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Alastair Lynch – How CFS Changed My Life

As you may be aware, we are now offering health insurance through Astute Simplicity Health, underwritten by St.LukesHealth.

We are proud to be associated with St.LukesHealth, a non-profit organisation that has been providing private health insurance to Australians since 1952, and the fund’s brand ambassador -Brisbane Lions Triple Premiership Player, Alastair Lynch.

Each quarter we will catch up with Alastair for his insights into your health and how to live a balanced, healthy and practical lifestyle.

But first, how did he find himself in the Health Industry to begin with. Let’s hear from Alastair…

That’s one question I often hear. Midway through my AFL career I suffered a mystery illness that kept me out of the 1995 season for all but one game, and impacted the remainder of my 17 year career. I went from being a fit 27 year old professional sportsman, training hard day-in day-out and at the peak of my game, to essentially my health crashing overnight.

Some days I was sleeping 18 hours a day and waking more tired than when I fell asleep and struggled to lift myself out of bed. For 6 months I went from doctor to doctor searching for an answer. Finally I saw a respected Ear Nose and Throat surgeon in Melbourne who cleared up some ongoing sinus issues which we hoped was the underlining cause of the severe fatigue. It wasn’t. So he sent me to a number of specialists to finally work out what was going on. With still a lack of clarity, but many well known disorders eliminated, I was finally diagnosed with Post Viral Syndrome or another name that was given at the time was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Find out more and see Alastair in this recent SBS Insight Episode on CFS

My initial thought was, great, now I can go and see a Chronic Fatigue specialist and clear this thing up. As I found out quickly, although there were a number a CFS specialists, there was no cure.

I worked closely with my club medical and conditioning staff, a Brisbane based CFS specialist and made a visit to UCLA in the US to meet with one of the world’s leading medical CFS practitioners and researchers with limited success. After periods of feeling sorry for myself and being happy to blame the medical world for not being able to fully understand my disorder and find a cure, I managed to have a change of philosophy which seemed to help my mental and physical state.

At the Brisbane Lions there was a big focus for us to worry about controlling what we could control, and not worrying too much about what we couldn’t! I was able to do the same with my health. Whilst still being guided by dedicated medical professionals I decided I’d focus on giving my body everything it needed to fix itself – Nutrition, Hydration, Exercise, Good Mental Health Habits and arguably the most important, Quality Sleep.

After successfully working my way through CFS and returning to be a part of the Lions successful premiership era, I found myself joining a Health and Wellbeing Company dedicated to assist workers on a mine site in Tasmania and implementing the same philosophy and assistance.

I’m now proudly a Director of that Company (HBP Group), and with the assistance of great business partners (including St.LukesHealth) and more than 35 staff, we now conduct programs with a variety of businesses in PNG, New Zealand, and all states of Australia with a focus on balanced and sustainable lifestyle support and coaching tailored to individuals needs to help maintain and improve their health and wellbeing.

Working with Astute Simplicity Health and with the assistance of Leading Health Professionals, I’ll endeavour to provide some simple and effective strategies that can be implemented into everyone’s lives and improve the overall quality of both our physical and mental health.

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