Curing Versus Healing

Curing Versus Healing CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia or Long Covid

Is Recovery Possible? Make up Your Own Mind with this Webinar from The Chrysalis Effect

What is recovery? Is it really possible? This is a contentious issue, reflecting different perspectives on health and illness, curing and healing. In this webinar, Alison joins a team of Chrysalis Effect practitioners, who have all fully recovered from CFS/ME and/or fibromyalgia, to explore the debates and the evidence that underpins a bio-psycho-social approach to recovery.

This video has been produced by the Chrysalis Effect. It is freely available, but you are asked to submit your name and email address to the Chrysalis effect in order to watch it. To view in fullscreen click here

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Modern medicine may be able to work miracle cures for some people, but struggles to do more than manage the symptoms of those with chronic conditions. When our doctors tell us there is no cure for fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue they are technically correct.

They have no medical cure, but that does not mean there is no hope of healing and recovery.

A cure comes from outside and we expect it to be quick and easy, a physical solution to a physical disorder, carried out by an expert on you.

In contrast, healing comes from the old English word hælan, to make whole. As such it involves not only the body, but the mind and the spirit. We call this a bio-psycho-social approach to health, and within this framework, you are the expert on yourself as a unique individual, and therefore you are the healer. It takes time, a personal dedication to prioritising being over doing, and to doing whatever it takes to recover, but you are in control of the process.

It also takes a lot of support and encouragement to make the changes you need to become whole again. That is where I come in as a recovery specialist and trauma informed wellbeing coach. I use my knowledge and expertise to help you identify the changes that are needed and then support you in integrating those changes into your life so that you can live a fuller, happier, healthier life full of energy and purpose..

You are the healer and I facilitate that healing process for you.

The Role of Nature in Healing

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I began my working life as a nurse and remember, as a student, reading Florence Nightingale's Notes On Nursing. She understood that it is nature that heals, not doctors or nurses, but it needs us to co-operate to make this possible. Nightingale wrote that the person with the illness must be put in the best condition for nature to work on them. She insisted that the basics of good nursing lay in good hygiene, good food, fresh air and time. To this a modern nurse might stress the importance of the person taking control of their own healing, keeping moving to whatever level they are capable of and working towards independence, however slow this process might be.

A nurse must ‘put the patient in the best possible condition so that nature can act and healing occur.
Florence Nightingale in Notes On Nursing

How can nature heal the tired body or the aching soul if we continue to drive ourselves, to ignore our body’s demands for rest and relaxation or to hide ourselves indoors, waiting for rescue? Rather than waiting for a cure to be performed upon us, we need to become our own healers and work with and within nature.

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The importance of contact with nature for our wholeness was also understood by Nightingale's contemporary, John Muir, the Scot who founded America's National Parks.

Muir's understanding of the importance of nature to our wellbeing points us to the importance of taking time to step out of our busy lives into a beautiful space, reconnecting with ourselves and with nature to remain whole and to avoid becoming ill.

Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike”
John Muir 1869

The vital role of nature as the source of our healing forms a strong thread in my work. You can find out more about how active engagement with nature formed the heart of my own recovery by visiting the website that I created during my recovery at
In it you will find my recovery blog, guidance for simple activities, video tours of my garden, as well as guidance for using gardening and nature as part of your own recovery.

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Wellbeing coaching and The Chrysalis Effect Online Recovery programme are not an alternative for the treatment of acute medical conditions. If you have not yet sought medical advice for your symptoms, please do see your GP to rule out any conditions that may require medical treatment.
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