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The Optimum Health Clinic, London

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by fred, May 1, 2010.

  1. fred

    fred The game is afoot

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    Has anyone had any experience of this oufit? Looks like a cross between the LP and Gillian McKeith. I can't see that they're regulated by any professional body. But, then, are they ever?

    http://www.theoptimumhealthclinic.com/

    [Quote starts]

    Alex Howard is Founder and Managing Director of the clinic. Alex suffered from M.E. for seven years, and spent two years virtually bed-bound. After reaching the point of near suicide, Alex made the commitment of doing everything he could to turn around his own situation and help others in similar situations. Since his recovery Alex has worked tirelessly and with great dedication to help those affected by M.E., and is the author of WHY ME? My Journey from M.E. to Health and Happiness, has released over 100 audio CDs including the clinic's highly successful www.SecretsToRecovery.com, and in addition to thousands of hours of clinical work, has given hundreds of talks all over the UK.

    In addition to his role as Managing Director of the clinic, Alex is also heavily involved in The Optimum Health Clinic Foundation, researching and writing several new books, is a presenter for www.Conscious.tv, and still heavily dedicated to his own journey of personal development. Alex also still does a very limited number of client sessions, teaches on the clinic's professional training courses, and runs the clinic's Conscious Transformation seminars (www.ConsciousTransformation.co.uk).
  2. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    There's been a great deal of discussions about them on the UK ME lists for years. Various complaints have been made. Their qualifications have been examined. They got an award from a magazine and complaints went there (for example). Lost track of what has happened now.
  3. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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  4. garcia

    garcia Aristocrat Extraordinaire

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    Psychology and nutrition to cure a retrovirus! Wow! These guys should get the nobel prize.
  5. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    The way things are going they probably will:D
  6. fred

    fred The game is afoot

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    For literature.
  7. helsbells

    helsbells Senior Member

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    I went to a talk given by one of their ilk. Not really for me. Amongst other things I take issue with the fact AH only had "ME" for a couple of years although I had plenty others. I see here its now 7.
  8. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Dear all,

    I am a patient with the Optimum Health Clinic and credit my improvement over the last few months to their treatment plan. I would strongly suggest anyone who is sceptical to read their model for CFS/ME (available free if you contact them). After a long time searching on the web for an understanding of our condition, this is the only model which I found to make a lot of sense and I regard it as the biggest breakthrough in understanding the various aspects CFS/ME.

    In response to the comment "Psychology and nutrition to cure a retrovirus! Wow! These guys should get the nobel prize." I feel I should defend their position (but again please read their model and talk to one of their practitioners to decide for yourself).

    Let's take the western world's number one killer - heart disease - as an example. Surely something so devastating could not be cured by simple psychology and nutrition? And yet that is exactly what clinical studies have shown, most notably through the pioneering work of Dean Ornish MD.

    I would also add that if you are still of the mindset that nutrition and psychology cannot help at least note that they are currently your best option in the absence of anything in the form of a pharmacological treatment, so it is better than waiting for a cure to an unidentified "retrovirus".

    Best wishes,

    Cig
  9. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I have read their model of CFS/ME and also had discussions with them. The model doesn't look like the disease that I have. Their approach doesn't offer anything useful to me.

    You need to keep up with current developments in CFS/ME and to read more research. There is no "unidentified "retrovirus"", many of us have already been tested for it.

    As this is your first post, you may not realise that.

    The Optimum Nutrition Centre doesn't offer anything new or concrete in curing CFS/ME, both the psychological and other aspects have all been done before and failed on properly defined and diagnosed patients in our own private struggle to get well. I've had this disease for decades and seen it all before. If it worked we would know about it. The patient groups would be full of happy customers.

    Why don't you have a read up on the Alex Howard and his Uncle, they way that they designed their business model to sell the product, then stick around here and read some actual physical research?
  10. paddygirl

    paddygirl Senior Member

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    Cig,

    I find the assumptions you make offensive. For years I have eaten well, taken my supplements and exercised. I am 53 years old and know my mind pretty well. Like many who have CFS/ME I have a lot to live for and this is being eroded daily by the illness and my comfortable planned retirement is now at risk. I am really really weary of explaining myself to uninformed persons like yourself. While I can defend myself and will, it enrages me that so many unwell people will be sucked into this nonsense.

    As for the rubbish about heart disease, my young brother is in intensive care after bypass surgery for a genetic heart defect. Will you blame this patient too? No amount of blueberries and psychobabble could have prevented this. Diet and psychology are certainly aids to a healthier life, but not the whole story.

    Inform yourself please, and speak only when you know what yo are talking about.

    Paddy
  11. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Dear ukxmrv,

    I see from the tone of your email I have offended you, if so I'm very sorry, that was not the point of my post. I merely feel the need to support the Opt Health Clinic's approach, because it may work for some people and I feel it would be wrong to deny some people that opportunity, so I decided to stick up for them as it were. Again apologies if I upset you, I know this subject can make us all very emotional at times.

    Anyway, you are right, I haven't done much reading on this site, so I would be glad to see the posts which argue against the OHC model and for the xmrv model - please advise me on where best to start.
    My naive understanding was that there were three basic problems with the xmrv approach:
    1. that it doesn't explain all cases of CFS, so we need to recognise that CFS isn't one single illness.
    2. that studies since the seminal have failed to reproduce the same results.
    3. that the presence of a virus may just indicate that the immune system of people with CFS is low, not necessarily that the virus was the cause.

    I think I would still stand by the fact that it is better to use the techniques of psychology and nutrition (which have been shown scientifically to help in a wide range of illnesses) while we are waiting for a drug-based cure, as it's really the best "tools" we have at the moment. I myself used them for sometime off my own back and it wasn't until I started with the OHC that I realised just how poorly I had been applying this methodology - it really can be easy to think we're doing the right thing while we're not.

    To be fair to the OHC, they are currently conducting their own trial of their methods with a UK university and I think it best to wait for the results of that trial before we condemn their approach as having "failed".

    I would also point out that they do have some "actual physical research" in the form of the various laboratory tests they carry out on patients.

    Lastly, I'd be very interested if you could post a link to where you've read "they designed their business model to sell the product". While I see nothing wrong with designing a business in this way, I think from the tone of your statement you mean that they are being insincere?

    Best wishes,

    Cig
  12. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Dear paddygirl,

    Again sincere apologies if I have offended you, I can see it must be tiring to constantly explain yourself. I would humbly ask you to point me to the best post(s) I can go to on this forum to best understand where I'm going wrong!
    I think Dean Ornish's work does not account for those people with a genetic heart defect - I mean't the more common forms of heart disease. I certainly wouldn't blame anyone for their heart disease.

    In the best interests of science, if you find a problem with Dean Ornish's publications and clinical trials, I would be very grateful if you could point those out to me so that I become better informed.

    Thanks,

    Cig
  13. paddygirl

    paddygirl Senior Member

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    Cig,

    I think you are misrepresenting yourself. You are presenting yourself as a 'naive' patient. Your second post suggests otherwise.

    Fess up, who are you?
  14. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Dear paddygirl,

    I didn't consider myself as naive when I first came onto this forum. I was somewhat taken aback by the tone of replies here and it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps my understanding of CFS was indeed not as complete as I originally thought it was and for that reason "relegated" myself to the "naive" category in a hope to quench the heat of the debate and move on to more practical discussions, in the genuine hope that I might learn something here on this forum. While I'd prefer not to divulge my real name (!) all I will say is that I am a professional physicist who has suffered from CFS for a number of years. I initially tried to treat myself through nutrition and then moved onto psychology. It wasn't until I started with the clinic and read the work of doctors such as Joel Fuhrman and John McDougall that I came to learn that everything I'd thought I'd been doing right was flawed. I'm glad to say that I've seen some progress in recovery and it just wouldn't be fair to those reading this who might benefit from the OHC's approach if I didn't stick up for them.

    Cheers,

    Cig
  15. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Cig,

    Thank you for your kind reply.

    I'm going to leave you to do your own research as you appear to be in control of your facilities.

    If you do an internet search you will find plenty of information on Alex, his Uncle and other business ventures. It's not hidden or very hard. Also very good critiques of why patients (and the WPI) feel that recent XMRV studies failed.

    I've been more than happy to follow nutritional and psychological approaches through the long hard years of this disease. I speak from experience when I say that they failed me although I made my best effort and with dedication.

    Wishing you all the very best in your search for a cure and for up-to-date info.


    UK XMRV+
  16. bananaman

    bananaman

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    I would just like to add that The Optimum Health Clinic charge a ridiculous and extortionate amount for nutritional advice, 60 for a 30mins phone call? according to a friend that briefly tried their services!

    She is still in a really bad relapse after being suckered into trying the LP and it knocking her back sideways, she found the whole experience very upsetting.
    Wildcat likes this.
  17. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    thanks for your post. I myself have seen MANY different psychologists, ive had some CBT and some DBT.. not one knew anything to help my CFS/ME. I myself studied Nutrition and dietetics as two different subjects at college for 2 years. I was actually a health freak when i first came down with CFS/ME. i think for most of us at this site.. these things arent the answer thou psychology can help us to deal better with having a chronic illness.

    Many feel upset when those things are suggested as for so many of us they just dont cure us at all or even help.

    Very possibly you may be in the 20% of those with CFS who do not have the XMRV virus and hence in your case you were cured just from that, I strongly suspect you didnt have canadian consensus defined CFS. Most of us thou are in the CFS/ME subgroup and hence have tried about everything we can and have had this illness for quite a long time. (in my own case I got CFS/ME 13 years ago... you've got no idea the amount of different things Ive tried to try to get better in this 13 years. If only it was as simple as your suggestion).

    Im so glad to hear you yourself found something which worked for you.
  18. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Id like to say that one cant compare CFS/ME with heart disease... after all a poor diet can and DOES cause heart disease due to obesity and cholestrol. This is a well known fact. Obesity isnt the cause of CFS/ME and obesity has to actually be ruled out as being the cause of the "fatigue" and symptoms for a diagnoses of this illness. (im sure i read something on that in the canadian consensus document.

    If it is a deficiency which is causing our illness.. then our illness isnt CFS/ME either, it's then known as just a vitamin deficiency.

    You also do not seem to realise that the XMRV studies which were said to be replication studies which didnt find the virus since the original studies, were in fact not replication studies as they did the testing completely differently using methods that werent even proven to be capable of finding the virus. Please research this whole study more.
  19. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    i personally dont at all believe that CFS is "one single illness" as some with it have no doubt been misdiagnosed eg some may only have depression, some have vitamin deficiencies, some have issues such as POTS, some may have actual cortisol issue causing their symptoms. Misdiagnoses will continue happening until there is an actual test for CFS/ME.

    My immune system was GREAT till i got CFS/ME. As a child until i got mono (EBV).. i was NEVER sick. i wasnt even ever off of school with even a cold.
  20. cigana

    cigana Senior Member

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    Dear taniaaust,

    Thanks for the reply. Let me say first of all I really don't intend to upset anyone. I know how it is for doctors to not believe what you're saying is real, I was dubbed as simply "depressed" by my GP and found this intensely irritating. I would have also laughed at the idea that stress was a cause in the beginning. But now I know what I know now and think back I realise that I was wrong. It may be that some people are in the same situation as I was then, so I believe it's worth me trying to convince them for their sake. Please believe I do everything here in an effort to help, I don't enjoy having to argue my points.

    I should say first off that when I use the word "nutrition" I mean it in the much broader sense that the OHC does - not just diet but also the various "alternative" remedies available without prescription (such as digestive enzymes, stomach acid, antifungals and adrenal rebuilders).

    What I would like to make clear is that we all at some point believe that we've tried "everything" or many many approaches. When in reality we haven't tried the ones that will work. Nutrition and diet shouldn't be dismissed because you've tried multiple diets or seen multiple psychologists. I know as far as the OHC is concerned for example they say CBT and DBT will not cure anyone (though they say CBT can be useful for management) and I would agree, the unique problem requires more specialist techniques. They require them to be used properly as well. I believed I was using techniques properly and it took a long time before I discovered I wasn't. When I made changes to the way I applied them results began to follow.

    The book by Alexandra Barton is full of stories by people who thought they'd tried "everything" until something finally worked. The same is true of the interviews by recovered people on the OHC's Secrets to Recovery website, people really really do feel like there's nothing left for them to try.

    I also don't think my suggestion is simple or though it may have seemed that way from my post (!). Psychology and nutrition are very difficult to get right (but once they are right they are easy, if that makes any sense). It requires a clinic with a lot of clinical experience (and this is most important) to know what will work.

    I was diagnosed in the UK (so no, no Canadian concensus).

    Best wishes,

    Cig.

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