1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Ergonomics and ME/CFS: Have You Hurt Yourself Without Knowing It?
Having a chronic illness like ME/CFS can make it hard to avoid problems that come from bad ergonomics. Jody Smith has learned some lessons the hard way ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Hydrotherapy for ME/CFS - Dr. Cheney protocol

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Nielk, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    5,240
    Likes:
    5,136
    Queens, NY
    Blog by Erica Verillo

    http://www.cfstreatmentguide.com/blog/hydrotherapy-for-mecfs-dr-cheneys-protocol




    more here
    The DAR state forest - Goshen, MA
    In the 1990s, Dr. Cheney proposed the idea of cool-water hydrotherapy for ME/CFS patients. The idea behind the treatment was that vertical immersion in cool (not cold) water would help down-regulate immune system activation, which Dr. Cheney believed was an integral part of ME/CFS symptoms.

    Allergies, flu-like symptoms, and food sensitivities are all signs of immune activation, as are autoimmune comorbidities (e.g. Hashimoto's disease). Because I had all of these, as well as heat intolerance, I decided to put Dr. Cheney's theories to the test. I immersed myself in cool water (see photo), twice a day for roughly 15 minutes. The water was too cool to simply stand, so I swam very slowly using a modified breaststroke - head above water, body at roughly a 45-degree angle - for about 15 minutes.

    The first thing I noticed was that my head cleared. All my cognitive problems disappeared for a few hours after getting out of the lake. My energy levels also improved, as did my stamina.

    It turned out that there was more to Dr. Cheney's theory than lymph fluid reversal. Immersion in cool water shunts blood to vital organs - specifically to the heart and brain. (Heat has the reverse effect.) Swimming in cool water for a short period of time helped clear my head simply because my brain was getting more blood, and, as a consequence, more oxygen.

    The DAR state forest - Goshen, MA
    In the 1990s, Dr. Cheney proposed the idea of cool-water hydrotherapy for ME/CFS patients. The idea behind the treatment was that vertical immersion in cool (not cold) water would help down-regulate immune system activation, which Dr. Cheney believed was an integral part of ME/CFS symptoms.

    Allergies, flu-like symptoms, and food sensitivities are all signs of immune activation, as are autoimmune comorbidities (e.g. Hashimoto's disease). Because I had all of these, as well as heat intolerance, I decided to put Dr. Cheney's theories to the test. I immersed myself in cool water (see photo), twice a day for roughly 15 minutes. The water was too cool to simply stand, so I swam very slowly using a modified breaststroke - head above water, body at roughly a 45-degree angle - for about 15 minutes.

    The first thing I noticed was that my head cleared. All my cognitive problems disappeared for a few hours after getting out of the lake. My energy levels also improved, as did my stamina.

    It turned out that there was more to Dr. Cheney's theory than lymph fluid reversal. Immersion in cool water shunts blood to vital organs - specifically to the heart and brain. (Heat has the reverse effect.) Swimming in cool water for a short period of time helped clear my head simply because my brain was getting more blood, and, as a consequence, more oxygen.

    The DAR state forest - Goshen, MA
    In the 1990s, Dr. Cheney proposed the idea of cool-water hydrotherapy for ME/CFS patients. The idea behind the treatment was that vertical immersion in cool (not cold) water would help down-regulate immune system activation, which Dr. Cheney believed was an integral part of ME/CFS symptoms.

    Allergies, flu-like symptoms, and food sensitivities are all signs of immune activation, as are autoimmune comorbidities (e.g. Hashimoto's disease). Because I had all of these, as well as heat intolerance, I decided to put Dr. Cheney's theories to the test. I immersed myself in cool water (see photo), twice a day for roughly 15 minutes. The water was too cool to simply stand, so I swam very slowly using a modified breaststroke - head above water, body at roughly a 45-degree angle - for about 15 minutes.

    The first thing I noticed was that my head cleared. All my cognitive problems disappeared for a few hours after getting out of the lake. My energy levels also improved, as did my stamina.

    It turned out that there was more to Dr. Cheney's theory than lymph fluid reversal. Immersion in cool water shunts blood to vital organs - specifically to the heart and brain. (Heat has the reverse effect.) Swimming in cool water for a short period of time helped clear my head simply because my brain was getting more blood, and, as a consequence, more oxygen.
    melihtas, RL_sparky, justy and 3 others like this.
  2. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

    Messages:
    126
    Likes:
    124
    Very very interested in this. Whenever I get in a cool pool my symptoms literally evaporate to nothing within seconds. I have been wondering what on earth could cause such a dramatic reaction (complete resolution of symptoms must mean more than just POTS imo).

    Is Cheney suggesting that you can actually reverse immune activation by doing this consistently?

    Has anyone here tried this?

    I might actually give this a go but I'd love to hear others experiences of this kind of hydrotherapy.


    Best wishes,

    J
  3. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes:
    1,940
    London
    Yes, I have tried this. Immersed in cold water in a pool 2 or 3 times a week. It helped with pain and my POTs was better for it. However, no changes to my ME symptoms. I still got infections and had virus symptoms. There were many weeks off and on I was simply unable to get to the pool (even though it was only a lift ride and around 50 paces away in total).
    JBB likes this.
  4. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

    Messages:
    126
    Likes:
    124

    Thank you for your feedback ukxmrv. Much appreciated :). Yes I understand the therapy being so difficult if you were in a such bad way. Always sorry to hear that...it sucks to say the least!

    So in essence what you're saying is that there was some lasting effect (POTS and pain) but no lasting effect on infectious / virus symptoms...in other words, it didn't regulate your immune system enough to get rid of these?

    I know you have done a fair amount of work on your infections through other avenues.

    Did you, like me, have near complete resolution of symptoms whilst in the water?


    Many thanks,

    J
  5. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,442
    Likes:
    1,940
    London
    No sadly it didn't J - apart from some help with the pain and definitely the POTS. If I went into the pool with a sore throat and glands it was the same in the pool. I was still weak and sick. The same after.

    I tried to build up my swimming (as an example of a test to see how I was going) but it was snakes and ladders and the post exertional malaise never changed and was severe afterwards every time.

    Which of your symptoms improved?
    JBB likes this.
  6. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

    Messages:
    126
    Likes:
    124
    Thanks ukxmrv :). Hmmm interesting.

    For me all of them. Brain fog vanishes, weakness / muscle pains disappear, extreme crushing fatigue just evaporates all within a few seconds. I do not have sore glands though. I am housebound the rest of the time lying on my bed often in great pain.

    Can't just be POTS because I do not benefit that much from lying down. I have previously put it down to increased adrenaline but I can't find anywhere which says cold increases adrenaline...maybe something to do with ANS??

    It's very strange.

    If I do too much in the pool I do tire eventually of course and get PEM after.

    Might go test it out today and report back paying closer attention...there's a lake very near me.


    Many thanks,

    J
  7. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

    Messages:
    126
    Likes:
    124
    Ok well I went swimming twice start of this week as I was having a few 'good' days.

    My little experiment:
    - Spent about 15 minutes in the water each time.
    - Water was fairly cold, normal swimming pool temperature.
    - Did very small amount of swimming.

    Monitored my symptoms closely. As it was a lake I didn't want to put my head underwater which I usually do if in a swimming pool. However I was surprised that it didn't make as much difference as what I had said above.

    I am putting this down to the fact that when I have been swimming before it was much warmer outside thus dilating my blood vessels and aggravating any POTS symptoms. Indeed I generally feel terrible in very warm weather. So for me I think it was the temperature difference constricting blood flow which caused the dramatic difference.

    I was surprised at this result. Maybe will experiment again when I have the chance.


    Best wishes,

    J
  8. JAM

    JAM Jill

    Messages:
    204
    Likes:
    199
    New Mexico
    Why vertical? Would a cool bath have the same effect?
  9. JBB

    JBB Senior Member

    Messages:
    126
    Likes:
    124
    @JAM A cool bath may still help constrict blood vessels so may help somewhat (I have experienced this in hot weather). It is not the same as being vertical in my understanding though. This is due to water pressure.

    10m of water increases atmospheric pressure by 1. This is a lot. If your head is about 3 meters underwater your ears will start to hurt - ask a diver! So if standing vertical your feet are at a much greater pressure than your head / chest due to the water pressure. Therefore lying in a bath will not produce the same pressure difference and is not the same.

    Hope this helps,

    J
  10. JAM

    JAM Jill

    Messages:
    204
    Likes:
    199
    New Mexico
    Thank you, @JBB. That makes sense.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page