Recovery Norway was initiated in 2017 and formally established as a Norwegian organization in 2018. It was expanded as an international network in 2019. Recovery consists of people who have recovered from ME/CFS (myalgic encephalopathy or chronic fatigue syndrome) and similar health issues. Its mission is to create understanding of the health problems as well as justified hope of recovery based on our members’ stories, experiences and insights. We believe this can lead to solutions to illnesses that are often presented as ‘mysteries’ of health and disease.
Recovery Norway wishes to help those suffering right now through the insight of those who have put their suffering behind them. Their insights are key to making progress. Recovery can be seen as a project of public enlightenment run by people who have themselves had the problem and recovered. The goal is to help individuals and improve population health through hope and first-person knowledge of what causes and improves the problem.
Most members of Recovery Norway have previously had a diagnosis of ME/CFS. However, it is also open to those who have recovered from other health issues that are typically dubbed ‘medically unexplained’, ‘functional’ og ‘psychosomatic’, such as burnout, functional seizures, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), irritable bowel syndrome or fibromyalgia (and chronic pain conditions).
Our members have all recovered through methods broadly characterised by aspects of cognitive/mental techniques, change of thought patterns, actions and/or social interactions. Family members can also join. We assume that such techniques or strategies have the potential to change the brain and through that physiological processes in the body as well as how one perceives the body. Our members thus have not primarily had experiences with pharmacological treatment or diets. We also emphasise that the methods they have uses and their stories must on the whole be in alignment with a scientific model of the human being, disease and health.
Why Recovery Norway? Read more here!
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The term ‘recovery’ is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength” or “the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost”. This is precisely what Recovery is about as an organization: to provide recovery stories that can be a contributing factor to people taking action and regaining control over something they have lost – namely their health.
We are sometimes asked whether we are affiliated with the ‘recovery’ concept within psychiatry, which is defined as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential“. We are not. We have chosen the word recovery simply because it means ‘to get well’. We emphasise the hope that recovery or significant improvement is possible, as opposed to just learning to live with a condition. We do, however, share an aspect with the recovery approach in psychiatry in that we promote agency, self-determination and change based on hope.
An independent, voluntary organisation
Recovery Norway is an independent organisation run on an entirely voluntary basis. We have, as of 2020, no paid employees, and run the association in our free time. Our members’ motivations are altruistic. They could have chosen to put their illness behind them, but instead they choose to get involved on behalf of those who are still suffering, perhaps receiving little help and living in a state of hopelessness.
We do not recommend any specific treatments, and do not have any income from treatments or methods that are mentioned on our webpage. We wish to recruit members who have recovered with the help of various methods within the boundaries described above, and we do not promote any specific method.
None of the first recruits to Recovery have any commercial interests. After a while, some members joined that were also offering services, for example Lightning Process (LP) courses, because they had themselves recovered using these methods. However, it must be underscored that these members are not members because they are coaches, but in the capacity of being recovered sufferers. We do not see it as appropriate to exclude them as their recovery stories are also valid, but members with commercial interests do not sit in the Recovery board, and they do not have any particular position in Recovery. Henrik Vogt has worked as a general practitioner and researcher and has never has economical conflict of interests in a specific method.
As of July 2021, Recovery Norway has 260 members.
The stories on this webpage are posted for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for medical or other professional advice. Consult your physician or other health care provider regarding your symptoms and medical needs.
Recovery Norway does not make any claims about how many can get well from strategies like the ones our members have used, although we do think they are evidence that it is possible. We do acknowledge stories of people who have experienced worsening symptoms after such strategies too, and we think this is one reason for doing more research.