal life. There is some work to be done – she still limps, gets tired easily – but she has NO PAIN.

It is absolutely incredible – There are no words that can express our thanks to you, Mel!

It’s so important that there is cooperation between the western medicine at the hospital and what you offer. I feel I must spread it to the world, especially to the medical world… It is hard to imagine how much suffering and pain can be saved to so many kids!”

From the bottom of our heart — THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

From Liri herself:

“I came to Mel after several weeks with the most horrible pain you can imagine. My whole leg was so painful and sensitive to any touch. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t even straighten my leg. I needed to use crutches. I couldn’t do anything – no school, no friends, nothing! After about an hour with Mel, and using the NLP exercises that she taught me – I could stand on my leg! I could touch my leg! And there was NO PAIN! I could not believe it – there was NO PAIN. Thank you so much Mel!”

How to enrol

I taught The Lightning Process to over 1000 clients over an 8 year period, of which about 20% came to me for chronic pain.  I am now very excited about teaching a wonderful new programme called The Switch and chronic pain clients have reported excellent results. .  For further information and enrolment options, click The Switch.