Over the years, I have seen some wonderful transformations take place among my clients. Here are some of their stories:
POTS for two years – freedom after The Switch…
Nick developed POTS after having a virus for two years. Life has never been the same. Now, he has attended The Switch. Here is his fantastic story!
Word of Nick’s recovery has travelled far! A guy in Ireland has interviewed him for an hour on his YouTube channel. You can watch this interview here:
Clair resolves multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) and fatigue
Clair developed MCS after exposure to paint fumes every day for a month during a school art project. Her symptoms were so severe that she had to quit school and do Northern Health school from home instead. She was often unable to manage any schoolwork at all. Here is her fabulous story!
The 100th Switch client!
That’s right! We’ve already passed 100 at The Switch. Sarah now shares her story about resolving back pain at The Switch.
I came to Mel and The Switch for help with my chronic low back pain and autoimmune thyroid disorder – I had had both for about 20 years. My back pain had worsened over the years until I had back surgery in late 2016 for a herniated lumbar disc. I hoped that the surgery would finally rid me of my chronic pain, but following surgery, daily pain slowly crept back into my life: I was waking up hobbling around like an old woman until I could get my body warmed up, and I had pulled back from some of the exercise and physical activities that I had always loved to do. Prior to coming across Empower Therapies, I believed my back pain and thyroid condition were health issues that I needed to ‘manage’, but doing The Switch has helped me recognise the underlying habits and beliefs that prevented me from getting well.
Even committing to the Switch course helped me get dramatic results – in the 5 weeks leading up to the course, I had less and less pain everyday. After the first day on the course, I was able to do yoga first thing in the morning – something that I had stopped doing because of how immobile and in pain I had been in the mornings. Probably the most notable shift for me following the course is that I continue to feel really great when I wake up in the mornings. I’m doing more exercise first thing and feel like my body is capable of the bending, folding motions that have felt restricted in the past when I first got out of bed. Sometimes this exercise is accompanied by some Quick Switches, sometimes there’s no need to – either way, I know I’ve got this amazing tool when I need it. There have been occasional days where I need to keep reminding myself to keep Darcy off the couch, but it’s pretty exciting when, on a different day, I hardly need to do it at all and don’t realise that until the end of the day – it’s that normality of my day, rather than thinking about old patterns, that tells me I’m getting better everyday.I’m also starting to become more aware of the emotional triggers of my old habits, so when I notice them, I do a Deep Switch to clear these emotions. Some of these Deep Switches have been incredibly powerful experiences and I feel like I’m letting go of things I didn’t even realise I was carrying. I continue to work on some of my core beliefs that I believe have held me back in the past, and it’s giving me confidence to push for change and growth in a way that I had previously assumed wasn’t possible – I’m excited about what I can bring into my life with this positive growth! Thanks, Mel!
Ever wondered if you could learn to love yourself and your body?
Lisa came to a course with me a few years ago and resolved her chronic fatigue syndrome. Now she’s back for more! This time, she’s resolving her self-esteem, anxiety, and binge eating. Her story is really delightful as she moves into loving and liking herself and her body far more…
“I kicked my wheelchair out the door!”
On her Switch application form, Rachel wrote:
“On Christmas Day 2009, I passed out and was taken to A&E and then started to develop more symptoms. I have recurrent fainting episodes, have had multiple concussions, chronic pain and fatigue. I have been diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia (POTS) as well as endometriosis. I have had lots of previous symptoms that medical professionals have not been able to explain, such as loss of sight (in 2015), and losing the use of my legs (in 2010). I was just diagnosed with fibromyalgia and functional neurological disorder a couple of months ago.”
Here is her story since attending The Switch:
There’s been a lot of positive changes for me in the last 2 weeks, including kicking my wheelchair out the door the moment I got home. My Mum got rid of it so swiftly I didn’t even see it disappear! Everyday has been full of energy, fun and new lessons to learn from. I’ve been swimming in the ocean for hours at a time without feeling tired and then lying in the sunshine and eating ice cream. I’ve spent quality time with my 8 year old brother who’s only ever known me as an unwell person, who now is constantly reminding everyone that I am well and can do anything I want. I even went to a wedding with my boyfriend and we were the last ones on the dance floor! I’m going back to study next year and planning on making use of the degree I already have and doing freelance graphic design work on the side which is really exciting!
Its safe to say I’m living my best life and am so excited for more positive things to happen in the future!
Thanks Mel and The Switch for changing my life, you’re amazing!
Lots and lots of love
“The Switch was one of the best things I have ever done!”
Shannen attended a course with me a few years ago and completely resolved her irritable bowel (IBS), food intolerances and fears of public speaking. However, she didn’t manage to resolve her general anxiety, insomnia, and her fear of flying. She decided to come back to Empower Therapies to attend our new course, The Switch. Here is her story:
I have to say…The Switch was one of the best things I have ever done!
I am a much happier person now because I have so much freedom. And so much more power. The things I learnt at the Switch course, I will be able to take with me wherever I go. I trust myself now and know that I am good enough. I feel like I belong in this world. It’s almost as if I don’t feel like a child lost in the store anymore. I feel like an adult and I have a right to be here. I also have a lot more motivation to exercise and eat healthy food. Now that I love and respect myself a lot more – I find it easy to make healthy choices.I felt that the section about external factors was extremely helpful for everyone. I like how The Switch had a “Deeper Switch” (which I assume was more NLP knowledge you brought to the course?). That is very helpful and makes a big difference to people being able to let go of resentment towards their younger self. And maybe forgive their younger self for how they acted in that situation previously. The Switch also felt very “kind”. With Deep Switches, I focused a lot on the positive belief that I am deserving of happiness. I also focused on the belief that illness was part of my identity. A few Deep Switches later, I was able to get rid of that negative belief and move on with my life.I have stayed at my flat by myself a couple of times. The first time I did a few Switches, then went to sleep. The second time I just went straight to sleep! I felt so happy and proud of myself when I woke up the next day. I am now really confident about sleeping by myself.And the best news of all…I have just gotten back from a 2 day conference in Auckland (for work, with people that I had never met.) I did a few Deep Switches and then all I felt leading up to the trip was excitement. During the conference, when my heart started to race – that’s my amygdala telling my body to panic. BUT I know better now. I reassured myself that “I am safe and I will be able to sleep tonight etc.” and I felt really calm. Bed time… after a few Switches I fell asleep in a hotel in Auckland all by myself. When I woke up in the morning I was so happy and proud of myself. That gives me the confidence that I can do anything! That was one of the happiest days of my life – Thursday 22nd Feb - when I woke up after sleeping EASILY at the hotel by myself… it felt like the first day of the rest of my life. And this was the picture on my daily inspiration board that day – so appropriate!
I am so excited to be going to America in May! It’s coming up so fast and I know its going to be great. I will be able to sleep every night and I will have the best time ever!
And at the end of the letter it said “I was the only thing stopping you before, but I’m going to let go now, I’m going to set you free. I give you permission to let go of the past, get the help you need and be all better.”
And this huge relief came over me, I was crying tears of relief. After that I felt very much ready for the course. I think giving myself permission to get better was all I needed.
Thanks Mel. Once again - I am extremely grateful for your help.
Comments about The Switch course itself
The Switch was excellent, and working in a small group was particularly good. It’s really helpful seeing others working on issues, their successes and even seeing that sometimes there will be hiccups….we are not the only one. It’s wonderful rejoicing in other’s victories and so touching with some issues that have been overcome. I loved the fun parts, how The Switch was presented… the illustrations and the games we did. It was good how Mel “pulled us up” and got us to change how we said things. Not so enjoyable (hee hee) but ESSENTIAL to get us thinking and talking in a more positive way.
Mel is so encouraging, and is absolute proof that it works. I like how she has structured the course. The integration day in between Day 2 and 3 was good, and I also appreciated her offer of an extra 1-1 appointment on the integration day. It was particularly valuable to me. The personal stories she uses as illustrations are great (For example, Darcy the dog). I also appreciated her telling us a bit about the huge amount of work that she has put into the switch behind the scenes. She has invested an enormous amount of her time, energy and planning into it. It was interesting her telling us about the cartoons and her own input into them and what she wanted to convey. She is great!
Sorting headaches, back pain and social anxiety with The Switch
Stephanie had a significant head injury several decades ago and has had headaches ever since. She also experiences huge stress in social situations and some chronic back pain that has not responded to physio, chiropractic care, cortisone injections or acupuncture. Here is her story:
All in all the switch is giving me positive thinking and trust that all is well.My biggest win so far is that I feel extremely clear headed. I’m finding that my focus and concentration is much wider and sort of sparkly. I do lots of Quick Switches and it clears up any little annoyances. Another real positive is that I’ve had a bunch of visitors lately and I’ve really looked forward to them coming, and I’ve enjoyed the visits.I was a bit worried when I had one bad headache early after The Switch but since then nothing. Only once in 5 weeks is pretty good. Fingers crossed this is going to remain good and I jump up and Switch if I feel a twinge or even think about it. Same with my back – just a bit sore in morning but it comes right with a Switch and a walk around my house. When I feel something in my back I try to see if anything negative is happening and often it is and then I Switch for positive thinking and trust. These pains are now under MY control and I’ll keep Switching them.I feel my new clear head is sorting things out. It’s like a catalyst. Maybe the sparkly head is the new positive neural pathways forming.(Note – This client requested that we use the name ‘Stephanie’ to share her story)
From feeling helpless with fatigue to YAY!
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.
‘The Switch changed my life!”
This incredible Switch client who came to the course with P.O.T.S., fibromyalgia, fainting and chronic fatigue syndrome, sent in this feedback post course and I couldn’t be happier for her.
“I’ve had virtually no symptoms since doing The Switch… I’m now living an amazing life, going back to study to follow my dreams, moving in with my partner, and making plans to go travelling. The Switch has changed my life. I’m now in a place where I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve probably ever been. I can cope with stress now in ways I previously never would have been able to and use the skills I learnt at the course daily for various parts of my life. I am incredibly active now and can dive headfirst into whatever I decide to do. My grandfather who I was incredibly close to passed away a month ago and I was able to stand and speak at his funeral and I have also been able to deal with the grief of him passing without my health deteriorating. It truly changed my life. Thank you so, so much Mel”.
16 year old resolves chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel
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)
From CRPS to football at The Switch
Kate had a football accident and then developed CRPS. She was unable to walk or attend school. When she attended The Switch, she got rid of all her pain and was back to football training on the morning of Day 2! Here is her story:
“You are the epitome of health!”
Sam has had chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety since 2010, which has led to him having to drop out of his studies and his work contracts. As you’ll see from his recent email to me, a lot has changed in the five weeks since he attended The Switch…
Hi Mel,Reporting back to you is a lovely reminder of the skills we learned a month ago and how far those skills have, on reflection, carried me.Three positives
1. I have not had any symptoms in the past five weeks!2. I have been working towards my ambition of remaining relaxed in situations that may be perceived as ‘stressful’. The night before my exam last week, I Switched and fell asleep within 20 minutes, waking feeling refreshed and relaxed. The morning of the exam, I studied well before eating a good lunch and easing my way into the exam itself. This represents a milestone for me, realising a vision of the person I wanted to be a few months ago. I feel this is a result of the Deep Switch and Quick Switching more times than I can remember!3. A family friend messaged me last week to say, “despite your health set back last year, you are the epitome of health and happiness”. It’s a boost when others notice the changes that I’ve been working on!(Note: Name changed at client’s request)
Endorsement from an Orthopaedic Surgeon
John Dunbar became intrigued by my work when I was able to fix two of his young CRPS patients. He has since started incorporating mind-body explanations into his sessions with patients and seen dramatic improvements. Here are his comments about working with me:
Goodbye to 35 pills per week!
The Switch was life-changing. I had been diagnosed with chronic pain, chronic indigestion and just prescribed pills and more pills. I have been taking pills for years and years and felt like I was just someone with bad health. I was searching for a way to get off the pills and solve the causes and The Switch did that for me. I am still working on certain things, but now I have tools that work and that is huge!
Insomnia is completely gone. No meds needed. I sleep so well now!
Indigestion is almost completely gone. No daily meds needed. Can control without medication by watching what I eat and avoiding eating late at night.
Stress and anxiety are a lot less, and I now have tools to use to get out of bad patterns.
I take less medications now because I have not needed the daily stomach (2), bowel (2), and insomnia tablets (1) that I was prescribed for long-term use. That’s 35 pills a week I don’t need. (Now I only take one a day, which is unrelated to all the above.)
I can see patterns between my stress and symptoms, so I can now address the stress with effective tools from The Switch rather than throwing pills at the symptoms. I have way less symptoms already! I feel more positive about my health and ability to recover from past health issues and any new obstacles in life or health that crop up.
I feel lighter now that I have cleared some beliefs from the past and figured out some reasons for stress and anxiety.
I feel calmer in general and I have more focus.
I would recommend it to anyone who feels like nothing works or is told “you just have to live with this” about pain or mood or symptoms.
Anxiety … good bye!
Kate had to quit her Masters degree and her job, due to chronic fatigue syndrome and anxiety, which began in 2016. Here is her wonderful update, just one month after attending The Switch.
Life has been pretty bloody amazing!!
I flew to Wellington this weekend to see my partner – not one bit of anxiety was done at any stage most notably around the flying, it was incredible! It felt like my body sort of wanted to do anxiety out of habit but then I realised I actually just don’t know how to do anxiety at all anymore!
I have been going like the clappers in my teaching course, which has been so satisfying. I feel a relaxed tired in my evenings because I have been busy ALL day learning SO much, which is actually a really nice feeling. I haven’t done any brain fog or chronic fatigue for ages now. I have occasionally used the balanced breathing once or twice to stop a stress response, which works a treat every time. In the past, doing this teaching course would have been a big trigger for me to do lots of stress and anxiety, but it’s just so easy to handle challenges these days. I have also noticed that making time for myself is actually happening and I don’t feel guilty about it.
Another big thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t need to please people all the time anymore and I am much more direct about saying or doing what I feel. It’s been a bit to get used to for me and my family, but it’s been so good and only positive things have come out of it!
Life is great! Thanks again Mel, The Switch has genuinely changed my life!
Emerging enthusiasm for my new course – ‘The Switch’
The first clients have now completed ‘The Switch’ and are absolutely raving about it! Here is Vivien’s story:
Another client thinks Switch is the best thing they have ever done ;0)
I am more motivated to eat healthy and exercise more. I feel much more confident. I am calm when I travel now. I feel calm and relaxed staying away from home/on holiday/work trips. I thought the Switch was the best thing I have ever done. It has changed my life for the better and I am so much more confident in every aspect of life. I feel self love now. Mel is amazing. She is so positive and she is a great teacher. She is firm because she makes sure you are being honest with yourself and makes sure you get the best out of your course.
Reducing anxiety, and prioritising ME!
I attended ‘The Switch’ because I wanted to reduce anxiety, improve my sleep and reduce general feelings of fatigue associated with the above. I noticed when feeling anxious, I could prolong decision-making to make the perfect decision, then spend time doubting my decision, all of this taking up mental energy and time for enjoying life.After The Switch, I felt my mental clarity and energy were amazing. I found myself making decisions about things in my life and moving onto the next decision, rather than staying stuck. I knew intuitively the things I wanted to say yes to and the things I wanted to say no to.I prioritised me and time for me. Previously I had put my husband and children before me. Now I put myself in an equal position and occasionally ahead of them. This means prioritising time for me to do the things I enjoy in life to refill my tank.I have arranged next year to reduce my work to 2 days a week to allow time to make our home more personally and psychologically comfortable and take time to get clear about my career direction. I have registered to attend a relationship course with my husband.In addition to those with chronic conditions, I would recommend The Switch to people who feel like their life is going along okay and know it could be even more amazing.(Note: Client wished for this post to be anonymous).
CRPS recovery in just one session!
Watch this video of Sienna as she recovers from CRPS in just one session!
Concussion gone! Bring back the sport!
For 11 months I experienced near constant headaches and fatigue after having two head knocks at a football tournament. This affected most aspects of my life, physically, mentally and socially. I couldn’t do any of the activities I used to enjoy and I felt like my headaches and fatigue would never end. One day I heard of Mel’s success with helping others turn their health around and grew incredibly hopeful. ‘The Switch’ was completely life changing and I would recommend it to anyone. Mel was incredibly supportive and she really helped me become healthy again. I was amazed at how quick and easy it was and during the course. I went for two 15 minute runs and walked up Rangitoto. I stopped having headaches/fatigue and have been getting back into mountain biking, running and football training. Everything in my life improved, I can study and do exams, I got my restricted driving licence and have reconnected with friends. I am super grateful for what Mel did to help me back to where I want to be in life. It truly was an awesome and empowering experience.
- Mac, aged 17
A calm breath at last…
“Thanks again for such an incredible Switch course. I truly think you have got something INCREDIBLE here and it was such a blessing to be able to participate in it and see some amazing results from everyone, including myself.
The most notable positive effect I’ve had so far is flying feeling completely calm and relaxed without a tranquilizer for the first time since I was 14 [this client is now 27] so this was really quite an unreal experience. I was actually calmer than when I’m on tranquilizers!
I have been feeling really calm and relaxed and confident in my body. I’ve been sleeping well and waking up with lots of energy. I’ve been eating some different foods and feeling happy about it. I am really excited for the future and all the things I’m going to be able to do now”
Another superb CRPS story!
Madee spent months doing mainstream treatment at Starship Hospital and the Wilson home but was still in terrible pain. She did one NLP session with me and left my house walking! This is quite a long movie created by Madee’s mother to document her full journey into illness, through enormous numbers of treatments and finally (quickly) out the other side into wellness.
Bye bye pain!
This poor client had been off work for several years due to chronic pain. Her pain levels were so bad that she couldn’t shower or dress herself, couldn’t drive, used to be shaking with pain if she went out to see her friends for an hour, couldn’t sit for more than an hour… and two pain specialists from the pain team said she’d never get rid of the pain.
She was bouncing on a trampoline on her Integration Day!!! [Between Day 2 and 3]. She has sat for over 6 hours each day of the course – something that she could not possible have done before the course. She drove 40 mins each way to and from the course each day. She can stand with even weight on her legs. She can shower and dress. She said that her ankle pain is already completely gone and her hip pain is radically reduced. That was all by her fourth day into this journey.
Here is her update a few weeks later:
I have had the best day & a bit (Friday Saturday morning). Last weekend I was unable to stand to put clothes away in my wardrobe or get clothes out to pack for Samoa. I had to take 100mg Tramadol & that still really didn’t help, especially with fatigue.
I am doing really well at ‘Switching’ off lower back pain, hip pain, & ankle pain. I have been doing several Deep Switches as well as Quick ones. With all my excitement I am also doing Switches for calm ;0)
So all that above makes it so wonderful! I stood & walked around the airport for over 1.5 hours without sitting at all & oh the joy of doing no pain symptoms. Plus my speed & freedom I experience walking is markedly improved yay yay yay. I no longer feel like an old lady in a young body. Added thrill of saying no wheelchair needed that was booked for the airport!
I know you understand this thrill!
Heights phobia gone in one session!
Another happy Switch client…
I have had wayyy less symptoms, I’m not tired anymore, I’m hardly ever anxious anymore, and most the time I don’t have brain fog!For almost a year I didn’t go for a walk around my street as in the past this had resulted in having panic attacks and doing lots of brain fog. Now I’m going for runs/ taking my dog for a walk around the street at 5pm traffic!! I think this goes to show I’m not anxious now – haha.Many little things keep happening which really prove to me just how well I now am. For example 1 month ago it difficult for me to write straight, I would do all school writing on the computer because of this. Now I am doing detailed painting without even needing to use the process!I have been going for a 20min run every second day (I would go more but I’m still building up my fitness), gone surfing a lot, having full days shopping with friends, painting + sooo much more.Some days I haven’t even needed to use the Switch!! I think at the rate I’m going I’ll be 100 % very very soon. At the moment I’d say I’m 90% there.
Hayfever resolved in just one session
Lesley had hayfever for 50 years and required medication all summer to cope with grass and pollen. Here is a movie of her session and an interview with her a year later:
Free from anger and conflict problems
“My session with Mel helped me see an old problem in an entirely different light and I got a massive breakthrough in the way I was living my life. She helped me to understand my behaviour in a whole new way and allowed me to handle conflict with confidence and to be stronger in myself . She unlocked a very deep unconsious conflict for me and I would recommend her as an excellent practitioner”.
Good sleep restored
“I had struggled with Insomnia for quite a few months. It had begun to affect my work life and my home life and I could see no way out. A friend recommended Mel to me and I was initially very sceptical.
Mel was patient and a pleasure to work with. After two sessions, it was obvious that I had been sleeping better as a result of our sessions. Mel helped me to overcome the anxiety that was causing my Insomnia and to get my worries in perspective”.
Self-esteem soars and depression fades
A client saw me for depression and said that she thought low self-esteem was the cause. She ranked her self-esteem as 3/10 in her first session. In her fourth and final session, she ranked it as 8/10.
“Over ten years, I had three major depressive episodes, in which I stopped sleeping and completely lost my appetite. It was terrifying to feel the bottom fall out of my world.
Mel was patient, intelligent, a brilliant listener and totally calm. I was able to be real with her. She absorbed and understood all that I said and turned it into something useful. I don’t ever have to feel out of control, afraid or worthless again.
Life now is full, light and open to numerous possibilities. I have choices, tools, freedom.”
Opinion about Mel Abbott
Mel has a fully professional approach both within and in relation to sessions. Within the session she generates an atmosphere of trust and acceptance, making it easy to express the personal and sometimes awkward issues that surround and make up the problem. She conveys respect for the client, so that you feel like an equal among colleagues rather than a helpless patient. Her methods are unintrusive and solution-focussed, rather than dwelling on past failures. She moves you forward in a dynamic, constructive and often creative way, so that you begin to use new resources straight away.
Find out more, or sign up!
If you are feeling inspired, visit The Switch page on my website to read more about the course that I offer and to download an application form to sign up!
Intro seminars in October!Wellington - Mon, 8 October Auckland - Wed, 24 October A great opportunity to get your recovery started! Bookings open soon. Find out more info
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