ME – Jo Anne

Jo-Anne-Wilkinson-6cm-206x300Jo-Anne is reversing her ME after 23 years of chronic fatigue. And now she’ s fit enough to go out on regular walks and cycle rides. Here she tells how her Buteyko practice is reaping its rewards.

By October 2009 when I began Buteyko, I’d had ME/CFS for almost 23 years. At first it had been quite mild but from the early 1990s I had severe ME after a vaccination. I was bed-bound for about 4- 6 months. And my memories of that period are very hazy.

Over the next 13 years I would make some progress quickly followed by relapses. I was housebound and in constant pain, with very limited mobility. In the 3 years before I started Buteyko, I made some more progress and gained mobility. I was driving again and becoming more independent. I wish I’d found Buteyko earlier.

Months 1 and 2 – soaring energy and coming off tablets

In the first 2 months of Buteyko, my energy soared and I experienced a great sense of calm. I was able very quickly to begin reducing the tablets I took to support my adrenals, and I was later able to become medication-free in June 2010.

After the first 2 months, for about 6 months, I experienced challenges as my body went through a healing process. It was no worse than the ME, and most of the time easier. I kept going, as I knew I was on the right track. And I had Martha’s caring expertise as guidance to support me. This healing is ongoing, but is now mild and manageable within everyday life commitments.

From housebound to walking and cycling up to 7 miles

One of the big changes in my life since the summer of 2010 is that I have been able to gradually do more aerobic exercise mainly walking but also a little cycling. Before, exercise – however short and gentle – would leave me feeling shattered. Now I can walk 6 or 7 miles at a moderate pace. I am tired afterwards but in a healthy way.

My tao yin teacher has remarked on my increased strength and suppleness. People tell me how well I look, which is wonderful after years of being pale and hollow-eyed. I keep to a healthy diet. But if  I feel like eating chocolate cake, I know I won’t suffer particularly. I have lost about half a stone and now weigh 128 pounds, which is an unexpected bonus.

Clear mind and more stamina for life’s ups and downs

My mind is clear and I can concentrate for long periods. I can also deal with the small dramas and larger crises of everyday family life in a smooth, efficient way. I think this encapsulates Buteyko. Your mind and body begin to work with calm endurance. And I am keeping this up day after day. I feel a deep well of physical, mental and emotional stamina.