Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME
You Are Not Alone: ~250,000 people in the UK have ME/CFS. (ME Association, 2017)
It is not all in your head! Your long list of symptoms are very real 250,000+ people cannot all be imagining their symptoms!
Why does it take so long to get diagnosed? Currently there
is no specific test to diagnose ME/CFS (ME Association, 2017)
My approach in supporting CFS/ME is so much more than just changing diet. Of course dietary changes and rectifying nutritional deficiencies are an essential grass roots starting point, but with a condition as complex and multi-faceted as CFS/ME we must look much deeper and examine every aspect of our lives: sleep quality, stress/anxiety management, negative behavioural / thought patterns, predispositions / personality sub-types, environmental stressors, toxic overwhelm, emotional healing, life purpose, movement/lifestyle pacing.
It is vital to recognise there are different phases within CFS/ME which present with different symptom severities, so what may be well tolerated and beneficial in one phase many be detrimental in another. For example, starting detoxification or body work in a 'Total Crash' phase, where there is very poor resilience, will only be harmful but, in later phases, will be massively supportive for the individual. Physical & mental pacing should also be tailored to the phase you are currently in.
As a holistic practitioner my approach to healing is to support the body’s systems that are shown to be most under stress. We determine this via the onset of symptoms and current symptom pattern that an individual will present with. The body systems we seem commonly under stress are: The Autonomic Nervous System, The Endocrine System (Hormonal Function: Thyroid, Adrenal, Neurotransmitter), Lymphatic System, Immune System, Digestive System, Mitochondrial / Energy dysfunction and toxicity overwhelm. This down regulation of so many body systems accounts for the wide ranging and varied symptom pattern that the CFS/ME person experiences. I set out a detailed list of the associated symptoms here.
With so many systems to support a gradual approach must be taken by necessity. The order of support is also critical and I liken it to peeling back the layers of an onion, we must start supporting the outer layer before we can peel back and reach the inner layers and support those.
WHAT IS THE
CFS/ME Reboot Programme?
This ongoing package of care consists of: one 2hr Initial Consultation, plus 7.5hrs of follow-up consultation time that can be taken through the following 18months.
Your 2hr Initial Consultation allows for a thorough analysis of your Health Questionnaires and detailed note taking of your symptom pattern and medical history as well as an analysis of your eating habits and lifestyle patterns. I will thoroughly explain the approach I take in supporting CFS/ME, the body systems that typically are found under stress, what might be contributing to this dysfunction and driving your symptoms as well as the benefit we gain in supporting these body systems, and how we approach that.
2 working days later you will receive your first Nutrition and Lifestyle Protocol which will contain an extensive set of guidelines focused around diet, nutrition, stress management, movement, relaxation, sleep, detoxification and how to implement them into your life. This will be taking into account what particular phase you are in: Stage1: 'Total Crash' Phase (often bed-ridden), Stage 2: 'Crashing/Coasting' Phase (doing more but crashing if does too much/just managing symptoms) or Stage 3: 'Reclaim' Phase (slowly getting life back/no longer crashing).
Your protocol will recommend a number of tests which can give a bigger picture and allow me to dig a little deeper into your health issues. It will include some simple homes tests that you can conduct yourself at home, some blood tests your GP is usually happy to conduct as well as Functional Testing options. Functional testing can pinpoint nutritional deficiency needs and provide a whole range of markers around nutrient absorption, digestive function, dysbiosis, fat / protein / carbohydrate metabolism, energy production / mitochondrial function, microbial imbalances, toxicity, oxidative stress, hormonal balance and thyroid function and more.
At your 2nd Consultation we thoroughly review everything you have managed to implement from your protocol, what has worked and what needs refining. If we have conducted testing I will interpret those results and implement appropriate strategies to support any deficiencies or imbalanced states they may have revealed.
Early consultations focus on:
Reducing the maladaptive stress response of the Autonomic Nervous System
Reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality
Identifying and rectifying nutritional deficiencies
Blood sugar balancing and light adrenal support
Supporting cellular/mitochondrial health and energy production
Reducing toxicity and providing liver support
Improving overall resilience
Emotional Wellbeing: Throughout our consultations we will also explore other areas that might be affecting your ability to heal and may be driving your stress dysfunction, eg: recognising personality traits and behavioural patterns unprocessed grief or trauma, unconscious thought patterns, life purpose, environmental burdens: heavy metal toxicity and exposure to EMFs, to name a few. If areas outside my expertise are identified I will make referral recommendations.
Gut Healing Protocol: As part of the programme you will undergo a Gut Healing Protocol which typically takes ~3-5months to complete and the results of your functional testing will allow me to tailor your protocol in a very targeted way. Digestive health is closely linked to many chronic illnesses and improving gastrointestinal permeability, correcting gut dysbiosis and supporting a healthier gut microflora is instrumental in improving digestive symptoms, absorption of nutrients, improving food sensitivities, strengthening immune function, improving mood and many other symptoms.
During this phase of deeper cleansing and detoxification, it can be common to experience a Herxheimer's reaction or 'healing crisis' as we start to clean up diet, improve lifestyle, reduce exposure to toxicity and as we commence cleansing/detox protocols. This can be a confusing time as it may mean certain symptoms will increase before they start to get better and this can be somewhat demoralising. This healing crisis is always very individual and the length of time and range of symptoms experienced will be totally unique to you. During this time it is important to have in place strategies that support the body's detoxification and elimination processes and from day one I will work with you to improve all these processes so that any reaction will be as minimal as possible. I also offer email support to my clients in between consultations so they always feel supported and have guidance during this time.
These consultations are focused on digestive support, improving immune function, lowering the inflammatory response, deep cleansing / detoxification and lymphatic drainage.
Later consultations focus on deeper adrenal support, deeper immune support as well as supporting thyroid function.
Finally, you will be left with a supplementation and lifestyle protocol that you can manage and be largely self-sufficient with.
Consultations are carried out at whatever pace each client's individual progress dictates.
Please note the CFS/ME Reboot programme can also be done on an ad hoc consultation basis. The key benefits of the Reboot Programme are in providing a structured framework for clients that helps them keep on track and not lose momentum. It also offers a cost saving over ad hoc appointments and interpretation fees for functional testing are waived. Email support between consultations is also included.
NB: The cost of Functional Testing is not included.
WHO IS THE
CFS/ME Reboot Programme For?
Anyone who is tired of waiting for a miracle cure and wants to take action now.
Anyone who is frustrated or confused with the help they have received so far.
Anyone who wants to support their health naturally by regaining balance in their body systems.
Anyone who wants to take control of their own health.
WHO ISN'T THE
CFS/ME Reboot Programme For?
Anyone looking for a quick fix.
Anyone who does not believe they can get well.