At school, Lizzie Jolley was envied by her classmates for her energy and sporting success. Picked for most sports teams every year, she swam, played netball, hockey and tennis and gained a Duke of Edinburgh gold award.
At university, she added diving and sailing to her list of accomplishments. But within 18 months of graduating in 2001, she was so ill that there were days when she could barely struggle out of bed. Walking was difficult and serious exercise impossible.
"I would wake up feeling really groggy - as if somebody had hit me over the head with a baseball bat - and very depressed, which was really unlike me as I have always been a happy person,' says Lizzie, now 28.
"I knew something was seriously wrong but I had no idea what it was."
Lizzie's GP arranged for her to have some blood tests. When these came back clear, he diagnosed ME by process of elimination, as there is no definitive test for the condition. The symptoms persisted and Lizzie remembers Christmas 2002, one month after her diagnosis, as a low point.
"I could not exercise, go out with my friends or even enjoy a drink without throwing up. I thought this illness would be with me for life."
But by March the following year, Lizzie was on the road to recovery, thanks - she believes - to a technique devised by Manchester osteopath Raymond Perrin.
Perrin - who is not a medical doctor but gained a PhD for his work on ME - believes that the condition is caused by the body's inability to rid itself of harmful organisms and chemicals, including bacteria, viruses and environmental pollutants. He claims that his massage techniques stimulate the lymphatic system - the network of vessels that carry infectionfighting cells round the body and remove foreign bodies - to drain these toxins away.
In one trial, published in the Journal of Medical Engineering And Technology in 1998, the symptoms of 33 patients treated by Perrin improved on average by 40 per cent, while the untreated group deteriorated by an average of 1 per cent.
Source - Daily Mail