Self Help Mate

         Helping us to get our lives back


The Science behind Mickel Therapy

‘The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them’.
Sir William Bragg (1862 – 1942)

Mickel Therapy has long been under scrutiny for its hypothesis that symptoms of CFS/M.E and Fibromyalgia are a result of a dysfunctional hypothalamus gland that we have termed rather loosely ‘Hypothalamitis’. This refers to the apparent failure of the feedback mechanisms that are designed to lead the hypothalamus gland to alter its neuro-chemical signals through the Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and the Autonomic Nervous System through the lateral medulla. This simplified model served the development of the Mickel Therapy process very well considering the success of the treatment since 1999 in over 4000 cases.

However, as our organisation’s main focus is to have Mickel Therapy independently studied and subsequently shown to be the treatment of choice for CFS/M.E and Fibromyalgia, we feel that an expansion on the underlying science is necessary. This article will give a brief overview of this and we will continue to gather evidence to be displayed on this page . Mickel Therapy’s Managing Director and Consultative Directore of Research Dr Francis Teeney from Queen’s University, School of Psychology, Belfast University will oversee this.

The Mickel Therapy process is based on the assumption that the people developing the symptoms have a dysfunctional hypothalamus gland and heightened sensitivity to emotional signals arising in their mid-brain. This sensitivity leads to a state akin to that described by Dr Hans Selye in the 1950’s when he described General Adaptation Syndrome which to all intents and purposes could have been an early description of what has now become known as CFS/M.E.

Unfortunately there have been chronic misunderstandings around CFS/M.E, the largest being an assumption that it is a psychological illness. We strongly believe that this is not true. This would explain why current psychological interventions such as CBT are sadly ineffective in almost all cases. Indeed, a concern would be that a significant percentage of people undergoing CBT actually report feeling worse. In the study below 38% of people deteriorated:

In order to understand why these conditions are not psychological in origin we must explore a new understanding of emotions. Mickel Therapy, through its use of the body-intelligence metaphor, has contested that the e-motions creating and maintaining the symptoms of CFS/M.E arise spontaneously without being created by thought processes. Therefore supported by Professor Roddy Cowie of Queen’s University Belfast who considers that these e-motions arise before thought then using techniques to change ‘thinking’ patterns does not alter them. Just because you think positively about an issue or an emotion you are not guaranteed an emotional modification. A simple example would be in the case of anger. If a person is in an annoying situation and the emotion of anger arises in their mid-brain, without preceding thought, then in our simplified hypothesis this would stimulate further their hypothalamus and produce an increase in symptoms. Positive thinking or other psychological intervention at this point will not alter this effect.

The hypothalamus, amygdala and related mid-brain structures are a complex network of interacting structures and so our model of ‘hypothalamitis’ is likely to be only part of the picture. However the success of Mickel Therapy and the fact that it is based on this simplified hypothesis would suggest that there is some truth in it. We are hopeful of being able to start to collect more research in this field to share with you on this web page.

" If you know of anyone who may benefit from One to One Therapy based on my Mickeltherapy practice, then please either email or call Maria who will be happy to discuss your requirements with you."


P. 07760257079

Follow us on Social Media

facebook | linkedin | twitter | youtube