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Michael Crawford and the Locations Effect

Discussion in 'Addressing Biotoxin, Chemical & Food Sensitivities' started by slayadragon, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    Actor Michael Crawford -- diagnosed with CFS -- recovers from his illness through the use of the Locations Effect. All the things that he's done (moving away from England to a small town on the beach) are consistent with how it's done.

    >Michael Crawford has been living a quiet and secret life in a New Zealand beachside town for the past five years....He said he relocated from the UK to get healthy and 'smell the roses.'

    http://www.news.com.au/entertainmen...ar/story-e6frfmqi-1226296026514#ixzz1ok1SpjNk

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/a...ls-personal-reason-s-stage.html#ixzz1FiLcNh4B
     
  2. Foggy

    Foggy

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    What has New Zealand got that's 'unique' for ME sufferers?
     
  3. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    There are lots of people who live in New Zealand who have severe ME/CFS, so I don't think it's that the whole country is good. I suspect that Michael Crawford just happened upon a good place.

    In general, beaches that are in non-populated areas tend to be pretty pristine. The fresh ocean breezes do a lot to blow all the toxins away. Some people think that the sand and the negative ions from the ocean are also helpful with some toxins.

    My guess is that Crawford happened upon a pretty good house (non-moldy) in that beach town, and that he bought new possessions rather than bringing a lot of things from England. If so, he was lucky! Most people bring contaminated possessions from home or choose unfortunately moldy residences and then make only mild gains (or no gains at all), even when they move to a better place.

    Here is a board that talks about the Locations Effect in general, allowing people with ME/CFS to rate how they feel in different places.

    http://locationseffect.proboards.com/index.cgi?

    Best, Lisa
     
  4. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    Here is another article about Michael Crawford:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbi...w-Zealand-restored-stars-health.html#comments

    >Michael Crawford told yesterday how he has been leading a secluded life in a small town on the other side of the world where he is known as Mike and his best friend is a dairy farmer.

    >From his small house by the beach near Auckland he goes sailing and fishing every day and has discovered the joys of gardening.

    >He went to live in New Zealand five years ago after being diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as ME or chronic fatigue syndrome.

    >Although he changed his diet and tried various herbs, nothing proved to be more effective than easing up on the pressures he had put on his life.

    >I decided to relocate from Britain to get healthy and smell the roses, he said.
     
  5. Foggy

    Foggy

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    I know there are NZ sufferers, but what I've heard there are no treatment plans there.
     
  6. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    I also know that NZ was one of the places where there was a cluster outbreak in the mid 1980s, at the same time that there was an outbreak in Lake Tahoe (described in Osler's Web). It was called "Tapanui Flu" there, and people got very sick.

    Lake Tahoe is still a really difficult place for people with ME/CFS (there is a particularly bad toxin there), and I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case for the place where the Tapanui Flu outbreak was too. These environmental toxins don't seem to just vanish (though maybe if people put effort into it, they could fix them).

    So I would be hesitant to suggest to anybody that the takeaway from the Michael Crawford story is that they should just move to New Zealand. They could end up getting worse!

    Best, Lisa
     
  7. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    Interesting - I spent a couple of weeks in Lake Tahoe one summer. I felt very well there! It's a lovely place.
     
  8. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    Tahoe is the best of times and the worst of times. The air there is very pristine, except for small amounts of an outdoor toxin (emanating mostly from the sewers in the towns) that is at times catastrophic to those of us with this illness. (It may be problematic to others as well, prompting cancer and other illnesses.)

    Where were you staying when you were in Tahoe, Jenny? What month and year was this? Were you already sick with ME/CFS at the time?

    Best, Lisa
     
  9. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I really loved Clearwater Beach, Florida the week I vacationed there after I was ill, but before I knew it was ME/CFS. I think the general idea is to find a healthful environment and be able to afford a lifestyle that allows you to stay within your energy envelope and avoid stress.
     
  10. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    One well-known CFS doctor reported seeing many patients get better when vacationing in Hawaii, and posited that it was the relief of stress that was responsible. What I believe was that it was more likely that they benefited by not only being in a good place, but by being away from their contaminated possessions from back home. After people move in all their furniture, clothes, books (all of which can be loaded with toxins), they frequently relapse.

    I bet Michael Crawford bought all new stuff for New Zealand, rather than moving a bunch of stuff there from England.

    In general, I agree that people should try to stay within their energy envelope and avoid stress as well as being in a healthy place.

    Best, Lisa
     
  11. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Last year (pretty sure it was last year) Crawford returned to the stage in the UK after having spent time in NZ. I think the articles being written now are a little misleading.

    When he 'returned' to work he did so in a part-time (reduced) capacity (pacing?). He may well retain a house in NZ - pretty sure he does - but am not sure he has retired from acting because of his ME. And claims of a 'cure' in some of the headlines didn't match with what he said - when I last checked - but correct me if I am wrong please.

    My 'take' on this is that by far the best 'treatment' when we are at our worst is complete rest and if one is able (financially and health-wise) to take oneself out of ones present situation (work, responsibilities, environment) into a place that is supportive, and encouraging of rest, for a significant period - then it will impact positively on your health.

    That's my own experience too (for what it's worth). Not NZ I hasten to add - but removing myself - when I was able - to another environment completely. One that enabled me to rest far better than I was able to when trying to 'cope' with all the rigmarole.

    Also, and this might have a bearing, Crawford is pretty wealthy (relatively speaking). So this might impact on people's assumptions about his diagnosis (e.g. him seeing the best doctors that money can buy) and the degree of care and support he received. Also on his ability to 'step out' of his working and hectic lifestyle. I think all of this - together - impacts on the 'validity' of his diagnosis - perhaps - but also on his ability to 'totally relax' under the best of circumstances.

    Whether or not he still has 'ME' or 'CFS' is debatable and the articles (which originated in NZ or Australia - I can't remember - but appeared to me to read like recommendations for the country more than anything else) don't really go in to much detail.

    Still, I wish him all the best and hope that his new lifestyle continues to positively impact upon his health.

    Edit:

    There you go. From February 2011: http://forums.phoenixrising.me/show...rd-quot-fought-off-ME-quot&highlight=crawford
     
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  12. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    Crawford's returning to England to star in the Wizard of Oz last spring is mentioned in the second article in the first post of this thread.

    Here's an additional article:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbi...Moving-New-Zealand-restored-stars-health.html


    Certainly he talks about easing up on the pressures of his life. But look at the place where he's doing it, how blue the sky and water is! That's a classic example of how to take advantage of the "Locations Effect": by being in a rural, pristine sunny beach location.

    For instance, the reports on this board generally suggest that places like the Caribbean tend to be really good:

    http://locationseffect.proboards.com/index.cgi?


    Dr. Sarah Myhill recommends that CFS sufferers go to the beach:

    http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Mould_Sensitivity


    The fact that people with CFS often feel better in Hawaii (but not other vacation spots) is discussed here:

    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/showthread.php?13799-Mold-or-Oxygen-Feel-better-in-Hawaii

    http://ampligen4me.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/what-is-it-about-hawaii/


    I don't know that I would think that having any kind of role in a musical theatre production counts as "pacing." That requires eight performances a week, and even if you're not onstage the whole night, it's still more than a full-time job.

    Whether he finished the planned six-month run, I don't know. He certainly seemed happy to be back in his house on the beach in New Zealand though.

    I try to avoid using the word "cure" too, but I do frequently talk about my "recovery" from my ME/CFS when I'm in a really good place. Like Crawford, I periodically go back to my hometown (in my case Chicago) and spent time there. Especially if I've been in a really good place for a while, I often feel strong enough to do okay there. But after a few months, I start to lag and to need some really fresh air. If I stayed there permanently, eventually I'd get pulled down into illness again.

    Rest, on the other hand, is far less important to me. I'm quite active, as long as I am in a good place. Crawford seems pretty active in New Zealand too, going sailing and fishing every day, working in the garden and hanging out with his mates.

    So based on what I have read about Crawford in these few articles, it seems to me that he's experiencing the same effect that I do. It sure does feel familiar anyway.

    Best, Lisa
     
  13. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Thanks Lisa.

    I was living in Jersey (channel island) when I returned from a Greek Island with the initial viral infection. I spent much of my 5 years following that diagnosis on the island. Returning here to Cornwall as and when i needed to.

    I understand what you're saying and I partly agree that location (or removing oneself to an environment that is conducive to total rest and relaxation) is one of the better ways to make progress given a suitable length of time.

    But I think that's a mental thing as much as anything else. And Jersey - for me - didn't cut the mustard in that respect either. I did spend almost a year recuperating at one point in the New Forest, in Hampshire and that did more for me than anywhere else.

    It was the environment - trees, open spaces, no people, total support, little stress (other than self-imposed) etc. etc. I even managed to engage with a merger project in London and commute each week after this period (although that was pushing it a bit too much).

    I've lived now in Cornwall full-time for three years come July I think. And whilst we are not at the beach (it's 10 minutes away), again it's rural, remote, and largely peaceful - tranquil. So for me that seems to offer the best combination (I'm also very well taken care of here).

    But I am still very unwell and spend much of my time in bed, resting, 'house-bound' etc. but on occasion (once a week) I am taken out somewhere and it's great to be located where we are. Though of course if I were living as I did in London, say, I might still get out to the park or zoo or something - still 'get away'.

    NZ does sound great though doesn't it? I think I'd enjoy living over there myself :thumbsup:
     
  14. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Confirmation bias. ;)

    What about all the people who have moved who didn't improve?
     
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  15. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    Oh, that's very interesting. People in England generally have a hard time of it, but my guess would be that if there is one place in England that might have good air, it would be Cornwall.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornwall

    It seems like it likely would get fresh air breezes from the ocean blowing across the land, and the pictures look like a classic "feel great location" to me. And it does sound like you're doing better there.

    So I'm really intrigued.

    Sticking with the theory for a moment that exposure to mold toxins are driving this effect, people can get exposures to toxins in three different ways. 1) From the outside air. 2) From the building where they're living. 3) Contamination of their possessions from their having been previously in a moldy place.

    So I'm wondering here whether you might be in a place with really good air quality and benefiting from that, but being held back in terms of a recovery to a reasonable level by the indoor exposures that you're getting.

    For instance, once when I was unknowingly living in a moldy house, I took a trip to rural Japan and stayed at some hot springs. This is near where the nuclear meltdown was -- heartbreaking to me, since I felt great there at the time. But I think that most of the reason I felt so much better there was because I was wearing (as custom suggested) the robe supplied by the inn all day, and thus was not being exposed to my possessions. I clearly remember when I put on my own clothes and went out for the day, the next day I was basically in bed. This was perplexing, because I had hardly done enough to constitute as PEM. I chalked it up as being random at the time, but I now think that it was being back in proximity to my stuff.

    Here in the U.S., I've been supervising people who are interested in "getting clear" by decreasing exposures to a really low level, e.g. by going on a camping trip to a place with really pristine air. For instance, here are some examples of people who have done that. Here is Beth's trip:

    http://ramblingsearcher.blogspot.com/2012/02/experiment-in-desert.html

    Here is Janis' trip:

    http://cfsmethylation.blogspot.com/2011/11/strong-and-vigorous-or-weak-and.html


    Here is City Changer's trip:

    http://ampligen4me.wordpress.com/2011/12/25/the-big-test/


    On Reply #7 on this thread is Jeri's trip:

    http://locationseffect.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=us&action=display&thread=4


    Of course, it's very difficult for people with CFS to go camping! Probably it would be impractical for you to do it. Those pictures of Cornwall are intriguing though -- I wonder if the air quality there is good enough that if someone did do it, it would work.

    Best, Lisa
     
  16. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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  17. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    I can't remember exactly where it was - it was just above the lake though. It was in the early 1990s, in August. I had ME but I was gradually recovering, so wasn't too bad. But being in Lake Tahoe seemed to improve things.

    Jenny
     
  18. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I really would question if he bought all new stuff in New Zealand. Could easily have flown first class with many kilos of luggage. Very unlikley that he would have turned up with no belongings and bought everything he needed there from scratch and was somehow lucky enough to get free of mould or whatever by coincedence.

    As he talks about the sailing and fishing on other earlier UK interviews it's more likely that he was high functioning. He must have been pretty well to travel to NZ to start with. Not your average PWCFS.

    I've been lucky enough to have had beach holidays over the world and although aware of the location effect (joined a yahoo group around that years ago) I have never experienced it to any great effect. My luggage was lost on one holiday and I did need to buy new things - still had ME.

    Micheal Crawford may well have been escaping something in his environment (and that would be anything) or be burned out /exhausted and felt better after a good holiday.

    Fishing and sailing doesn't cure many PWCFS or we would notice it.... Plenty of NZ patients have had seaside holidays as well and if some of them had stumbled on these magical locations then we would have heard. Not just one person now and then.

    Who knows what happened to him.
     
  19. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    I lived in NZ, near the beach at one point about 12 years ago. I was already in a good phase when i left the uk. Being in NZ didnt change my health for the better or worse in any way, and neither did coming back to the uk. BTW NZ has one of the highest rates of Asthma in the world! I relapsed severely about 4 years ago after catching measles whilst living in Wales (where i still live now) I live in a very remote, rural area (sheep not agriculture) surrounded by fields and woodland. It is extremely peaceful, the air is exceptionally clean (lichens all over the apple trees) my land and all the surrounding farmland is organically managed for many years. It is a site of special scientific interest. BUT it is very very damp all the time (as is Cornwall) we are 20 mins from the beach, with coastline below and above us. Very similar to Cornwall and very similar weather patterns.

    I do feel ever so slightly better by the beach for the day, but have lived in the south coast of england on the beach for years in the past with no good effect either.
    This whole mold thing is tricky. I first got ill after living in a series of very substandard black moldy rented houses. I now live in a brand new house, with no mold at all but am the sickes i have ever been. Exercise affects me very severely. Michael Crawford is on record as saying that he was swimming and fishing and sailing from day one in NZ - you would have to be very high functioning in the first place to be able to do that. He also has a lot of money - he could afford to live there with his family and not worry about work etc.

    Even if i wanted to practice mold avoidance or get the location effect that would not be possible for me right now. It is so impractical for anyone who is very ill/housebound and has a family and life to maintain. You csnt csmp in the UK with M.E - it is simply too cold and damp. i cant maintain my body temperature without a good heating system and cant sleep on a roll out mattress. I have a husband and 4 kids. I have a mortgage to pay, we have struggled financially for years because of my illness. I cant just leave them all nor can i take them with me. My kids need the stability of their home and school life.
    How do you propose thoise with families and financial ties do it?
    Justy.
     
  20. slayadragon

    slayadragon Senior Member

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    It certainly is true that the sicker that people are, that trickier it is to stage a recovery using the Locations Effect as a leverage point. This disease is not an allergy! In some ways (as Myhill suggests), it does act like an allergy, but there are other components to it. The toxins and the pathogens that are present in the system have an effect too -- and in those people who are severely ill with ME/CFS, those levels can be extreme.

    Someone who has (say) a raging infection with babesia is not going to be magically cured within 24 hours of getting to a good place. Someone with massive amounts of toxins in their brain, causing severe noise/light sensitivities, is not going to feel totally better right away in a good place either. Those problems will need to be reversed before they can experience significant gains.

    What mold avoidance does is offer patients a leverage point. For some patients, like Jeri, just moving to a good location is enough. For others, it takes a longer period of time. If people can get their levels of inflammation damped down, then their bodies may be able to start killing off pathogens, either spontaneously or with the help of interventions. In addition, it's seeming clear that when people get to a really good place, their bodies start to detox spontaneously. (On the other hand, ME/CFS sufferers generally have a terrible time detoxing in bad places -- which is why doctors like Paul Cheney advise them to be so very cautious in doing anything to stir it up.)

    Erik Johnson, for instance, found that he felt only slightly better when he got to a really good place, camping with all new stuff. It took him four months before he started to experience gains. He credits detox, which he helped along with exercise (which he was able to do to an increasing extent in a good place). Within six months, he went from being able to stand up sporadically (otherwise almost wholly incapacitated) to climbing to the top of Mt. Whitney (14,000+ feet, 6000 feet elevation gain).

    One issue that i've been trying to resolve is that people with fibromyalgia/trigger point pain/fascia issues need to get these resolved if they are to benefit much from avoidance. The apparent problem with this condition is that it prevents toxins from moving effectively through the lymph vessels and being removed from the body. If they stay backed up, then unhappy symptoms (brain swelling/fogginess, bodywide pain) can result. I'm thus really interested in things like the Perrin Technique, which apparently results by freeing up these drainage pathways, and neural therapy. Those things don't seem to work when people are getting a lot of exposures, because drainage issues are only one aspect of our problem. In combination with effective avoidance though, they seem to be really effective, at least in a few of the cases that I've seen so far.

    So in general, everything has to be lined up just right for people to benefit from the Locations Effect. They need to a) be in a place with good outside air; b) be in a good building or tent; c) not have contaminated belongings with them; d) be in that sort of place for long enough to start to make gains in terms of killing of pathogens and detoxing; and e) resolve whatever lymphatic blockages they may have. Is it any wonder that people don't know about this effect then? The likelihood that this will happen spontaneously is really small. The question is not how frequently it happens spontaneously, but how frequently it happens when it's done systematically. And so far, in the people that I've personally supervised, it's happened a really high percentage of the time. (It would be 100% of the time if I could figure out how to consistently and easily resolve those drainage issues, I think. Unfortunately, the Perrin Technique is not available in the U.S., and neural therapy is not widely available either.)

    Insofar as people are living with the possessions that they had in housing with black mold (Stachybotrys) in it, they generally find it very difficult to make any gains, in my observation. Certainly when I go to visit those people, I realize within a couple of minutes that I would relapse completely just living amongst those possessions. People who do the "mold-free sabbatical" always find that they cannot tolerate those sorts of possessions when they come back either.

    It's hard to know for sure if a building has mold in it. Some of the newest buildings (at least in the U.S.) are the worst, because they are poorly built and have a lot of hidden mold that cannot be seen or smelled.

    It certainly is true that not everyone can pursue mold avoidance or the Locations Effect. However, not everyone can pursue (say) Rituximab or Valcyte either.

    In truth, my goal in talking about this is not to get everyone to pursue avoidance. It's to draw attention to the phenomenon, so that researchers will look into it. Perhaps if they did, they would put effort into figuring out how people could start to detox even in a mildly bad place -- thus meaning that people could conceivably start to move toward wellness without doing extreme avoidance. (I tend to think that folks never will be able to get well living in a truly bad place though. These toxins are inherently dangerous!)

    Below are a couple of comments from CityChanger on these topics, which he posted on Jamie Deckoff-Jones' blog.

    Best, Lisa

    *

    >My first few forays into the desert with Lisa yielded no results. It was maddening to think that someone could go to the desert and be hiking miles within a week. My severe POTS, severe PEM, and every other classic ME symptoms told me this wouldn't work for me.

    >In fact, it does work. It just didn't work overnight. Now I'm driving long distances, hiking, working 40 hours a week from my computer, and I've really only gotten my feet wet with this. Erik Johnson took 6 months to be able to hike long distances, and I've only been out in the desert for 2 weeks (before this, I did moderate avoidance for a 2-3 months by living in my custom-built trailer in big cities)

    >It's highly inconvenient to think of biotoxins being the cause of our immune overactivation. Because most of us are not in a position to do jack about it. Whether or not that's the main reason for the resistance to this idea, I'm not sure.

    >The bottom line is I have ME and biotoxin avoidance enabled me to hike for 3 days straight with no PEM.

    http://www.x-rx.net/blog/2011/12/tunnel-vision.html
     

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