Lea-Anne’s Journey

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia

“My journey with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia started more than a year after being sick. It was non-stop for a year and I had every infection in the book! I also had surgery for endometriosis which I believe tipped my body over the edge. After that surgery, I knew something still wasn’t right when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and be left alone to sleep forever. I looked everywhere for answers. Luckily I was lead to Active Health Clinic to find them.

It would have been a lot harder without the support of Active Health Clinic's exercise physiologists. She was there with a warm smile and faith that things would get better. I could talk to her about everything. She made me realise that my symptoms were normal and I wasn’t losing my mind. We would laugh, I would cry and she listened to me, helping me adapt my lifestyle to the rollercoaster ride that is chronic fatigue.

My health journey has been one of the most challenging times of my life. The pain, pain, pain! Emotions of frustration and about the loss of the life I was leading that would never be the same again. However, I believe in some weird, tormented way that this has all been a gift: slowing me down and getting back to basics. Now when I have flows of energy, I use them wisely by doing things that are most important to me, like making art or music, walking my dog on the beach, or spending with family and friends.

I couldn’t image trying to deal with and work all of this out on my own. The program AHC gave me is straightforward, and it works. When I have setbacks, there are guidelines on how to manage them. Guidelines and strategies on sleep, exercise and pacing, to name a few. Knowing they only a call away really helps me feel less alone. I need supportive practitioners, friends and family around me, who don’t judge me. Now that my consultations are less frequent due to my progress (hooray!), I actually miss the sessions with AHC and send her my heartfelt thank you.

For all the CFS and fibromyalgia suffers out there, time, patience and pacing only make us stronger. I send out love, courage, faith and healing. We can get better!” Lea-Anne, 33


Gail’s Journey

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

“I was struck down with chronic fatigue syndrome for a year. After finding Active Health Clinic (AHC) and working with the team, I returned to full-time work and a healthy life. I have been back to work full-time for a year now. Today I will board a plane to London and then bicycle more than 1600km from Lands End in the South West of England to John O’Groats in the north-west of Scotland. All that in 21 days!

Thanks to everyone at AHC for the program and for helping me get my life back. If you doubt if it works, or are afraid to believe that you can be well again, I challenge you: try it and prove it doesn’t work! What have you got to lose?

I suspect that when I started I was a bit afraid to believe I would ever be well again. I suspect there was a degree of "I am gonna do this to prove I really am sick and nothing this simple will help." Well, it does and it did and it is! Stick with it - not that it is long before you can feel the improvement! On the bad days follow the plan and goods WILL follow.” Gail, 47


Fibromyalgia testimonials

“For almost ten years I suffered the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia. Constantly misdiagnosed, I was subjected to repeated medical tests that never yielded any treatment plans that worked. Ultimately the condition became so severe that I was forced to give up a career I loved and was unable to continue working. Some doctors even told me that it was unlikely I would ever be able to return to work, and that I should ‘get used to it’. Finally, I was referred to Nathan at Active Health Clinic. Their program for sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia has given me my life back. I am now exercising up to 5 times a week and have returned to part-time work. The support I received and the knowledge and skills I have gained from their well-researched program has enabled me to again move forward with my life, managing my condition to minimise its impact.” Kerry, 34

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome / orthostatic intolerance (POTS/OI)

"I would highly recommend Active Health Clinic. They were very patient and genuinely listened to my concerns and answered all my queries professionally. She personally tailored a program specific to my health and ability. I was taught how to read my body’s signals and work with it, and to function much better than before. Four years later I still use these tips daily and they help me to manage situations. Through my program, I have gone from being unable to get myself out of bed, attend school etc. without fainting, to being at university, going to the gym and living away from home. Before meeting the team at the Active Health Clinic, I was simply existing with a medical condition (POTS) that I had no idea how to manage or cope with. With their help and guidance, I have learned how to manage it and get the most out of life." Em, 19

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) testimonials

“I got diagnosed with CFS after a long battle with glandular fever. I also developed major depression which nearly took my life. After both diagnoses, I was directed to Active Health Clinic, which, now looking back, was my saviour. The AHC team were incredibly positive and provided constant support network whilst battling a very isolating illness. I found the key for this illness is to take small steps every day and to make daily improvements in daily function. I am living proof that you can recover from both illnesses, and when you do you will appreciate life more than ever. I now consider myself lucky to have endured this illness as I can now use my strength gained to pursue future ambitions. I am back living normally, playing sport, socialising and pursuing full-time work. Active Health Clinic, you are so understanding and compassionate for a terrible illness and I hope that many more will use your services on their path to recovery.” Jon, 28

“Dear AHC, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help, support and guidance in my recovery from chronic fatigue. I’m a different person to how I was a year ago and I have you to thank! I will never forget everything you’ve taught me and will continue to apply it to all aspects of my life. I still can’t believe I got through all this. Not so long ago it seemed impossible! Anyway, just wanted to let you know what a wonderful gift you give to people and how much I appreciate all your time, knowledge and energy.” Marion. 23

“I have found the program to be extremely helpful towards my recovery from CFS. I’ve really appreciated that the program is one-on-one, meaning it’s tailored to my needs and we can work through it at my own pace. I’ve now learnt the different ways in which I can deal with my illness and work towards a positive outcome. I am very thankful that my fatigue specialist recommended this to me, and highly recommend the program to other sufferers of CFS/ME.” Lana, 31

“I heard of Nathan's graded exercise therapy program from a friend and was delighted to find that I could consult him face-to-face using my computer and Skype even though I live 800 kilometres away. The results have been excellent. I was 'invalided' out of the workforce over four years ago at the age of 61 and had suffered from CFS for ten years, from ages 55 to 65. I had previously tried a variety of therapies but nothing made much difference. With Nathan’s patience and understanding, I learned to how to pace myself and gradually increase physical activity until I now feel that I can take part in society again and actively enjoy my retirement.” Sylvia, 65

“I was diagnosed with CFS in June 2010 and have just finished my GET program. At the start, my exercise consisted of walking 12 minutes per day. Now, my exercise consists of swimming, dance, pilates and jogging every week. I’ve also learnt how to waterski for the first time since I was a kid.” Brooke, 24

“I had been unwell for a long while. I was determined to regain my health but was unable to find any help or ideas. I was at a loss and concerned for my family. After two sessions with Nathan he gave me back hope that I could recover, and the confidence that he would guide me through it and give me skills to make it happen. I am now able to work again, care for my family and am beating CFS. Thanks, Nathan.” Paul, 36

"I have had CFS since 2007. Prior to CFS I was a very fit individual who loved the gym, life, going out and threw myself into everything. Contracting CFS turned my life upside down. I had zero energy and alienated myself from everyone and everything, acting like I had been handed a death sentence. Severe depression and anxiety then set in. I 'doctor shopped' to find the best CFS specialists (western/eastern/holistic medicine) with the belief that they would be able to find me a cure. I was naive to think that I could delegate the responsibility of my cure to another person, all the while getting hooked by perpetually negative thoughts. And yes, some doctors and naturopaths did offer cures and I dived in head first only to be disappointed and out of pocket by thousands of dollars.

Then an understanding doctor helped change my destiny and led me to Nathan Butler in February 2009 to commence his GET program. I was open to anything by that stage and had no hesitations. My self-talk was still negative and I didn’t expect much due to previous experiences, however, I changed my mind after just one session. Nathan got down to business straight away. Here was a person that was not only the best CFS expert I’d ever met, but also a scientist, a counsellor, a friend, a motivator, a teacher and a really caring, lovely, and funny person. Nathan’s GET methodologies are constant. They have been proven and they work. His program covers many facets and enables you to fearlessly take ownership of your illness and healing journey. He is wise beyond his words. The tools he teaches you are tools I still engage every day of my life. I have finally learned to listen to my body’s signals and to get my life back on track. I am working full time and visit the gym 4 times a week. My performance at the gym even exceeds other non-CFS individuals. It’s Nathan’s image and wise words that I see and listen to whilst at the gym!

I can now go out and do everything I did before the illness. I now control the CFS; it does not control me. My whole mindset towards this illness has changed. I am no longer scared. I accept what has happened and get along with my life. I would strongly encourage anyone with CFS to see Nathan Butler and his team at Active Health Clinic. The journey is the reward. And you meet great people who will even talk to you on the phone when you have meltdowns!" Vicki, 38

General testimonials

“It has been a very useful program and really suited someone like me who loved (and missed) exercise and sport but didn’t understand their limits! I really enjoyed the goal-setting aspects of the program and working towards that Darwin hike was just the thing for me. Can’t believe a year on I’m a Program Manager of a massive interstate program and pregnant and ready to do a PhD next year! I had already got a lot better before coming to your program but you taught me so many extra skills that have really made me knock it on the head. I also use these skills whenever I begin to feel run down. Remembering to assess my week has been important and a great idea for anyone in this busy, busy world! I’m not busy much anymore, I’m in control. Your program really helped with a knocked self-esteem after 4 years of feeling mentally very slow. I definitely would recommend people try this program as a tool for managing – and perhaps even curing – their CFS and fibromyalgia.” Sophie, 34

“I would just like to thank you so much for all your help. Your program is the only reason I finished Year 12. I got a score high enough to get into both of my choices, but I am yet to decide which one I would like to do. I truly can’t thank you enough. I am back to my old self and have achieved both of my goals: going out late and only needing one day to recover and returning to sport without having a setback. By far my biggest achievement is being well enough to participate in the Camp America program, which I leave for in three weeks. I have been working 40+ hour weeks and maintaining my beloved social life. I cannot believe how far I’ve come. When I first came to you I had lost hope and never in a million years did I think I was ever going to be this well again. It was like a miracle! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” Belinda, 18

“I was fortunate enough to find Nathan Butler and his program. The program was suggested to me by my specialist doctor. Within a month of starting the program I began to believe that I could get my life back. Within six months, for the first time in two and a half years, I started to feel normal again. I felt stronger, fitter, more optimistic, and began making exciting plans for myself again – travel, research, a new career at the tender age of 57 – and most important of all, I was able to play with my grandchildren.

Through the course of the program, I have learnt a lot about myself, and become a stronger person. I have faced a number of fears and learnt to handle them. I have found strength, optimism, courage, and happiness I did not know I had. In short, I believe I have actually gained something from the experience of chronic fatigue syndrome, and recovery.

Nathan is at all times positive, understanding, encouraging, realistic, professional, and has a wonderful sense of humour: an essential commodity as we journey through life’s surprises. I highly recommend Nathan Butler and his program without a second’s hesitation. In fact, I already have recommended the programme to many people!” Kathryn, 57

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