Hi guys, I feel I am probably going to phenomenally unpopular for bringing this up. Nevertheless... I have recently dropped all supplement etc., and my main treatment method is now the Gupta Programme, good food, psychotherapy and meditation. Doing this for only three months so far I have begun to notice tangible positive effects such as the ability to walk further and carry out more tasks day-to-day. There are certainly ups and downs, and my throat is currently massively swollen, however I feel my lows aren't so low and my highs are getting higher. It's still early days, but I am confident that I will ultimately return to health. The role of psychology in the treatment of M.E. has a terrible reputation due to the past assumption by doctors and 'specialists' that our illness can be treated via antidepressants and CBT. Obviously this is hugely mistaken. M.E. is unquestionably a physical illness, not a psychological one. The reason for our incapacitation very much exists somewhere at a biochemical level. However, I am learning more and more about how the mind can impact our physiology and it is honestly shocking. Meditation, for instance, will alter gene expression to improve mitochondrial function. Similarly, the placebo effect is treated like some kind of medical accident to be avoided. However, in a study into a type of key-hole knee surgery, the actual surgery was found to be no better than a placebo. Instead of heralding the excellence of the placebo effect (some participants were now free of knee pain), the only conclusions that could be drawn were that the surgery was useless. People with M.E., myself absolutely included, will go out of their way to tip the odds in their favour, however implausible or unlikely it might be that it will lead to a recovery on its own. I have had multiple hair mineral analyses, salivary tests, dental work, supplemental or dietary regimes etc. etc.. This is not to say that those things don't or can't benefit out health (though I often question whether some of these things have made me worse), however my point is that I am surprised that people are so willing to put so much stock into these treatments, however they cannot face the possibility that the mind might be the linchpin preventing them from staging a physical recovery. An element of my illness has been massive over-sensitation. This can manifest as a wired but tired feeling, noise or light sensitivity, or massive irritability. The massive stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system in these instances has a knock on effect on the endocrine system, ultimately unbalancing the HPA axis. Like dominos, our physical systems fall as, for instance, our cardiovascular system becomes stressed, our gastrointestinal system becomes imbalanced and, perhaps most importantly, the mechanisms of the immune system take a terrible battering. In treatment, we often try to fix one of these things. In some people the adrenals might be weakened and thus they are incapable of picking the rest of the system up, in others they might show a predominant Th2 immune response and thus are incapable of ridding themselves of their initial viral infection, in more still the immune system might switch too aggressively to a Th1 response and never calm down, thus resulting in constant flu-like symptoms. Trying, then, to treat the underlying cause becomes an exercise in finding a specific needle not in a haystack, but one in a big pile of needles! What is the main cause of our malaise if all of our systems are malfunctioning? The human body, however, is a very capable machine and, in many instances, given the right tools it will provide its own maintenance. We try to assist it in doing this by removing amalgams etc., however many deny that hope, positivity, love and acceptance can allow the body the space it needs to begin to address its own issues. By embracing and cultivating these qualities systematically rather in a sort of half-arsed, piecemeal kind of way we are stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, thus allowing the HPA axis to right itself and the immune system to come back to homeostasis. We are literally stimulating the body to enter its rest and repair mode, whilst simultaneously calming the nervous system so my neighbours stereo won't cause me to want to crawl back into the womb. I recall a post on this forum where someone recovered after going away to a tropical beach for three months. The posters were wondering if it was a change in their water or food, or if it might have been the differing geological formations or the variations in the earth's magnetic field that caused their recovery. Could it not instead have been that that person finally let go? That they finally allowed their body to address whatever it was that held them in such a miserable state? That sunshine and happiness cultivated a healing atmosphere? I am not here to blame people for their illness. I am not saying that it is the general negativity of the M.E. population that is causing the illness, because I know so well that many of you have been through the mill with people telling you it is all in your head, and I also know that many of you stay quietly confident. However, the systematic cultivation of positive psychological qualities is so frequently overlooked, whereas we will happily approach the systematic removal of toxins and pathogens from our food and bodies using some far out techniques. This post, then, is a rhetorical plight for many of you to also add to your healing repertoire the possibility that we also needs to heal ourselves psychologically, in addition to removing toxins etc., before real change can take place. If you would like to read a very well researched book that discusses the impact of psychology on physical illness (which includes an extensive bibliography which cites plenty of well respected medical journals), then I encourage you to check out Mind Over Medicine; Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin M.D. When drafting any responses, please keep in mind I'm not saying your illness is psychological, or that it is your fault, or that I know what's best for you. I'm just saying be open to the possibility that we need to address psychology as well as physiology.