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R U Amygdalized?

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Christina, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. LaurelB

    LaurelB Senior Member

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    Ordered the DVD's!

    Just thought I'd let everyone know that I finally ordered Dr. Gupta's DVD's, so should be starting on the program soon. I'll try to let everyone know how I do on it. Fingers crossed it helps at least on some level! :)

    Best wishes,
    Laurel
     
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  2. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Laurel,

    Yes, keep us updated. I am hoping it helps you alot. :)
     
  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Good luck! Just take it easy - keep your expectations low and see what happens. I think it can only be helpful. :)
     
  4. LaurelB

    LaurelB Senior Member

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    Thanks, Cort and Jody.... I am actually kind of looking forward to it. :)
     
  5. mojoey

    mojoey Senior Member

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    Hi Laurel

    I just started too, and I'm sorta in the same position as you. Although I believe dealing with emotional conflicts is an important step for the body to "let go" of toxins & pathogens on an energetic level, I know that positive thinking can only go so far with this illness. However, so far I think Ashok's theory really makes sense, and in the 3 days I've done his technique, I find it just making a lot of sense & bringing a new level of awareness of thoughts-about-my-body.

    Whether it's neural therapy or neuro-linguistic programming of the amygdala, the limbic system is key. My approach has always been top-down, and it doesn't get much higher than this. As mike told me yesterday, "we've run outta real estate."
     
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  6. rosebud

    rosebud

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    Just wanted to follow up on all of the above thoughts -- I am a psychotherapist and use hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy( a basis of guptas program -- and used imagery and relaxation to rid myself of fibromyalgia PLus meds and supplements and not overdoing.

    The universe gives us many tools to use - I believe we should use all of the ones we need -- so if the program helped you, but you overdid and then crashed then you weren't following the program - it's like having arthritis and having to take alleve so that you can't feel your pain- it's still there, not cured, but the alleve helps. If you don't take the alleve and garden for 3 hours - lo and behold! you feel the pain.

    We have an illness that there is at this time no cure that works for everyone

    But if one thing helps 10%, another 20% and another 15% you are feeling 45% better

    In simple terms: Gupta wants you to stop thinking about your illness and refocus on pleasant things, pace yourself and try not to overdo when you are feeling well. It is not easy to do this - I work with patients all the time who have difficulty with this -- I myself do too. Is it our personality?

    I do feel so sad for those people who are bedbound and can barely do anything at all - I don't know if his program works for those people

    I know that I was so hopeful about taking Valcyte this winter, and was totally demoralized when it didn't work and made me feel worse. But I rose from the ashes and found your website and found hope again.

    thanks
    Rosebud
     
  7. LaurelB

    LaurelB Senior Member

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    I have received the AR DVD's and have quite a few comments I hope to post eventually. I am curious, though, if anyone knows what Dr. Gupta's medical background is? That is, what is he a doctor of? I read on a different board he has a graduate degree in economics, but I could not find any information online on his educational background. Not that it matters at all; I am just curious.

    Thanks!
     
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  8. susan

    susan Senior Member

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    Laurel.\,
    I too was curious of Ashoks qualifications......I think it might be hynotherapy....not sure though. However I dont care what they are. I have seen some of the best Doctors who knew less about my illness or cared less. I would not care if the person who cures me is the Trash collector. I have seen some brilliant minds on these CFS boards/forums capable of working out what is going on in our bodies where a lot of educated high minded people dont. The net has educated so many people.

    Having personally spoken to Ashok twice, I can say this young man is so genuine in his desire to cure us......that was enought to get me hoooked on his program.
    I too know what it feels like to be bed bound. Remember my friend the brilliant architect 13 yrs is out of bed with a similar program to Gupata....2 world trips in less then a year. Hang in there........
     
  9. LaurelB

    LaurelB Senior Member

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    Thanks, Susan. It wouldn't really matter to me what his qualifications were either; I am just curious about it. I wasn't sure if he is an actual MD or a PhD, or what his degree was in. As one with a psychology degree, it just interests me to know his background. :) A lot of the stress management techniques he uses I am already familiar with and practice on my own (meditation, visualization, deep breathing, being aware of/stopping negative thoughts, positive thinking, redirection, stretching, etc)... so I just wondered if he actually has a background in this or just read up on it on his own in his quest to get well. I am an ever curious type. :)

    That's great about your friend! I hadn't heard about that. I can only skim posts so I can only read a few here and there and miss a lot of them. He was bedridden 13 years with CFS? What specific program did he use to get well?
     
  10. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    My understanding is that Ashok has a background in hypnotherapy and neurolinguistic programming. I don't know if he is a certified hypnotherapist or NLP programmer. Other than that does not have a medical background that I know of other. He is very well read in the scientific literature surrounding ME/CFS.

    To my eyes he certainly is genuine; I met him at IACFS Conference and observed him talking with a broad array of people there - he was the same Ashok Gupta you see on the DVD's.
     
  11. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    I am planning to try and work with the advice in a book called Your Empowering Spirit by Gary Sinclair. Here are some excerpted quotes from this wonderful (and free download) book that reminds me of what Mike's doc said to him "Mike you have to have faith!" One of my big problems is that the varying symptoms that have cropped up since lyme, that flare and then get somewhat better (ear stuff, sinus stuff, bladder stuff, asthma stuff), as it cycles, each time something flares it catches my attention, and agitates me and I get very upset. Add insomnia and my worries about being exhausted and can I make business or dental or medical appts or will I be too tired or in a bad few days and have to cancel etc...all puts me in fight or flight. That is the opposite of calm and connect. The opposite of faith.

    "Call upon your imagination to create a portrait of your miracle, ask for what you truly need in prayer and supplication, and then being anxious about nothing give thanks that it is yours already. There is never a more important thought than your last one.

    In order to start healing, You need to begin to think about desiring to be well and more importantly, what it would be like to be totally well so that you trigger those memories in the cells So now you may ask, when is healing going to come to pass? First, after you believe you have received it. Second, when you start to “call it” the way you believe that it is, rather than the way you see it to be. Then you can live in this truth and rely on God within to supply the ways and means of it all. Should this require the assistance of those in the medical profession, than follow that guidance. What it takes is your connection to all possibility.

    I have realized that every illness exists as a frequency of energy. In order to be a frequency, there was a time when it was not. This we call the silence. In the field of Quantum Experience, an energy more powerful than the vibration of illness overlays the disease energy and overcomes or even cancels out the weaker signal. It is your faith in the knowing that generates the greater power. Your thoughts of healing literally fill the hollow spaces of silence. All around you the energy field of your agreement with reality vibrates this new message

    As time does not exist, infinite patience must. As you make conscious contact with God, live in the knowing. Live in direct inner knowing. This is the belief or faith necessary to call things to be, that are not. To act as though they are. With this certainty, there is no limit. Place no dams in the river of blessing you have created. Just as the mountain brook does not stop at your request, so also when you put your hand of energy into the flow, it still moves on. To have the experience of the mountain stream you just relax and go with the flow.

    In the quantum, as you detach from outcome, you will remember that you are not separate from God. This is why you can reach out in thought, relax, and let go detaching from the outcome. To the degree that you let go, ego lets go, and the manifestation finds no dams along the way.

    In consciousness, when ego starts to talk about things as though they are not, it means you have lost patience. When this happens, just go back and relax again, and let go. Go until the laws of nature finish their work. Be at peace in the knowing that those laws are at work. Infinite patience produces immediate results. This is true because the immediate results of infinite patience is peace."

    http://www.cyberphysiology.com/download_free_book/register.asp
     
  12. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Beautifully put, jen.

    Beautiful.
     
  13. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    The way I first heard this worded, was "Speaking of things that be not, as though they were."

    This was the beginning of change for me.
     
  14. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    I think this is a perfect summation of the program- both benefits and limitations.

    I have used it for close to 2 years. It has benefited me by decreasing my dips and giving me an overall sense of improved health. Yet, the post exertional malaise is the same as ever.

    The more I examine my condition, the more I see PEM as almost an allergic reaction. If I exercise (especially cardio) 36 hours later I can feel a major flu kick in, which lasts a week, 2 or more.

    Like Christina, I fall into the 80% group, which means I'm fully recovered by Gupta's definition.

    Yet, this allergic reaction (PEM) is still triggered.

    To draw out this analogy further...let's say a person has a peanut allergy. You may calm them down, give them good nutrition, and a sense of healthy well-being....but give them peanuts and they will have a violent reaction every time.

    And so it is with CFS (at least my version). No matter how good the Gupta program is at relaxing me, the "allergic reaction of PEM" is unchanged.

    It seems like that is the elephant in the room with this program that is rarely addressed. Lots of people feel better, but few seem to ever get over this hurdle.

    Of course none of that lessens the benefits of the program, which are better than anything else I've tried. I just don't see at this point how it can cure you.
     
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  15. shiso

    shiso Senior Member

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    I too have tried Gupta's programme (though I admit, not all day every day for six months). Here's my take.

    I think Gupta has made a real contribution to helping people with ME/CFS. I liked a lot of things about the program; the DVDs contain a lot of sound advice. His techniques can have powerful effects on your perspective on the illness and can help you feel better, which has a lot of value. But, I don't think they can cure my core ME/CFS symptoms (inability to produce normal amounts of energy, POTS, cognitive deficiencies, and PEM).

    The technique helps with the stress response, which, as we all know, is much more easily triggered than it was before ME/CFS. So, faced with day to day situations like "can I make it through a 3 hour outing to my doctor's appointment?" doing the technique definitely helps control the stress response, and I find that I can get through the activity with fewer symptoms and better endurance. Same for dealing with more subtle or fleeting sources of negative thoughts.

    Similar with so-called brain fog. In the year I've been sick, I've experienced various forms of cognitive dysfunction, which for me are distinct from the very specific experience of brain fog. I have not yet found a way around the cognitive problems. But I have found that controlling stress and excess thoughts (Gupta style, though not using his specific techniques) has almost eradicated brain fog episodes.

    But I don’t think his techniques can fix the disease itself (I'm also just not capable of thinking only positive thoughts all day long) :) In my early 20s, I went through an anxiety-like disorder for about 6 months with all kinds of strange symptoms: flulike malaise, non-stop headaches, pain in my muscles, hyperventilation episodes. All of it made me feel awful, but I still made it to work every day. I bet this technique could have cured the disorder I had then. But ME/CFS is an entirely different beast.

    I think a lot of ME/CFS patients have an anxiety component to their illness, to differing degrees. I think Gupta's techniques work effectively with that component, and they provide relief from symptoms connected to it. But at least for me, they haven't worked in increasing my stamina (in the long term) or preventing PEM.

    The amygdyla hypothesis is clever. I think a lot of us can relate to his explanation of the typical sudden onset. There is anecdotal evidence galore that for many of us, the convergence of a virus, a stressful lifestyle, and/or emotional trauma immediately preceded the onset of ME/CFS. The stress hormones and/or abnormal immune responses probably did cause damage, including possibly trauma to the amygdyla or other brain structures.

    But I find it overly simplistic to conclude that simply changing our thought patterns can "reset" a brain structure which in turn will fix everything. It’s a fascinating idea and I would love to be proven wrong. I think the power of the mind to affect our bodies is huge. But many of Gupta's explanations supporting his hypotheses and proposed cure for ME/CFS just do not pass a straight face test for me.

    Again, I appreciate Gupta’s real contribution and think he is sincere. I’m glad I tried the techniques. My main beef, like I have with Dr. T., is that I have a real distaste for providing false hope for a cure or near cure, or offering a scientific-sounding hypothesis without scientific backup. Sure, we are sophisticated consumers and he shouldn’t be blamed for doing his utmost to market his product, which is helping some people. But I am a stickler for ethical marketing, especially when it comes to marketing to a vulnerable patient population.
     
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  16. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    Well said.
     
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  17. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    The post-exertional malaise is the most difficult part that's for sure. I've done Amygdala on and off (more off than on that's for sure) for about a year and a half. When I say more off than on - I really mean that; I've had alot of difficulty doing that process - so I've done other things - like watching for signs that the tension is welling up in my body and tamping that down - or just watching my thoughts to see if they trigger that reaction - or putting my attention elsewhere other than my symptoms. I basically abandon Gupta for periods and then come back to it. Usually when I do so I do better at it - my experience of it seems to deepen.

    I have been able to increase my exercise ability; nothing dramatic but I clearly have - I can probably do about 20% more walking. I've probably been able to do this by really slowing my pace of exercise down. There seems to be this innate disturbance in our body when we get physically active. (Maybe heart rate is key?)

    I'm now doing a movement technique called Anat Baniel - it attempts to help the brain relearn how to move the body. Right now I think Gupta and Anat Baniel are a good combination for activity; the one slows the mind down and helps relax the body; the other retrains the brain how to use the body.

    I'm still hopeful there's a way out of this with these techniques. :)
     
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  18. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    My problem with PEM is not during the activity itself (as the "Post" in PEM would suggest) but long after the activity is finished.

    I hear people discussing what they they can do and cannot do. I could probably run 5 miles if I wanted, and feel relatively good doing it.

    But like clockwork, 36 hours later, I would get hit like a hurricane.

    This reaction has for a while made me think that my amygdala is not reacting against the activity itself, but to whatever chemicals the body transmits during the recovery stage of exercise. There must be some explanation behind such a protracted delay of symptom onset. Immediate reactions can be simply a function of being sick and pushing too hard.

    But feeling relatively well, exercising with relative ease, and then getting a predictable reaction a day and a half later??? That functions like an allergic reaction to something.

    What that something is I have no idea. But I have always believed it carries the key to this illness.
     
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  19. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Yes this is the key abnormality in the disorder and honestly I don't think Ashok really accounts for it well. I'm glad you mentioned this because I can get through exercise well at first too - in fact I feel great afterward. It takes a couple of hours for the PEM to start then I would say it peaks the next day.

    If I exercise again when the PEM shows up I can shoo it away for awhile but it returns with renewed vigor.

    I don't know why the researchers haven't gotten this scenario into their heads more; they need to figure out what happens AFTER exercise; its during the 'rest and repair' time after exercise that things go blooey.

    I do feel my body is stronger though and more able to withstand the rigors of mild exercise (walking!).
     
  20. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    Exactly. This is where their attention needs to be.

    I too feel great immediately after exercise, which makes it a real mind F. It lulls you into believing all is well, and then bang!

    For a while I was hypothesizing that the amygdala is reacting to the lactic acid release during recovery.

    What else could be responsible for the delay?

    I also can't figure why cardio is so much less poorly tolerated than weight lifting?

    There are times I can lightly lift weights and skate by with mild PEM.

    But run on a treadmill for any length of time, and it's deadville for the next 3 weeks...or longer.

    You're right about Gupta not addressing this adequately. His 80-100% recovered definition does not factor PEM into the equation.

    By his definition I am fully recovered now. I think this is why his numbers are so high.

    I doubt in a peer reviewed, controlled study he will replicate anything near what he is claiming now.

    But there are definitely great benefits to the program, as you said. Unfortunately for me, eradication of PEM has not ben one of them.
     

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