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Reverse Therapy; Mickel Therapy and Gupta Amygdala Retraining: addressing the ANS

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by WoolPippi, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    a new thread to discuss these therapies that aim to calm down the body's nervous system.

    These are not psychological therapies. They don't think ME is a mind thing.
    They see ME as a physiological illness with a deep involvement of the nervous system, especially the HPA axis.

    Gupta Amygdala Retraining calms down the system via NLP techniques that stop the loop of: a bodily symptom --> worry --> stress reaction --> a bodily symptom. I've tried it in 2014 and had wonderful results.
    Here's a FR page with patient reports (it was too tiresome for me to read)

    Reverse Therapy (and I assume Mickel Therapy too) aims to shut up the chattering and controlling head and let the body roam free and follow its own wisdom. RT sees emotions as the body's messengers. They are to be used as prompts to do something the body likes such as dance, laugh, be with nice people, play, "waste time", dilly dally, eat chocolate.

    Beware, Reverse Therapy doesn't say that PWME should just go dance or eat chocolate. The goal is to flood the system with endorphines and to stay out of the constant grinding of thoughts and worries.
    People are to make their personal list of endorphine-triggers and find balance and pleasure each day. They are to pay attention to the personal message that their body is trying to convey. (for example: "You are safe, here, now." or ‘Balance the time you spend looking after other peoples’ needs with the time spent looking after your own.’. RT states you need a counselor to help you decipher the core message behind your emotions.)
    I've been doing Reverse Therapy for 5 days now and experience wonderful results.

    These therapies are a different way of looking at things, a different way of thinking about how mind and body interact and how they play off each other. All three therapies are aimed at soothing the bodily stress response and are rooted in the stress-research by dr. Selye.
    All three therapies talk about brain parts, brain paths and neuro transmitters.

    They all try to give some hands-on tools to influence the brain and its habits. These tools happen to be psychological such as NLP, meditation, mindfulness or person-to-person counselling. These are a few of the ways how we can influence the nervous system. Some non-psychological ways to influence the nervous system are EMDR and chemicals.

    This is not psychotherapy, there is no patient-blaming and they don't see the cause of the illness in your head.

    LINKS and COSTS:
    Gupta Amygdala Retraining has a video-set + membership which costs about 140 euros/dollars or 100 pound and has a solid money back guarantee.

    Reverse Therapy has a Creative Commons essay out with the context. There's also a book that can be bought.(Both use words and concepts that are different from what we're used to. Vague and easily dismissible if you're looking to do so). The therapy itself is a counseling and relies on seeing an actual human being (via Skype). This costs 80 pounds per session, one to six sessions needed. (I'm doing a DIY version based on the essay and the blog of the developer)

    Mickel Therapy springs from the same well as Reverse Therapy. The base was developed by both men together. There's a book to buy and there are counselors one has to meet. I don't know more about it but have read the most positive reports about this therapy.

    All three therapies have lots of enthousiastic participants who claim health improvements. All three also have people who experienced no improvements or had a relapse later on. None of these therapies have had trials that can scientifically prove their results.

    I think the approach they advocate will work well for me but I also should never want to go back to the life I lead when I fell ill. I should eat different food, meet different people, aim for different work goals and recharge in a different manner. Addressing the nervous system differently fits in. I'm doing RT now because I missed the how-to-deal-with-emotions in Gupta.
     
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  2. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting this, @WoolPippi

    I use energy medicine along with everything else I do to keep functioning, and I see breakthroughs that are supposed to be impossible. It is hard to get into a good discussion of alternatives on this site because of the blame-the-patient thinking. There is a world of untapped healing when seeing mind and body as one. Science will catch up, I suppose, in a century or two. In the meantime, it is nice to explore different areas to find improvement without relying on pills.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
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  3. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    What did you like best about the Gupta program? I bought it some time ago, but have had issues with keeping continuity. My best tool has been grounding and clearing techniques. It makes me wonder how interrelated the techniques are.

    If stress can derail the train, then it only makes sense that it can be countered.
     
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  4. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    I tried Mickel therapy.... I agree with some of the basic concepts in that being in touch with your emotions is a good thing, and learning how to act on what your body is telling you without overthinking or finding an excuse to behave differently can be a useful exercise. I know two people who both said they had ME who are 'cured' from taking part in this therapy. But - although it perhaps helped me with giving myself 'permission' to put myself first, it has done nothing for my illness.
     
  5. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    "This is not psychotherapy, there is no patient-blaming and they don't see the cause of the illness in your head."

    Yes, they do. They think that the cause of ME is the patients reaction to stress (yours and mine). So it is "your" fault. They think that you can stop your reactions and therefore cure your physical disease.

    The tools don't "just happen" to be psychological - they are psychological because they are trying to deal with a psychological condition. The rest is just window dressing.

    By all means address your own personal psychological and lifestyle problems but please don't support Gupta and Mickel in their claims to cure ME.

    There is no science behind this or any proof that their theories are correct. They may be able to help people with stress reactions to give them their due but that's not going to cure a co-morbid neurological disease.

    I did NLP early on in my disease and used similar methods. They made no difference at all to the viral symptoms I had then and still do now.
     
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  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    Reverse Therapy John Eaton's view of what ME is (basically adolescent pressures and exam stress) and how teenagers can avoid getting it:



    http://reversetherapy.wordpress.com/2006/11/28/how-to-get-me/


    John Eaton:

    ‘How to get ME’

    "Yesterday I went to talk to the Sixth Form at a private school in
    Newbury. Three of the girls there had recovered from M.E. with
    Reverse Therapy and - given the high prevalence of the illness in
    this age group, the Head of the Sixth form wanted me to speak to the
    girls about how not to get M.E.

    Over a hundred students turned up! I went light on the neurology of
    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (was sure they didn't want another biology
    lesson) and concentrated instead on the triggers for the illness and
    what they could do about handling them.

    The pressures on people in the 14-21 age group are enormous and it is
    no surprise that young people have one of the highest prevalence
    rates. They are negotiating puberty, changes in relationships at
    home, adjustment to adulthood, increased responsibilities and the
    constant, unremitting pressure of GCSEs, A levels, College,
    University and Careers. It's no wonder so many struggle.


    Being slightly flippant, I explained how to get M.E.:

    * Work beyond your limits

    * Give up seeing your friends

    * Ignore the early warning signs - background fatigue, headaches etc

    * Bottle up your emotions

    * Never say `No' to anyone

    * Give up doing things that raise your endorphin levels

    * Tell yourself constantly that you're a failure if you don't get A*
    in every exam


    They seemed to find that more amusing than the description of the
    cure!"

    November 28th, 2006 - Posted by John Eaton
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
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  7. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    @WoolPippi My experience is very similar to @daisybell 's. I was very much into these things before getting ill, which gave me the advantage of just being able to use them after falling ill. These techniques (among other things NLP and sth called Mental Control, not specifically Gupta) gave me a lot of benefits when I wasn't sick yet. They are valuable tools. I have slow onset ME, so at first I thought this kind of thing would be able to get me out of it. But I sometimes wonder if it didn't make things worse, like I kept on being active long after I should've stopped (benefit of hindsight I guess). I have no idea how harmful that was, but I do wonder about it. I do think these techniques could add some more quality to a patients life because it can help you not think about how awful your situation is, or feel less despaired and anxious. But I don't think it can cure ME, at least for me it didn't.

    I also wonder, do you find it difficult to learn these techniques while having ME? I feel like I would have a hard time because my brain is complete mush. (Meditation is also impossible atm for me.) Keep us posted on how you progress!
     
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  8. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    John Eaton also believes that "once you go back to an emotionally rewarding life, Bodymind can switch off the symptoms."

    So, lack of an emotionally rewarding life is the cause of ME ???? Stop pacing?? In John Eatons own words, his construct of Reverse therapy curing ME, is a mind over matter therapy.
    Reverse is a therapy based on John Eaton's belief that ME is caused by thoughts and emotions, and can be 'cured' by changing your thinking and behaviour, but especially your thinking, and by not pacing .... and by avoiding ME forums.

    John Eaton’s advice:

    http://www.reversethinking.co.uk/?p=348

    ‘10 things to stop doing if you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’

    September 9, 2007 by John Eaton ·


    1. Stop looking for ‘cures’. The more you look for cures which fail the
    more focused you will be on your illness. The solution for Chronic
    Fatigue syndrome is right here on the Reverse Therapy website and it
    contains all the information you will ever need on how to be well.

    2. Stop pacing. There is no evidence that pacing works. The reason it
    seems to work is because people are changing activities, not reducing
    them. Bodymind likes change so it turns down the symptoms when more
    variety is introduced. That’s especially true if what you were doing
    before was a chore.

    3. Stop talking about symptoms. The more you talk about the
    symptoms the more trapped you will get in the illness loop. Bodymind
    wants you to talk about getting well, not staying ill!

    4. Stop using M.E. Chat Forums and M.E. Support Groups. All you will
    ever meet are other people who are focused on illness. What’s more,
    some users are so trapped in suffering that they create negative energy
    which gets passed on to you. If you have made friends in a forum or a
    group then meet them elsewhere.

    5. Stop withdrawing from people close to you. Your Body doesn’t
    create symptoms because it wants you to give up your life. It uses them
    to signal that its time to create a better way of life. And that
    includes spending more time with your friends and those you love.

    6. Stop listening to medical doctors. With some exceptions (such as
    the wonderful medics we have on the Reverse Therapy team!) most medical
    doctors do not understand M.E. Either they don’t believe it exists or -
    if they do treat it as a real illness – they don’t know what to do
    about it. Either way you will just get frustrated.

    7. Stop thinking ‘I will never get well’ and, instead, focus on what
    you need to do to in order to become just that. If you don’t know what
    to do then try doing anything that raises endorphins if you notice
    symptoms on the increase.

    8. Stop waiting for the symptoms to go. Many of our clients have
    fallen into the trap of thinking ‘once these horrible symptoms go I can
    get my life back’. In fact the reverse is true: once you go back to an
    emotionally rewarding life, Bodymind can switch off the symptoms.

    9. Stop living in the past, dwelling on all the times you have been
    miserable, ill and depressed. Instead, learn to live in the moment,
    being directed by what your personal Bodymind wants you to do right now.

    10. Stop worrying about the future. The future is simply something
    people imagine. You can learn to imagine a future in which you are
    healthy and living the life you want. But better still, you can be
    guided by your symptoms and start creating your future in this very
    moment.'

    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
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  9. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    practical: stopping trains of thoughts. Just leave them and focus on something else.
    And the idea that of course there will be discomforts in the body. It's no small thing, running a body, having outside stuff inside the guts (for example). But not every discomfort warrants a worry.

    theoretical: the idea that the body/amygdala presents worries to the mind and if you aknowledge them (by mulling them over) the amygdala will feel justified to keep the stress reaction going. Merely stopping and telling the amygdala "it's all right, not a thing to worry about" did the trick for me.

    And I like that he [is a doctor] was a medical student who came to his idea via [science] reading medical journals.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  10. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    Thanks to all posters for the info.

    I can see the potential in these 'therapies' to alleviate some of the symptoms caused by this disease. But not the underlying etiology.

    Neuroplasticity dictates that the brain can and does change from experiences and thoughts.

    Theoretically, specific neuroplastic 'exercises' directed toward calming the ANS would also alleviate some symptoms. If neuroscientists determine those 'exercises', then I'd be interested trying that.
     
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  11. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Gupta is not a medical doctor and his ideas are not evidence based or supported by science
     
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  12. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    for me it was just a thing to understand, instantly, and then all that was left was to put it into practice.
    I've never done NLP or Mediation before. I thought NLP was just fooling yourself in order to get something ("fake it till you make it") and for meditation I don't have the patience (still don't).

    I've been interested in the nervous system and the Stress Response since I fell ill because I also have exhausted adrenals and I knew stress has been a factor all my life. I see these things as separate from ME.

    These three therapies will not cure ME. They address one of the aspects that's involved in the illness: the overstrained nervous system. Just like diet and thyroid issues it's one of the things that PWME need to balance.

    When I had just fallen I would not have been able to do this. Not even read about it.
    Over the years my brain fog has cleared and now I can read about this and do it.
     
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  13. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    @Wildcat I had to check out that website cause I couldn't believe someone was actually saying these things! :bang-head::wide-eyed::cautious: What a loser.
     
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  14. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    I changed it. He was a medical student and he came to his approach by reading medical journals, is what he said on his tapes.

    His ideas are not new.
    I found doctors putting ideas of calming the nervous system into practice in the work of Victorian dr. Mitchell ("The book on fat and blood") and 1922 dr. Jackson ("Outwitting the Nerves"). Midcentury dr. Selye. End of century when EMDR was established. And recently I stumbled into a whole sub of psychology that maps how the nervous system is altered by traumatic experience in early youth.

    There's a lot of interesting things to be found about the nervous system if you can sidestep your idea that they blame patients.
     
  15. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    I am not the least bit interested in what the founders of these techniques think ME is or isn't. If they are really promoting these as cures for psychological issues, that is sad. But it does not change what is true about how the body systems work, and what is possible. What I am interested in is getting to point B - wellness from this disease. Cancer has been changed by belief methods. Energy medicine is real.

    Anyone here on PR is entitled to their own opinion, but as this is a thread on the alternative therapy forum, it would be really nice to be able to discuss the merits of ways to influence the ANS through delivery methods that in the end will be recognized science, without it being ripped apart.
     
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  16. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    well, I did say it's easy to dismiss these therapies...
    And we do have a tradition here on the FR forum to be vigilant for people who (seem to) blame the patient.

    But I'm saying these therapies are interesting to us because they talk about the nervous system ànd they have effect on patients. I love results, I don't see them necessarily as a support of the theory that prompted the therapy. But I love results.

    I'm convinced the ANS is involved in our illness. And for that I want these therapies to be on this forum.
     
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  17. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    I am also convinced the ANS is involved. It explains the moment of takedown in the body resulting in ME. It makes the perfect storm make sense.
     
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  18. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    I'd be very sceptical of anyone who said this was going to cure people. But I do think that stuff is often dismissed in this sphere because of the way it's sometimes marketed, when it could be useful to some in mitigating certain problems where excess stress can make symptoms worse.

    I fully understand though why people would feel it to be the thin end on the wedge. I suppose the point is that it seems to confirm the point of view that we're just tired, stressed, whatever, and can be fobbed off with something that doesn't get to the underlying issues. Gupta's marketing is basically "this will cure you", which is decidedly shabby.
     
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  19. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Unfortunately the discussion of the nervous system or other biomedical factors tends to be very shallow, vague, and unsupported when used by practitioners of those methods. Their theories use some impressive terminology, but they do not suggest or demonstrate specific mechanisms.

    There is no actual science involved, yet they create the illusion of science by using anatomical and physiological references. It's a deliberately deceptive tactic, and that on its own is enough to make me distrust them completely.
     
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  20. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Thanks @WoolPippi for starting this thread. I appreciate your balanced thoughts on these kinds of therapies, and feel it's led to one of the higher quality discussions I remember seeing on PR on this topic. I myself think these therapies, like many things in life, have their positives and negatives, as therapies and as philosophies from their founders.

    Every time you mentioned the nervous system in your posts, I could readily relate. Thought I'd share a bit on what's calmed down my own nervous system. I've recently been drawn much more toward researching gut health and it's potential impact on the nervous system. I've been reading and keeping up with David Perlmutter and his take on the body's microbiome, and the role of probiotics and other things--like fermented foods--to improve gut function. His work is just one example of how doing physical things to address neurological symptoms of ME/CFS can be vitally important.

    I've eaten cultured raw dairy products for years now and have found them very helpful, but by adding other varieties of fermented foods the past month or so (like sauerkraut), I'm feeling a whole new calmness and relaxation settling into my nervous system. This was after I started treating for pyroluria with co-enzymated B vitamins and other supplements, which also had a huge impact on calming my chronically agitated nervous system. I believe both of these things are significantly improving my immune system as well.​

    I was fairly astonished when I read John Eaton's advice on what to stop doing if you have CFS [thanks @Wildcat for posting that]. Stop looking for cures??? Had I heeded that advice, I would never have found these latest two therapies that have helped me so much, on top of many others I've discovered over the years that have improved my health situation significantly.

    His ten points make it really easy for me to understand why some on this board become outraged when they read such complete nonsense as that posted by this charlatan. He does a huge disservice to various kinds of spiritual and energy work therapies that actually do have value. He appears to me to be taking a kernel of truth, trying to create some kind of corner on the market for it by introverting and manipulating pwME/CFS, and then make a bundle off of desperate people. Arrogant and despicable. Or to perhaps be a little more generous, totally clueless.​
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
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